Johnny Jump-Up (Viola tricolor) in the Violas Database

Common names:
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General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Water Preferences: Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 2 -45.6 °C (-50 °F) to -42.8 °C (-45°F)
Plant Height: 7-10 inches
Flowers: Showy
Uses: Suitable for miniature gardens
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Propagation: Seeds: Self fertile
Days to germinate: 14 to 21 days
Suitable for wintersowing
Sow in situ
Start indoors
Can handle transplanting
Other info: Needs darkness to germinate, so a very thin covering of soil over the seed is recommended.
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Cuttings: Root
Pollinators: Self


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Posted by SongofJoy (Clarksville, TN - Zone 6b) on Dec 23, 2012 9:10 AM

Only plant these in full sun in zones/areas with cool summers. In warmer climates, give them some shade and keep them out of the path of strong, drying winds.

Viola tricolor is very frost tolerant and prefers cool, moist conditions. Provide rich, moist well-drained soil. A mulch is often helpful. Deadheading can help prolong blooming. Self-seeds.

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Posted by SCButtercup (Simpsonville SC - Zone 7b) on Aug 28, 2014 4:58 AM

Has grown in my garden every year since we moved in 9 years ago, and I have never planted it. The previous owners were not gardeners, so it must have blown in or had its seeds deposited by birds. It is a welcome visitor each spring. Not invasive like violets, and very early bloomer. Plant disappears as weather heats up, but reseeds reliably.

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Posted by valleylynn (Dallas, OR - Zone 8b) on Oct 10, 2011 8:40 PM

Common European wild flower, growing as an annual or short-lived perennial.

Known as the Johnny Jump Up (though this name is also applied to similar species such as the Yellow Pansy). It is the progenitor of the cultivated Pansy, and is therefore sometimes called Wild Pansy; before the cultivated Pansies were developed, "Pansy" was an alternative name for the wild form.

It can creep and hoist itself (ramping) as much as a meter into a dense tangle of other growth.

They are hermaphrodite and self-fertile, pollinated by bees. Flowers have been used to make yellow, green and and blue/green dyes.
Reseeds readily.

The plant, especially the flowers, contain antioxidants and are edible.

The first year I planted seed they were all the normal tricolor. Over the years as they have reseeded they have had different combinations of the three colors.

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Posted by Marilyn (Kentucky - Zone 6a) on Jun 20, 2012 5:44 PM

One year I planted 24 of these. In a couple of days, one or more wild rabbits ate all of them down to the ground and they never grew and/or bloomed again. I'd like to plant them again, but if I do, I'd have to plant them into a tall container to keep the rabbits from getting to them.

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Plant Events from our members
chelle On March 6, 2015 Potted up
(2) two-finger paper
chelle From February 18, 2015 to February 27, 2015 Seeds germinated
Light was not excluded. Seeds germinated in ambient room light.
chelle On February 17, 2015 Seeds sown
Room temp.
Catmint20906 On May 9, 2015 Bloomed
carlysuko On January 25, 2018 Bloomed
Birds ate most of the ones I planted in the ground, but the ones I planted in a pot around Jasmine sumbac are starting to bloom. 😊
carlysuko On November 13, 2017 Seeds germinated
carlysuko On November 7, 2017 Seeds sown
Seeds sown in three 2" plastic pots with jiffy seed starting mix mixed with perlite, and a humidity dome on top. Covered with a little soil since they need dark to germinate. Obtained seeds from Botanical Interests.
Michelezie On July 5, 2018 Bloomed
KelliW On January 5, 2020 Seeds sown
wintersown outdoors in jug, zone 6b
» Post your own event for this plant

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