Roses are Red, Violets are ... In My Yard
Photo Credit: Dave's Garden
If you live anywhere in the Southeastern US, there is likely a chance that you’ve had Wild Violets in the shaded parts of your yard. In the Athens, Georgia area, they are perennial, meaning that they do not die every year (unless you decide to help them along).
You can tell it is a Wild Violet by its heart-shaped leaves and purple or white-ish purple flowers. They grow through rhizomes. Rhizomes, as opposed to roots, are underground stems that grow horizontally through the soil. Don’t be surprised if you see more Wild Violets pop up a few feet away from the original plant.
Photo Credit: Purdue Turf Tips, of a rhizome where the dirt has washed away.
If you have wild violets and would like to get rid of them, here are a few ways to control them:
Because they grow by rhizomes, they can not be hand-pulled unless you get all of the roots. When hand pulling, wait until the soil is moist after a good rain, and gently pull the plant from the part closest to the ground.
Triclopyr is the best herbicide to control Wild Violets. It is best to treat them in the fall months, and it will take two or more treatments to manage them.*
Pre-emergents do not stop wild violets.
Wild Violets are difficult to control due to their unique growth habit. At RLC, it usually takes two or more treatments to get them under control, and after that, continued treatments each year to keep them maintained. Our pre-emergents will not prevent them from growing, but our licensed technicians can spot-treat the violets anytime they see them present in your lawn.
*Always check the label to make sure that the chemical is safe for your lawn type.