Viola 'King Henry' ....who used to be called “Prince Henry … until his promotion, is a beautiful deep rich tone of purple. The face is lighter shade with a golden eye and deep purple whiskers. Perfect for garden or baskets and a splendid companion plant for the golden viola, 'Prince John'.
Both are very old varieties one enthusiast writing as long ago as 1908 mentions picking the flowers on Christmas Day.
They look great planted in mass as a ground cover and with bulbs. Plant in locations where late autumn and very early spring colour would be appropriate, they will start blooming in early spring and continue through to autumn if dead-headed regularly.
Violas are very easy to grow, tolerant of most soil types (including dry soil) and drought resistant. They withstand heat better than most bedding flowers and are perfect for partial shade. They serve a multitude of uses: as a groundcover under shrubs or larger perennials, in borders and rockery, in baskets, containers and tubs.
Sow in late summer/autumn and late winter/late spring.
Keep seeds chilled until you are ready to sow. Do not sow with high temperatures.
Spring sowings will give flowers during early summer, whilst summer and autumn sowings will bloom the following winter or spring.
For Autumn Sowing:
Make a mixture of compost and approx 10% sand, to give a little drainage. Sieve the compost into pots or cell packs and press it down lightly. Add a little more compost if necessary. Make a small indentation with your finger and pop the seeds into it. Cover lightly with more sieved soil.
Place the containers in a cold greenhouse, outside in a cold frame or plunge them up to the rims in a shady part of the garden border and cover with glass or clear plastic.
Some of the seeds may germinate during the spring and summer and these should be transplanted when large enough to handle. The remainder of the seeds may lay dormant until next spring.
For Spring Sowing:
Seeds can be left to go through the seasons naturally as above, or, if planting at any other time of year, germination can be hastened by “Stratifying” (imitating the seasons)
Sow seeds as above and leave for 2 to 4 weeks. Transplant any seedlings that may have germinated. Then chill the remaining seeds: put the tray into the refrigerator at -4°C to +4°C (24-39°F), or somewhere with a similar temperature for 6 to 8 weeks. Then remove to around 10°C (50°F)
The normal temperature of a fridge is 4°C (very useful!). Don’t put the seeds into the freezer, it will kill them.
When seedlings have their first pair of “true” leaves and are large enough to handle, transplant into 7.5cm (3in) pots. Pot on year-old seedlings and grow on in well ventilated conditions for another year before planting outside permanently.
Plant the tubers 3cm to 5cm (1in to 2in) deep in humus-rich soil under the shade of trees. Plant 20cm (8”) apart and water well until established..
Mulch annually with leaf mould to help prevent the tubers from drying out in the summer and from winter cold.
Remove spent flowers to prolong the flowering season. If the plants are cut back after flowering they will flower again in late summer.
Divide in the autumn or just after flowering. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions, though we have found that it is best to pot up smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are established. Plant them out in the summer or the following spring.
Cottage/Informal Garden, Flowers Borders and Beds, Alpine & Rockeries, Under-planting roses and shrubs, Containers, pots & hanging baskets
- Additional Information
Packet Size 50mg Average Seed Count 40 Seeds Family Violaceae Genus Viola Species cornuta Cultivar King Henry Synonym formerly 'Prince' Henry Common Name Viola Hardiness Hardy Perennial Flowers May to Oct Foliage Evergreen. Heart shaped leaves. Height 10-15cm (4-6in) Spread 22-30cm (9-12in) Position Full sun to mostly shade. Soil Prefers fertile, moist, well drained soil Time to Sow Sow in late winter/late spring or late summer/autumn. Germination 21 to 30 days