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Sorbet violas are big
Senior Scene® | January Issue
It is especially important to monitor moisture in containers. I like to plant
a few violas in sconces on my back fence, but I always seem to forget to water them. If the roots get a little dry,  ower production turns off, which is not a good thing. I need to run some irrigation lines to these containers to take care of that problem. Viola root systems must get established before cold weather set in. The best news is that it’s not too late to start planting now.
I always put a couple of teaspoons of controlled-release fertilizer in the planting hole & then apply water- soluble fertilizer every three weeks during normal watering, which keeps the plants at their  owering best through the cool season. When you go shopping, you’ll see violas at the garden centers in packs & in 3- or 4-inch pots. Which one should you choose? The pack plants are a little cheaper per plant & have more per  at, but they will take longer to  ll in. One last piece of advice about plant- ing violas. There is nothing lonelier than a viola planted by itself in a big  ower bed. For the best landscape performance & display, always plant violas in big masses. SS
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winter performers
By Gary R. Bachman MSU Extension Service
Recently, I’ve told you about
two of my top three cool-season  owering bedding plants. Another plant everyone should have in their landscape: the viola. Violas may have smaller  owers than their cousin, the pansy, but they’re maybe even tougher & more tolerant of cold, winter weather than pansies. These plants are beautiful massed in landscape beds,
& they can be great performers all the way to Easter.
Another name for violas is Johnny jump up, due to the fact that they are proli c seed producers & seem to pop up in random places in the garden. Wherever I have planted violas in
my yard, they continued to reappear around the landscape for a least a couple of more years. Whenever I spot these volunteers, I always let them grow to continue the cycle. The Sorbet series is my favorite viola variety. The plants are about 4 to 6 inches tall & wide.
When mass planted, they seem to cover the landscape with a  oral
blanket. These colorful  owers are displayed above the foliage to really show off. Sorbet violas resist stretching & stay compact through the season, even as the temperatures start to
rise in the spring. Their best trait
is the color selection, which seems absolutely endless, with at least 25 different colors available.
Plant violas in full sun. All violas need to grow in consistently moist soil.
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