For a small and delicate flower that makes a big impact, you can’t go wrong with johnny jump ups (Viola tricolor). The cheery purple and yellow flowers are easy to care for, so they’re ideal for novice gardeners who want to add some color to their landscaping. A smaller relative of the pansy, johnny jump ups are a great selection when filling in under trees or in between larger shrubs. Keep reading for more information on growing johnny jump up flowers.
What is a Johnny Jump Up?
Also known as viola, wild pansy and heart’s ease, the johnny jump up is actually a relative of the pansy. The difference between johnny jump ups and pansies is mostly one of size. Pansies have much larger flowers, although they look very similar. On the other hand, johnny jump ups produce many more flowers per plant and are much more heat tolerant, making johnny jump up planting even more ideal.
Growing a Johnny Jump Up Violet
Plan to grow these flowers in beds, around tree bases and even mixed in with flowering bulbs. Johnny jump up flowers love sunshine, but they’ll do well with partial sun, too.
Dig in plenty of compost to enrich the soil and help with drainage. Sprinkle a coating of seeds over the prepared ground and rake the soil to barely cover the seeds. Keep them well watered until germination, which should be in about a week to 10 days.
You’ll get the best coverage if you plant seeds in the late summer or fall for next year’s growth. With roots already established, the small plants will begin flowering first thing next spring.
Care of Johnny Jump Ups
Keep johnny jump up flowers watered, but don’t let the soil get soggy.
Pinch off dead flowers and stem ends to encourage bushier growth and more bloom production. Once the season is over, dig up the dead greenery and replant the bed for next year.
Surprisingly, johnny jump ups have an unusual use; they’re one of a group of rare edible flowers. Along with violets and squash blossoms, these blooms can be picked, washed and added to salads, floated in cocktails and even frozen in ice cubes for a decorative touch at parties.