How to control wild violets

How to control wild violets

The wild violet (Viola pratincola) is an invasive plant that’s winter-hardy in U.S. Division of Agriculture plant hardiness zones three by 9. As soon as established, wild violets can tolerate drought-like situations attributable to their fleshy underground rhizomes, which retailer water and permit the plant to unfold. With their fairly flowers and zealous progress, they make engaging floor covers however can swiftly get uncontrolled, overtaking a panorama. Their in depth root methods enable these aggressive vegetation to kind colonies, making wild violets tough to manage. A selfmade weed killer containing horticultural vinegar can management wild violets with out costly commercially ready herbicides.

What’s Horticultural Vinegar?

Horticultural vinegar comprises a better quantity of acetic acid than the vinegar usually bought in grocery shops. It usually has a 20-percent acetic acid charge, which is excessive sufficient to kill vegetation. Some manufacturers of horticultural vinegar comprise a soapy carbohydrate, which acts as a surfactant decreasing floor stress and permitting the selfmade weed killer utilizing it to stay higher to the wild violets. Nonetheless, every model of horticultural vinegar varies and it is best to at all times observe the directions listed on its label to forestall injury to fascinating vegetation and enhance its effectiveness.

Wild Violet Info

Wild violets are perennial or annual cool-season weeds that produce engaging heart-shaped, scalloped edged leaves. The flowers usually have 5 petals and are purple, yellow or white. These blooms usually seem in early spring and summer season. Wild violets thrive in shaded areas and attain heights of two to 12 inches tall. The leaves of violets have a waxy coating, which causes herbicides — each selfmade and business — to run off the plant. Including a surfactant to the herbicide will assist the present higher herbicide absorption. When utilizing horticultural vinegar as a weed killer, add a surfactant to the answer.

Do-it-yourself Wild Violet Weed Killer

Making a selfmade weed killer to manage wild violets requires mixing horticulture vinegar with water. You should utilize a ratio of 80 p.c water and 20 p.c vinegar. This selfmade wild violet weed herbicide has an 80-percent management charge over most broadleaf weeds when sprayed on the offending plant’s foliage. If the horticultural vinegar doesn’t comprise a surfactant, add 1 teaspoon of a non ionic surfactant or dishwashing liquid for each gallon of water used.

Use warning when working with horticultural vinegar. It’s a lot stronger than your kitchen vinegar; it might trigger extreme injury to your eyes and pores and skin. Be certain to put on protecting clothes when working with horticultural vinegar. Security glasses, rubber gloves, pants and a long-sleeve shirt will assist forestall eye and pores and skin publicity to the vinegar.

Precautions and Issues

Wild violet weed management is tough and repeat functions of the selfmade weed killer could also be required. The effectiveness of the selfmade horticultural vinegar weed killer varies and it is best to contemplate different management choices together with functions of business herbicides containing triclopyr or dicamba.

It is best to use horticultural vinegar or different weed killer within the fall to manage wild violets as a result of the vegetation take up extra of the herbicide presently. Making an attempt to manage wild violets in the summertime usually supplies poor outcomes.

  • High quality Gardening: Genus Viola (Pansy, Violet)
  • Kansas State College Analysis and Extension: Wild Violet
  • College of Maryland Extension: Vinegar: An Different to Glyphosate?
  • College of Minnesota Extension: Vinegar and Epsom Salt as Herbicides

Marylee Gowans has written about gardening for each on-line and print publications. She attended the College of Akron, graduating with a Grasp of High quality Arts in artistic writing. In 2009, she obtained grasp gardener certification from the Grasp Gardeners of Summit County, Ohio.

Wild violets have fairly, five-petaled purple, blue or white flowers which might be an early signal of spring. They’re additionally robust, invasive and fertile weeds that may simply take over your yard. Wild violets are usually present in moist, cool, shady areas, however they’re persistent sufficient to unfold into sunny or dry lawns. Controlling or eliminating wild violets isn’t straightforward. You possibly can pull them by hand or dig them out, however it’s tough to take away all the vegetation’ rhizomes. A quicker methodology of controlling wild violets is to use an herbicide.


Glyphosate is a “broad-spectrum, non-selective systemic herbicide,” in accordance with the Extension Toxicology Community. It may be used on all annual and perennial vegetation, together with grasses and broad-leaved weeds. Use glyphosate (bought underneath model names like Roundup or Landing) on wild violets in smaller areas comparable to decorative beds and areas with out grass. As a result of it’s a broad-spectrum herbicide, it’ll kill something that it touches. Spray glyphosate solely on the wild violets, and don’t apply it to a windy day, because the herbicide could are available in contact with vegetation you don’t want to hurt.

  • Wild violets have fairly, five-petaled purple, blue or white flowers which might be an early signal of spring.
  • Spray glyphosate solely on the wild violets, and don’t apply it to a windy day, because the herbicide could are available in contact with vegetation you don’t want to hurt.

Broadleaf Herbicides

If wild violets have invaded your garden, use a postemergence broadleaf herbicide. These herbicides will kill the violets, however they won’t hurt your turf. UMass Extension recommends utilizing a herbicides that mix phenoxy (2,4-D, 2,4-DP, MCPP, MCPA) and benzoic acid (dicamba), comparable to Sword or Dyclear. It’s possible you’ll want to use a number of functions over an prolonged time frame, and UMass warns that the functions most frequently lead to solely truthful management.


In response to UMass Extension, one of the simplest ways to manage wild violets is to make use of triclopyr, both alone or mixed with different broadleaf herbicides. Triclopyr is bought underneath model names like Battleship, Confront, Chaser and Turflon Ester. Apply these herbicides between late April and mid-June, or to start with of September by mid-October. It’s possible you’ll want a couple of utility, and fall utility is often simpler.