Controlling wild violets in the lawn may be one of the most difficult gardening problems a homeowner can face. Those pretty little plants can take over a lawn in just a few short seasons and once they take hold, nothing is as tenacious as the wild violet. Getting wild violets under control so that they don’t consume your lawn can take years.
Why is Controlling Wild Violets So Difficult?
Wild violets are cool season perennials that grow best in shady, moist soil. There are three problems with these tough little plants that make controlling them so difficult.
- Wild violets have two types of flowers — the pretty purple ones and the plain unopened ones that shelter beneath leaves that protect them from most types of herbicides. The purple flowers are sterile. The flowers beneath the leaves are not only fertile, but self-fertilizing. They don’t need to bloom to reproduce.
- Thick clumps of underground stems, called rhizomes, store water so the plants can survive drought. When a gardener tries to treat wild violets in the lawn, the rhizomes survive and send forth new shoots.
- The heart shaped leaves pose the third challenge. Their waxy coating gives the leaves their shine and also prevents herbicides from penetrating the leaves.
Killing Wild Violets
Treatments for controlling wild violets are best applied in early spring and fall as the plants are most active in terms of taking up nutrients and moisture. To treat, apply a selective herbicide to control the wild violet but not permanently harm the cool season grass at the highest rate recommended on the label.
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 flowers from ever taking root. How can you ensure your lawn develops dense roots? Read about steps to organically develop a healthy lawn root system here: https://swr1.cc/K2S5H
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to determine the best course of action for your situation.