These very unusual and distinctive small viola faces produce a palette of colours as if individually brushed by an artist. Bushy, dwarf plants give outstanding garden performance in summer or autumn displays.
Culinary note: Some parts of these flowers are edible. The crystallised petals are great decorations for cakes and cookies, or they can be added straight to green salads for an injection of colour. For more details about edible flowers click here.
Sow pansies and violas from spring to autumn on the surface of a good seed compost and gently firm down. Spring sowings will give flowers during early summer, whilst summer and autumn sowings will bloom the following winter or spring.
Place the seed tray in a propagator at a temperature of 15-20C (59-68F) or seal it inside a polythene bag. Keep the soil damp but not wet. Take care not to provide too high a temperature, as this can prevent germination. Do not exclude light as this aids germination which usually takes 14-21 days.
When seedlings are large enough to handle, transplant and grow them on in cooler conditions until large enough to plant outdoors. When viola and pansy plants are well grown and all risk of frost has passed, acclimatise them to outdoor conditions over 7 to 10 days. Transplant into well drained soil in baskets and containers outdoors in full sun or semi-shade. Over winter autumn sowings in a cold frame then plant out the following spring.
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