Do you have a patch of pretty little purple flowers in your yard? If so, you may have wild violets. Wild violets are very common in the contiguous United States, but have been found in many other countries all over the world.
Wild violets look like pretty flowers but do not be fooled! They grow quickly, taking over flowerbeds and lawn areas if left unchecked. Not only are they difficult to remove once established, but they also spread easily through their seeds which can be carried by water or animals like birds and turtles.
For these reasons it is important to learn how to identify wild violet plants as well as exactly what needs to be done in order to get rid of them for good!
What Is Wild Violet?
Wild Violets (scientifically known as Viola) is the most common type of the violet family, and has about 600 different species. It is typically a small-flowered annual or perennial weed that is mostly found in temperate northern hemisphere climates, such as the eastern United States as well as parts of Europe and Asia. However, it has been found in more diverse areas such as Hawaii, Australia, and the Andes mountains.
How and Where Does Wild Violet Grow?
Wild violets are a common weed in lawns and gardens across the United States. In addition to these places, they grow in full sun or shade, as well as a variety of habitats. Wild violets can be found in bogs, on prairie plains and hills, woodland undergrowth areas, as well as poorer-quality, human-altered landscapes like roadsides and waste spaces.
Wild Violet weeds spread by sending out runners along the ground or through seed dispersal via wind or animals that eat the seeds. Its roots systems extend deep into the soil making it difficult for grasses to compete successfully with their growth. Seeds can be dispersed up to 5 meters away from their parent plant.
The flowers of wild violets grow throughout much of the spring and summer, and one plant can produce many flowers.
How Can You Identify Wild Violet?
Wild violets can be identified most easily by their purple flowers which appear during the spring and summer months. The flowers form with five petals, and they can range from white to dark purple to light blue in color.
Wild violet leaves have scalloped edges and are shaped like hearts. Their stems are not particularly long, and they tend to grow close to the ground.
How Can You Get Rid of Wild Violet From Your Yard?
The next step after identifying where and how wild violet grows, as well as what it looks like, is to control and get rid of it from your yard. This is where you will have to get a little dirty, but it’s well worth the effort.
The best time to control and get rid of wild violet in your lawn or garden is in springtime, just after the flowers have bloomed, but before they turn into seeds. The reason for this is that wild violets produce new, tender leaves in the springtime, and they are harder to control and get rid of later on in the year.
One way to treat the soil is with a herbicide containing 2,4-D or Glyphosate . You can find these chemical weed killers in most hardware and garden supply stores, as well as big box type home improvement centers.
A very good glyphosate-based weed killer is Compare-N-Save Concentrate, and a broadleaf herbicide that uses 2,4-D is Southern Ag Crossbow Specialty Weed & Brush Herbicide.
The best time to use a chemical herbicide is in the fall, when the wild violets will take the chemicals down into their roots throughout the winter.
For organic methods, the first thing you have to do when controlling and getting rid of wild violet from your yard is to cut it right down at ground level with a pair of garden shears. This will take away the flowers, seeds, and leaves that it feeds on while growing.
From there, you can pull the wild violet plants out of the ground, but make sure you do this with rubber gloves on because it can be very difficult to get the roots out without leaving some behind. You should also use a hoe or small shovel in order to better get the entire root system.
Other organic options would be a vinegar-based herbicide or corn gluten meal, both of which are available in the same places as the chemical-based herbicides. Corn gluten meal works by preventing seed germination, and vinegar weed killers typically kill the plants after they have grown and flowered.
How Can You Prevent Wild Violet From Growing?
Practicing good lawn care is one of the best wild violet prevention techniques. This includes mowing your lawn on a regular basis, as high as possible, and leaving the clippings on the grass to decompose. This will provide both nutrition for your grass and also stimulate new growth.
If you’re looking for a weed-free lawn, it is best to lay down a good fertilizer during the fall months. This will provide your lawn with the nutrients it needs over the winter to come back lush and green as soon as spring arrives.
Mulching also helps, if you do it within a day or two of hand weeding. Additionally, because wild violets thrive in moist soil, aeration and de-thatching techniques will help keep your lawn less moist and compact.
In conclusion, wild violet is a type of weed that can be tricky to get rid of. Luckily, there are many methods you can use to make this happen. Some people prefer chemical-based techniques while others choose organic ones.
The best way for you to prevent wild violet from growing in your yard is by keeping it cut back and not providing any new soil or water sources where the weeds might grow. Understanding how these plants work will help you know which method will work best for your situation!