Did you know that in addition to a birthstone, you also have a birth flower? Each lunar month has a specific flower. It has been an old tradition since Christianity. If February is your birth month, your bulb is the violet flower (Viola odorata). It is small and discreet, but distinguished for its sweet fragrance.
The violet is a perennial of the fields and woods. The flower is edible and sometimes used in the production of candy. In the language of flowers, the violet, whose head is always a little tilted, is the symbol of modesty. Oddly enough, this flower is not available in February.
Therefore, some florists replace it for iris (Iris spp.), which is produced in greenhouses and is available in all seasons. The iris expresses faith, courage, and wisdom. But whether you offer a violet on a birthday, or you want to know your birth flower, this article is for you.
Today, we are going to shed light on the following points:
* Where to plant the violet ?
* When and how to plant ?
* Care and maintenance
* Propagation * Pests and diseases
* Medicinal properties
The fragrant violet is commonly known as the scented violet or Viola Odorata. Its small purple flowers cover the meadows and woods. Semi-persistent, the fragrant violet forms a dense carpet of oval and cordiform leaves.
This ground-cover perennial forms rounded tufts of heart-shaped leaves. In March and April, its many small purplish-blue flowers exude a delicious scent. You can enjoy it in bedding borders or rockery with primroses. Additionally, fragrant violet is commonly used in pastry; the leaves are also edible.
Violets and pansies belong to the genus Viola. The difference lies in the arrangement of their petals: the first has two upright leaves and three petals facing downwards. The second has four upright petals, the fifth, more significant than the others, dropping its head. Almost all violets are native to temperate regions. The vast majority of them are perennials, but large-flowered hybrids are sold and used as annuals.
Where to Plant the Violet?
The fragrant violet is also very good in pots or planters. You can plant it in spring or autumn in fresh and fertile soil. It can tolerate temperatures down to -20 degrees C.
You can easily plant the violet in flower beds, rock gardens, borders, pots, and planters. Additionally, Viola Cornuta appreciates ordinary, light, well-drained soil and a warm, sunny location.
On the other hand, the fragrant violet likes a fertile, fresh soil and light, semi-shaded situation.
When and How to Plant?
For violets in pots, planting in the ground is preferably done throughout the autumn or even until spring. To have a beautiful flowering, they prefer a reasonably fertile and well-drained clay. However, the soil in your garden can be perfectly suitable. Maintain a spacing of about 20 cm between two plants. Water regularly the first year, but do not overwater. This flower tolerates dry shade and stony soils.
First of all, dig a 25 cm hole on all sides. Then mix in the soil extracted (50%) with the flowering plant compost (40%) and sand (10%). Place your violet plant in the center of the hole and fill up with the soil mixture.
Violet is a medicinal and nutritious plant and is ideal for gardens and planters. Depending on the variety, it blooms in winter or spring in a wide range of colors: white, yellow, pink, mauve, violet, blue, or even multicolored.
Care and Maintenance
No maintenance is required. Be careful, however, as the fragrant violet is sensitive to aphids, slugs, and snails. If the violets are in pots or planters, it is also important to water them once a week during dry periods.
To multiply the violet by sowing, this one is carried out in a nursery between June and September. The seeds are covered with a thin layer of light soil. If necessary, you should thin it out by removing the less beautiful plants. These can be planted in the ground the following spring.
The fragrant violet spreads naturally by runners. It is possible to separate the runners from the mother plant in the autumn and replant the young plants immediately.
In the autumn, the division of the clump is carried out with a fork and spade. The cluster is dug up, divided by hand, by untangling the roots and replant.
Pests and Diseases
The violet is a hardy plant with little sensitivity to disease and pests. The most common one is powdery mildew. It is a disease that occurs during dry periods and causes a white felting on leaves, flower buds, or young shoots. Affected leaves become deformed or even perforated. Kindly note to remove them and spray them with sulfur.
The violet can express a hidden love, in the sense that two lovers who are madly in love do not want their relationship to be known. The violet then symbolizes discretion.
The meaning varies according to the colors. But in general, they signify memories. Blue shades are a sign of faithful love or friendship. White ones express the joy of life, and red shows love.
Offering two violets means that you wish to share something with your beloved one, be it friendship, passion, or love.
Like all plants of the violet family, the flowers and leaves of the fragrant violet are at once an expectorant with a calming affect and emollient. In external use, the fragrant violet helps to fight against nervousness, stress, and insomnia. Emetic, this plant soothes specific symptoms of indigestion or intoxication.
In internal use, the violet is expectorant. In other words, the leaves and flowers treat bronchopulmonary infections such as coughs, colds, and bronchitis. Nevertheless, it increases sweating and lowers fever, in case of flu-like conditions.
The violet is also anti-inflammatory and emollient, diluted in a bath, the decoction of fragrant violet reduces rheumatic pain.
Easy to grow and fast-growing, Viola odorata thrives in semi-shade in fresh, light soil. You can use its cut flowers for small bouquets. The fragrant violet is best known in perfumery but also the production of soaps, sweets, syrups, jellies, essential oil, or infusions.