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Garden Pansies or Wittrock violets, cultivated as an annual and biennial plant, are used to decorate gardens and indoor spaces. The main reproduction is from seeds. At home, violets can be grown from seeds all year round, and in open beds only in the summer season. There is another name for Pansies - viola, which means violet in Italian. To avoid confusion when reading our article, we note: Pansies, violet and viola are unambiguous definitions of the same plant. How to properly grow these flowers from seeds, when to plant, how to achieve abundant flowering: you will get answers to all these questions by reading the content of our article.
Violets Pansies do not have one generally accepted classification, some botanists divide plant species by flower shape and size, others by flowering time or resistance to environmental influences.
The basis of the modern classification is the distribution of Pansies by flower size:
- Super Giant Violets. The flowers reach 11 centimeters in diameter.
- Giant viols. Flower size 9-10 cm.
- Large-flowered eyes (flowers up to 8-9 cm in diameter).
- Mid-flowered violets. Flowers grow from 6 to 8 centimeters.
- Small-flowered viols. The average size of flowers is 5-6 cm.
All groups are further divided into many varietal subgroups, which are characterized by color and shape of flowers. We will not give here a description of each variety of Pansies, it is simply impossible, their number is in the hundreds, we will only make a description of the basic morphological data that unite all species and varieties of this plant:
- violet - compact or slightly spreading annual plant, bush height from 15 to 40 centimeters, grown from seeds;
- viola roots are fibrous, that is, the main root does not have a pronounced priority, there are many basal processes lying at a depth of no more than 15-20 cm;
- the leaves of Pansies are dark green (depending on the variety they can have a light green color), alternate, the leaf shape is oval or ovoid, tapering at the top, the edges are jagged;
- flowers are of different sizes (see above), the corolla is flat with five petals, one lower petal has a special hollow in which pollen is collected, all other petals are slightly raised upward, the shape is fan-shaped, the flowers are different in color: monochrome, that is, one-color, and also two and three colors;
- fruits - three-chambered seed pods, seeds are small, smooth and shiny, length up to 2 mm, seed width - less than 1 mm (see photo below).
Growing from seeds
In the video at the end of this page, an experienced florist talks in detail about his method of growing Pansies from seed to seedlings. For those who prefer to read the text, we write further.
They begin to sow viola seeds in February, so that by the time of planting in the ground, they have sufficiently developed seedlings. The resulting plants can be planted in garden pots, in containers on the balcony or in ordinary pots that are placed in any room. Seedlings of Pansies are grown from seeds in order to get blooming flower beds in the garden as early as possible in order to admire them all summer, and not at the beginning of autumn, which can happen if violets are planted in the ground too late.
Seeds of Pansies are small (see photo below), working with them, you have to work hard. Prepare small skewers or toothpicks, blunt-tipped nail tweezers. You will also need a small container of soil or gauze napkins. It depends on which method of growing from seed you prefer, with or without growing medium.
Attention! Violet seeds can be stored for no more than 2 years. Unscrupulous producers allow themselves to mix in one package old, expired seeds, with fresh seeds harvested in the past season. Beware of such fakes. The percentage of seed germination depends on the storage period. Sometimes this figure is below 50%.
Seeds of Pansies are soaked until the first emerging sprouts are obtained or planted dry in a moist substrate in several pieces.
In the ground, the seeds take root, and tiny sprouts with cotyledon leaves rush upward, this is shown in the photo below. Seeds sprout in 7-10 days.
They can be left in this position until full-fledged seedlings grow, or they can be dived into separate containers-pots for each seedling. Another photo below shows the seedlings of Pansies, already ready for transplanting into the ground. From sowing violet seeds to obtaining normal seedlings with several true leaves, it takes 3 to 4 months. In open ground, Pansy saplings grown from seeds are transplanted depending on the time of the onset of spring warming, in the south this can be done already in April-May, in cool areas - in May-June.
Trying to facilitate the work of gardeners when growing from seeds of different crops: flowers, vegetables, berries and fruits, manufacturers have learned to make modern materials that help reduce labor costs for preparing substrates. In stores, you can buy everything for these purposes: peat and coconut tablets, complex earthen mixtures intended separately for a particular plant, special containers with lids and all kinds of devices for such work.
If you do not have such specialized shops nearby, and a vegetable garden, as they say, “close by,” then in the fall make a stock of garden soil, compost, sand and peat. For the time being, they can be stored in the basement or shed. Prepare the earthen mixture 2-3 weeks before planting the seeds, bring it into a heated room (house or closet) and warm it up properly. Violets are not very picky about the composition of the soil, but they do not like too acidic or alkaline soils.
A soil mixture of the following composition is suitable for growing from seeds: 1 part of sand, 3 parts of fertile soil from the garden and 1 part of rotted light compost. Mix all components thoroughly, remove large debris: twigs, pebbles, large parts of the remaining plants. Begin to moisten the soil a little by closing the container with a lid so that the moisture does not evaporate for a longer time.
Advice! Check the acidity of the resulting substrate. This can be done with the help of litmus papers and a color guide, which are sold in the kit.
To find out the degree of acidity of the soil, follow the instructions included with the package.
During that time while the seedlings "keep pace", it is necessary to carry out certain care, it consists in the following:
- in the implementation of regular watering, once a month you need to combine it with a chemical additive to stimulate growth;
- maintaining a constant temperature regime, not less than + 25 ° С;
- maintaining air humidity by spraying plants with warm water if necessary;
- in additional lighting, if the days are still short (in the first month after sowing, round-the-clock lighting is needed).
2-3 weeks before planting in the ground, when daytime temperatures allow it, the seedlings of Pansies are hardened, taking the containers outside or on balconies for 1-3 hours. Start with 30 minutes, gradually adding time, bring it to 4 hours. On the glazed loggias, you can start hardening in March, and in April-May, if planned, transplant into boxes and leave for the whole summer. Pansies will bloom earlier if it is on the south or east side of the street.
Landing in the ground
Ready seedlings of violets, grown from seeds, are planted in the ground in mid-May. At this time of the year, the townspeople often observe how gardeners decorate city flower beds in parks and gardens, plant tulip bulbs, daffodils, seedlings of petunias and violets. A month later, their violent flowering begins, the summer season opens, cities are transformed, acquiring a multi-colored outfit. Gardeners also rush to their summer cottages in order to have time to plant the "ripe" seedlings of Pansies and other flowers.
For novice florists, we recommend several rules for the correct planting of seedlings of violets grown from seeds in open ground:
- Choose a place to plant your viola in advance. This should be a lit place away from tall plants, perhaps a separate garden flowerpot, a small flower bed, or an area near paths, an alpine slide.
- The soil requires fertile and light, pH neutral, loose and free from weeds.
- Mark the area, make small holes for seedlings 15-25 cm deep. You can choose the distance between the seedlings yourself, take into account the density of plantings and the future growth of bushes, if you want thicker, plant more often.
- Pour the water over the wells when it is completely absorbed, with one hand, use the scoop to spread the moist soil, with the other, drown the roots of the Pansy seedling in this crevice. While holding the sprout, carefully remove the spatula.
- Also, gently, protecting the fragile seedling from breakage, sprinkle the surface of the hole with compost or peat (layer thickness 10-15 centimeters).
- Gently tug on the seedlings by the leaf, they should not be pulled out of the ground. If, nevertheless, it remains in your hand, repeat all over again. Gradually, you will learn how to do it right.
- We planted seedlings grown from seeds, now you need regular flower care and rare feeding, water them once a month with complex fertilizers diluted in water. Find out the dosage from the instructions on the package.
Florists note that Pansies are very sensitive to care, the more love and care you give to the plant, the longer and more abundantly they will bloom.
Caution! It is not recommended to plant violet seeds in the ground before winter. Any sudden drops in temperature have a detrimental effect on them. In the spring, you can get rare and unsuccessful shoots, that is, somewhere empty, but somewhere dense.
Take a look at the photo below. This is how wonderful flower ornaments with Pansies grown from seeds should look like.
Two-year-old species of violets produce seeds only in the second year. You can harvest these seeds yourself. To do this, in the first year (in July-August), the available viola seeds are sown in the ground. At the end of September or October, seedlings are dug up (this season the plant does not bloom) along with a lump of earth. Store in winter in an unheated room: in the basement, shed, cold storeroom. In early May, they are planted as normal seedlings. In autumn, at the end of flowering, viola forms seed pods, in which there are many fresh seeds, growers collect them, put them to dry and ripen. The seeds obtained in this way can be planted for seedlings at home in the same way as purchased ones.
When we grow flowers, we give their beauty not only to those around us, but first of all we ourselves get pleasure and satisfaction. These feelings help us in life. Love flowers, they are our friends.