Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
How can I rid the of wild violets? They are taking over fast.
By Linda from Yadkin, NC
Assuming you have a grass lawn, any broadleaf herbicide should work on the violets. They are prolific seeders, so you will probably have to retreat for several years to get all the new plantlets.
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
What is the best way to get rid of violets?
Hardiness Zone: 4b
By Sue from Andover, MN
You call somebody like me who would love to have any flowers anywhere in the yard and have them dig them up. (05/10/2010)
Use Weed and Feed. (05/11/2010)
A weed is a plant out of place. Doesn't mean it's not a good plant, just in the wrong place. Wild violets are stubborn weeds. The principle of eradication is: weaken them, then kill them. Use Ortho Weed B Gon Lawn Weed Killer for chickweed, clover, and oxalis with 8% triclopyr. (It's stronger than the usual Weed B Gon MAX plus crabgrass). Use a standard garden hose sprayer attachment and spray the whole lawn on a dry day. Then repeat the spray 2-3 weeks later. If you try pulling them, they just duplicate from the root fragments, spread, and come back stronger. An alternative is to poison the entire lawn and kill everything, then reseed. (05/22/2010)
Can't get rid of these pesky buggers? Hogwash, get a herbicide containing 60%+ of the active ingredient Triclopyr (Turflon Ester, Garlon 4, etc.). Mix 1.5 oz with 5 oz of Killex concentrate and add about 1/2 - 1 teaspoon of dish detergent as a sticker to 1 gallon of water. Spray the little buggers and repeat after 4-6 weeks. You may need to spot treat as necessary after these applications. My lawn was infested with wild violets and this combo virtually eradicated them as well as other resilient broadleaf species such as wild strawberry. (07/22/2010)
How can I kill African violets in my lawn?
Hardiness Zone: 6a
By jonrob100 from Macomb, MI
Well you didn't say you were adverse to using chemicals. So I would check out weed killers that say they will not harm lawns at Lowe's or Home Depot. You could also call a nursery listed as nurseries (plants and trees) or try plants in the yellow pages. Also, you could look up landscape in the yellow pages and ask them or have one of their folks come over for a look see and get their recommendations. Lastly of course is to pull up the violets yourself by hand. Lot of work doing it that way. (08/21/2009)
Such a pretty plant. Don't kill them, use them or give them away. They grow best in a wet place, so if you have a spot where other things won't grow that's where to put them. In other words, dig them up and replant somewhere else, or offer them to somebody else. I bet you'll find somebody who would love them.
If after digging you have a small hole (they have a shallow root system) fill with a little earth and grass seed. In about 2 weeks you'll have grass instead of the violets. Poison may seem easy, but please do not use it. We harm more than we fix. (08/21/2009)
Those wild violets are so pretty. If you don't like having them, place an ad in Freecycle, or on Craig's List offering them to whoever wants them. You can dig up the clump when folks come to claim them.
Or dig'em up and plant them in a bare spot at the closest school, or the library, or at the entrance to your subdivision, or anywhere there is a bare spot. They are so pretty. (08/31/2009)
By Barb in TN
Hardiness Zone: 4a
Mary Jane from Milwaukee, WI
Wild violets can be quite problematic to get rid of. The waxy coating on their leaves gives them extra resistance to many of the chemical controls (organic or otherwise) that work on other weeds. The best way to control them is to dig them up. Depending on how widespread they are, this may require several years to accomplish. For cool season lawns like yours, dig them up in the fall. You can reseed over any bare patches with a mixture of cool-season grass seed and compost. Make sure to water the new grass seed daily until it germinates.
In the meantime, it's worth noting that wild violets seem to show up and spread faster in acidic soils and in soils lacking in calcium. Adding lime can help correct pH problems and may slow down their spread, but you will need to have your soil tested to know how much (if any) you need to add.
Proper lawn care can help, too. Give your (cool-season) lawn a good feeding this fall with a slow release organic fertilizer or even better, by spreading one-inch of compost over it followed by a good watering.
Once established, wild violets are almost impossible to eradicate completely, so you may want to try to make peace with the fact that you're always likely to have a few around. Don't forget they are edible and lovely when added to salads or used as a garnish.
About The Author: Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services.
Use vinegar on them. It will kill them in a day or two. Put pure vinegar in a bottle that you can control the spray and spray only the violets. If it gets on anything else it will kill those things too.
I love violets, but they do take over after a while. Maybe some in pots would be nicer. (06/25/2008)
They are edible and taste like a delicate lettuce. Don't spray and kill them. Add them to your food after rinsing them in a bowl of veggie rinse water. Lucky you. I have only one or two left. I'm trying to nurture them for a harvest.
God bless you. (06/26/2008)
"Do not use" 2,4-D as someone suggested. It is extremely toxic and is outlawed in some states and can only be used by licensed lawn professionals. I have simply taken the time each year to dig them out and it has taken me 3 years, but each year is easier. This year they are minimal and I hope by next year it will only be a plant or two. (06/28/2008)
(sent in by email)
My yard is full of them, after 10 yrs. of fighting them, I found straight bleach works great, but it does kill the grass. I am at a point I don't care, I can replant it, after a day you see it working. Good Luck.
If large areas of lawn are affected, violets can be killed selectively with Trimec (a combination of 2,4-D, MCPP and dicamba) or triclopyr (Turflon). Turflon is the herbicide of choice for the lawn industry, but Trimec is more readily available. Two or more applications may be needed. Improve the health of the lawn to reduce the reoccurrence of violets. (07/14/2008)
One word "Speedzone" does the trick early in spring or late in fall. During summer nothing will help because they form some sort of waxy protective coating. Smart little buggers they are. (07/20/2008)
My local garden shop suggested a solution of:
Mix that with one gallon of water and your done or 1oz. for the sprayer. I will give it a shot and let you know how it turns out.
By Robert M.
Well I did it and voila it works. Looks like another application and my violets are gone, finished, fini, caput, history. It did not have any adverse reactions on my grass. It took at least two good weeks to see the dieback. In the past I have always seen it come back, but these leaves are brown and shriveled to nothing.
By Robert M. Jr.
Egads! These are my very favorite flower. I even carried a few in my wedding bouquet. Growing up in the country made me fall in love with them. I have a few in my yard now (I live in the city) and I scandalize the Scott's yard man by refusing his offer to get rid of them. If you haven't put chemicals on them they make a beautiful addition to a gourmet salad and look amazing on a pale colored cake. (09/04/2008)
Are these some kind of violets? (09/21/2008)
By Mary Kay
Yeah some people get mad for getting rid of them, but I've let them go for 10 years and between creeping charlie and them my yard had no grass. The problem with them is they have such a thick bulb like root and some surface a little and when your walking around barefoot they don't feel to good. Another reason for grass is not to have dirt/mud that can be tracked into your house, etc.
I dug some up and put them in my flower garden. Then I started digging them up out of my lawn. I used a thicker steak knife and just lifted. It seem to work the best when the soil is a lil dry not bone dry. I couldn't believe the look of my yard after I dug them up and spread grass seed. The holes in case you were wondering are as big as a pencil.
The plant seem to do more damage than digging them up. To some what get them under control. I did this at first and it worked well. Apply Weed B Gone then 4 days latter I applied Bayer (it's newer and works great) weed killer, but not lawn killer. Then 1 1/2 weeks later I did another application. It seemed to weaken their leaves enough to let the chemical in and kill a lot of them off.
Your yard might lose some green, but fertilize and it comes right back. The weed killer also killed off almost all of my creeping charlie. It is best applied in fall because that is when the leaves suck up nutrients for the winter. Good luck and keep me posted. (10/29/2008)
I find controlling the violets means taking excellent care of the grass. Fertilize it, water it and cut it high with a very sharp blade on a regular basis. The healthier your grass is the easier time it has crowding the violets out. Those that do make it in can be pulled up without difficulty when the soil is pretty wet: the bulb comes out with the root. My neighbors' yards are full of violets and I have to be pretty diligent to keep them out of mine. (06/26/2009)
In my yard I have lots of wild violets. Does anyone have any suggestions on how do get rid of them?