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Wild Violets in my Lawn

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Showing 1-13 of 13 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 17, 2012 7:27:58 AM PDT
CRB says:
How do I get rid of lawn Violets?

Posted on Jul 17, 2012 11:16:18 AM PDT
sorry, i don't know. but the flowers are delicious, so you could just treat it as a garden vegetable... and make your salads extra tasty and pretty. or candy them for use in deserts, to decorate cakes, etc. I know this answer is a far cry from what you want to know - good luck!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 17, 2012 2:01:34 PM PDT
Pampeliska says:
J. Grenfell `s suggestion to use the violets as a garden vegetable sounded intriguing, and quick search on the internet yielded variety of results.
I found the topic quite interesting and I apologize for ridiculous length of this post. Most of it contains info I found on the web.

While mostly regarded as unwelcome invader, some people actually appreciate their beauty and subtle fragrance. Their suggestions (other than `just enjoy them') are quite fascinating. (The flowers of the plant actually ARE edible).

1. Making Violet Jelly (fun and easy process that can be found at)

2. Making Violet Infused Vinegar

3. Making Violet Infused Essential Oil (this one sounds really great!)

Vast majority of others though, even though initially fond of the little flowers, came to dislike them eventually and they share their tips, such as found here:,com_kb/Itemid,2323/article,1078/task,article/

And finally, here are some highlights I found informative:
(NONE of the following quotes are mine, all re-printed from other websites)

First the more 'earth friendly' non-herbicidal solutions:

* The best method of wild violet control is a thick and healthy lawn. The dense roots of the grass will help prevent those pretty little devils from ever taking root.

* Once the violets get into the lawn, they are hard to control. They are too low for the lawnmower to reach. The leaves have a waxy coating that resists herbicides. Some people add a sticker/spreader to make herbicides more effective, but I don't know if this also makes it more effective at killing the grass. My own weapon of choice is a paring knife. Violets are relatively easy to dig out of the ground. In spring, the flowers give the location of the plants away and make it easy to attack. It is vital to get the violets up and out of where they aren't wanted before the seedpods open. But most important is not to let them get started where you don't want them. If you don't want violets in the lawn, then dig them out as soon as you spot them there. A few violets are pretty and charming. A lawn full of them may lose its charm rapidly, and some mature specimens will develop fleshy above-ground rhizomes that choke out any other plants, especially grass.
So far, I have been fairly successful at keeping the violets out of the lawn we have now. In the spring, I enjoy the sweet, pretty anemones in the grass, instead.

* Keep your lawn healthy and grass tall (2½ to 4) inches to reduce weed problems. Digging is the only non chemical control for this weed. You may want to try some of the more environmentally friendly products that use vinegar, clove oil and similar ingredients to kill the leaves. Repeat applications are needed to kill the roots of perennial plants. Corn gluten meal has been effective at reducing weed population by preventing the seeds from germinating. Spring and fall applications made for three years can reduce weeds by 50%. Though these are natural products you should still read and heed all label directions. Those interested in using traditional chemicals should try spot treating the weeds to minimize their use of pesticides. Try one of the broadleaf weed killers labeled for difficult weeds. Apply in mid September and again in late October if needed.

* Google search for the question 'wild violets in lawn' comes up with this (see link).

It describes using sugar "Jusp apply sugar (plain table sugar) at the rate of 1 pound per 250 sq.ft, and water it in well, and DON'T use any chemicals on your lawn."

And then the methods using Herbicides for lawn control:
(again, none of those quotes are mine)

* My best suggestion is to try a product that contains the herbicide triclopyr. One example is Ortho Chickweed, Clover, and Oxalis Killer. You will gain your most ground with fall (late September/early October) and Spring (just after flowering) applications and it will take multiple applications. Start this summer but remember fall.

* Their ability to store carbohydrates allows them to re-sprout vigorously after you attempt to kill them. Violets can be controlled, but you have to go after them aggressively and keep after them. This is a process, not a one-shot treatment, and you will probably have to keep after them next spring, too.

* The key to successfully controlling violets in turfgrass is proper timing of herbicide applications and making repeated applications until the carbohydrate reserves are exhausted.

* Choose a product that actually lists "wild violet" as one of the weeds controlled on the label, such as Ortho Weed-B-Gon Chickweed, Clover and Oxalis Killer (triclopyr).

* The best time to spray is when violets are in full bloom in May. The food reserves in the roots and rhizomes are at their lowest point because they have used those reserves to push out new growth and bloom in the spring. The idea is to hit them at their weakest point and to keep hitting them until they are under control. Follow the label directions on the herbicide as to intervals between applications and total number of applications allowed.

* If the violets have completely crowded out areas of your lawn, you have the option of killing them with a nonselective herbicide such as Round Up (glyphosate) or one of the many Round Up knockoffs available because glyphosate went off patent. Although it will kill any grass as well as the violets, it is often the best solution if there is not much grass left. Then reseed the area with good grass seed that matches the rest of your lawn.

Again, sorry for the length, I hope at least some will enjoy the information.

Posted on Jul 20, 2012 9:15:34 AM PDT
luv shoes says:
I had these in a home I purchased a few years ago. I tried everything, as they were already 20 % or more of the front yard. I finally had to re-sod the entire front. That was not a fun job.

Posted on Jul 23, 2012 8:42:51 AM PDT
Jo Lindsey says:
About the only way to get rid of them is to dig or pull them up......which is what I had to do. Law service chemicals did not even touch them. I water the space heavily and after if soaks in, and dries out a bit, pull them up with their roots and DO NOT leave them on the ground get rid of the, or they will just take over another spot.

Posted on Apr 26, 2013 4:43:01 PM PDT
Why not accept their beauty and enjoy them? No "keeping up with the Jones" for me!

Posted on Apr 27, 2013 9:39:59 AM PDT
bobbierob says:
I'm wanting violets in my gardeen. We dug some up down the road. Should we plant them in sun or shade>

Posted on Apr 27, 2013 9:40:37 AM PDT
bobbierob says:
I'm wanting violets in my gardeen. We dug some up down the road. Should we plant them in sun or shade>

Posted on Jul 28, 2013 10:12:10 AM PDT
YMMV says:
Why do people insist on trying to convince someone who doesn't want wild violets in their lawns that they do? No one asked to conduct a poll.

CRB, if you're still dealing with them (and I'm guessing you are), try Ortho Max Poison Ivy Killer with a surfactant. The glossy leaves make most herbicides slide right off without it. Also read that processed sugar makes the soil inhospitable to them, but that would cost a fortune.

Posted on Aug 4, 2013 12:57:38 PM PDT
what are these wild violets,do they look like purple leafs that you buy at the garden store to spruse up the garden?

Posted on Aug 23, 2013 12:15:42 PM PDT
Ela Fitz says:
I used the leaves I found curbside from someone's yard as a mulch and one spring I had millions of tiny violets so thick in Bermuda, I was scared. One day, in the old orchard where they were, i left a 4 x 8 sheet of 1 inch thick decking material on the ground. When I returned from a trip and picked the material up, there were no little violets underneath. The grass looked dead but the Bermuda returned. The violets did not. I have continued moving the sheet of decking material to a new spot about every three weeks. It takes very little time for the Bermuda to return.

Posted on Aug 24, 2013 7:43:50 PM PDT
Carla Gress says:
Violets are the sole food source for fritallary butterfly larvae, which are absolutely gorgeous. If you insist on removing them from your lawn, please reconsider leaving a small area of them in a corner, and follow the other suggestions above about how to get rid of them.

Posted on Sep 5, 2013 3:07:09 PM PDT
2 apps of weed-b-done 2 weeks apart did it for me.
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Initial post:  Jul 17, 2012
Latest post:  Sep 5, 2013

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