Wild Violets

A Perennial Weed with a Purple Flower, Found in Shaded, Damp Areas

Weed Wild Violets

What Are Wild Violets?

Wild Violets are perennial flowers with predictably dark purple flowers that bloom in the Spring. The flower color can vary from white or very light purple to blue-ish purple to dark purple. They have low-growing, waxy, dark green, heart-shaped leaves. The leaves form a cone and do not lose their color in the Fall or Winter. Their flowers attract pollinators in Spring and Summer. They grow in USDA Hardiness Zones (3-9), in the eastern part of the United States.

What Causes Wild Violets?

Wild Violets grow best in shady, moist and fertile soil. They spread via underground root systems and seeds. Wild Violets form large colonies, connecting via their underground roots: rhizomes. They often occur in newer developments that were previously wooded or in established yards with forests nearby.

How To Get Rid Of Wild Violets?

Some people love Wild Violets in their lawn, but if these perennial weeds bother you, they can be weakened with a chemical weed control treatment applied in the Fall. Perhaps the most effective method of getting rid of Wild Violets, is digging them up by hand. We recommend this method because this weed can spread quickly and outcompete the grass, if you don't get it out of the lawn. One tool that can make the weeding process easier is Weed Out. After removing the weed, be sure to use a hand spade to dig up any roots that got left behind. Let the plant dry out and fully die before putting it in your compost pile, otherwise you may just be planting it elsewhere!

How To Prevent Wild Violets In Your Lawn?

To prevent Wild Violets, make sure your grass is thick and healthy. Do not overwater, otherwise you may be promoting the moist soil Violets prefer. We recommend mowing high so your grass roots are strong and deep. We also recommend Core Aeration and adding Microclover to your lawn to feed your soil and keep your grass healthy.

Are Wild Violets Poisonous To Dogs?

Rest assured, Wild Violets are NOT poisonous to dogs - or people! 

Are Wild Violets Safe To Eat?

Wild Violets are in fact safe to eat! Do make sure you correctly identify any and all plants that you forage before eating them. Violets are often used as a garnish on wedding cakes or in other desserts. Flowers can be crystallized with sugar or used on their own. Violet jelly, liquor, syrup, vinegar and tea are all common uses. Leaves and flowers together are often consumed on salads. Leaves can also be added to soups or stews. Violets provide both vitamins A and C.

Are Wild Violets Invasive?

Wild Violets can easily spread through their rhizomes and often grow in clumps. They spread happily and quietly on their own. However, it is not normal for an entire yard to be taken over by these dainty flowers. They spread, but they do not crowd out other plant species entirely.

Are Wild Violets Native To Ohio?

There are more than twenty violet varieties native to Ohio! They have been here long before European Settlers. Wild Violets are also in Canada, Europe, and Australia. 

Do Wild Violets Benefit Wild Fauna?

The flowers of wild violets are an important pollinator species for our bees and other pollinating insects. Their leaves are eaten by rabbits and deer while roots are foraged by mice, voles, turkey, and other wild game birds.

Why Do Violets Change Colors?

Sometimes, the same Wild Violet plant may produce flowers of a different color when the soil composition has changed. Violets with very acidic soil will have a much darker purple flower.

How To Identify Wild Violets In Your Lawn

Weed Wild Violet Grass
  • Purple flowers, blooming in Spring
  • Dark green, heart-shaped leaves
  • Grow in shady, moist, fertile soil

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