How to Grow Viola Odorata


Viola odorata, commonly known as sweet violet, is a fragrant, herbaceous plant commonly grown in flower gardens. Sweet violet has been used to make perfume for hundreds of years, especially during the Victorian period when its aroma was highly valued. Viola odorata produces flowers during spring that can be blue, purple or white in color. The plant requires only basic care to thrive and produce flowers in the home garden.

Step 1

Plant Viola odorata during spring in a location that receives partial shade throughout the day. Spread 1 inch of aged manure over the planting site and use a garden hoe to incorporate it into the soil to increase drainage and fertility.

Step 2

Dig a hole in the soil of equal depth and twice as wide as the plant's root ball. Place the roots into the hole and gently back-fill with soil. Water immediately after planting to bring moisture into contact with the roots and compact the soil.

Step 3

Spread a 2-inch layer of mulch over the soil surrounding Viola odorata to insulate the plant's roots and improve moisture conservation. Begin the layer of mulch at least three inches from the base of the plant to allow space for growth.

Step 4

Water Viola odorata plants once per week to prevent the soil from drying out completely. Apply directly to the soil to avoid splashing water on foliage, as moist leaves are more vulnerable to fungal infestations and diseases.

Step 5

Feed Viola odorata once per month during the first two months of growth using a liquid seaweed fertilizer. Read the directions provided by the manufacturer for proper application and dosage information. No supplemental fertilization is required after the first two months.

Step 6

Remove dead and faded Viola odorata flowers as soon as possible to encourage the formation of additional blossoms. Pinch off the flowers with your fingers as close to the stem as possible to minimize damage to the plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Aged manure
  • Garden hoe
  • Mulch
  • Liquid seaweed fertilizer


  • Cornell University Flower Growing Guides: Violet, Sweet
  • University of Washington Department of Agriculture: Sweet Violet
  • "The Gardener's A-Z Guide to Growing Flowers from Seed to Bloom;" Eileen Powell; 2004
Keywords: Viola odorata, sweet violet, Viola odorata plants

About this Author

Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including