How to Get Rid of Wild Violets In My Lawn

Wild violets may add a pop of color to your lawn, but they’re also tough to control and can take over your turf. If you’re thinking about tackling them on your own, make sure you know how to identify wild violets and other important information that will make the job easier.

What do Wild Violets Look Like?

Most wild violets have delicate purple flowers, but they can also be white or yellow. Their leaves are waxy and heart-shaped with serrated edges. Wild violets grow in thick clumps and stay between 4-6 inches tall.

Where do Wild Violets Grow?

Lawns that are not properly maintained are an easy target for wild violets. They prefer shadier areas with moist soil, although they can grow in full sun if conditions are right. Common places to find them in your yard include under trees and other larger plants, in the shadow of your home, and along fence lines. Wild violets also grow in the woods, in meadows and fields, and by roadsides.

Are Wild Violets Poisonous?

Wild violets are not poisonous—in fact, their leaves and flowers can be harvested and used to make syrups, teas, and baked goods. Their roots, however, can cause nausea and vomiting. There is also a wild violet look alike that is toxic, so it’s important to double check any foraged plants before eating them!

Are Wild Violets Invasive?

Wild violets are a fast-growing, invasive perennial that’s difficult to remove. These plants spread through rhizomes, which are stems that grow horizontally underground and form new plants. Even if you eliminate all the violets you can see, there might still be rhizomes underground which will lead to more plants sprouting.

Are Wild Violets Bad?

Wild violets are aggressive, so they can take over your yard and flower beds, undoing all the hard work you’ve put into your landscaping. But they aren’t all bad! While they can do some damage to your lawn, wild violets also provide food for butterflies, bees, rabbits, and other wildlife—though in some cases, this can lead to unwanted pests making a home in your yard.

How to Prevent Wild Violets

The best way to prevent wild violets is to maintain your lawn. Keeping the grass thick and healthy ensures there’s no room for these weeds to grow, and properly watering your lawn prevents the moist conditions that wild violets need to become established.

Benefits of Wild Violets

Wild violets are beneficial to animals both big and small.

  • They attract pollinators and are the primary host plant for the fritillary family of butterflies
  • Rabbits and deer eat the leaves
  • Mice, voles, and birds forage for the roots.

There are also medicinal benefits of wild violets. These plants contain:

  • Rutin, an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin A
  • Expectorants which clear mucus from your airways
  • Salicylic acid that soothes irritated skin

How to Get Rid of Wild Violets Permanently

Herbicides are the best way to get rid of wild violets, as their rhizomes make it difficult if not impossible to remove the plants by hand. Treating them during the fall is most effective because there are no flowers and fewer leaves, making it more likely that the herbicide will be absorbed by the roots.

But these flowers can be very resistant, so if you are not having the results you anticipated, reach out to professional lawn care technicians, such as those at Blades of Green, who can help provide you with tips, tricks, and personalized treatments.

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