Thank you for purchasing Victorian Violas. Please take time to read our cultural advice before planting.
PREPARATION & PLANTING.
Violas enjoy growing in an airy mostly sunny position. We recommend John Innes No. 2 potting compost. Horticultural perlite can be added to this mix to aerate soil and improve root growth.
If planting into pots we recommend 1 plant per 5inch diam. (13cm.) pot. If planting directly into the garden excavate the planting hole, loosen the soil in the bottom and pour in a level 5inch diam. (13cm) pot full of planting mixture. Although you will be reluctant to do so, remove all existing flowers and buds showing colour from your plant, this will encourage rapid establishment. Now carefully plant your Viola and water in.
Your plants will quickly establish and very soon be forming new buds and flowers. Essential tasks for Healthy and Free-flowering Violas are:-
- Water regularly as required, keeping the compost moist at all times, never allow to completely dry out.
- About four weeks after planting begin a regular feeding regime. Violas have a healthy appetite; apply liquid feed every 7-10 days alternating between a general balanced feed (e.g. Phostrogen or Miracle-Grow) and a high potash feed (e.g. Tomorite), usually available in most garden stores. Always take care not to exceed the Products dilution recommendations.
- Watering and Feeding is preferred during early morning or evening.
- Regularly remove all spent flowers as they fade. Try very hard to keep on top of this very important task, nip off a few each time you visit or pass-by your plant. The purpose of doing this is to prevent the plant from setting seed, thereby encouraging continuity of flowering.
- Violas have few natural enemies. As with many plants Aphid attack can distort leaves. Mildew can sometimes appear in late summer, nip off affected leaves should this occur.
As October approaches, your plants, whether planted in the garden or in pots will have flowered tirelessly for up to 6 months, the time has come for them to rest and conserve energy for winter. Flowering can no longer be permitted. Remove all flowering stems and buds and cut back all straggly and untidy foliage just leaving the late summer growth in the crown of the plant, top up around the plant with fresh compost, and a little bone meal around the roots, your Viola will now be ready for its winter slumber. Violas are winter-hardy, always leave your plants outside exposed to normal weather conditions, do not attempt to protect them either in greenhouses, frames or cloches, it is not necessary. Check periodically for over wintering aphids. Growth will resume naturally in Spring, so that is the time to apply a general balanced fertiliser in preparation for another wonderful flowering summer.
N.B. One year old plants grown in and over wintered in 5inch diam. (13cm.pots) can be potted-on in early Spring upgrading to a 6-7 inch diam. (15-17cm.) size pot. If plants are over wintered in pots, place them on gravel or bricks to avoid water logging.
EXTRA HINTS FOR THE VERY BEST VIOLAS
- If planted in a plastic pot, insert into slightly larger terracotta clay, ceramic or stone container. This creates a more pleasing effect with the added benefit of keeping roots cool and conserving moisture. Ensure that this outer container is bottom drilled for drainage.
- For pots and containers sited near walls or fences, periodically turn the pot to balance all-round growth.
- During periods of extreme baking sunshine or heat wave temperatures, allow your plants some respite by moving to, or providing some dappled shading.
- As July approaches your plant will have been flowering for some10-12 weeks, if you allow it your plant will enjoy a well-deserved mid-summer siesta, just a short break from the exertion of continued flower production. Carefully cut back all flowering stems, maturing buds and straggly wayward foliage growth. Apply a granular feed around the base of the plant and water well; Vitax Q4 or Growmore are highly recommended. Within two weeks or so new buds will once again be forming, continue plantcare as described and flowering will continue freely until October.
- If you are cutting bloom for small vases, always take the receptacle of water to the chosen plant. Cut only one stem at a time with sharp scissors or knife and immerse immediately into the water. Proprietary sachets of ‘longer-life’ crystals can be added by choice.
We wish you every success with your new Violas. Please remember they love care and attention and will repay you generously with a harvest of scent and bloom throughout the summer. If you require any further information please telephone (01522) 686343. Thank you.
“The Pretty Viola, she pleaseth the eye and gladdens the heart”