Is this a weed or flower?

by Anonymous
(Ontario, Canada)

Hi Jim

We get these pretty little flowers on our lawn from time to time in the spring and early summer. We see them in the flower beds as well, where they are pretty invasive.

Can you tell us what they are and how to get rid of them?

As pretty as they are, they're taking over the lawn at a very quick rate and we don't want to lose the grass.


Comments for Is this a weed or flower?

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Mar 03, 2011
Identify Lawn Weeds - Flower or Weed
by: Jim Here

You've asked a great question. Are Blue Violets lawn weeds or flowers? I agree that the flower is quite beautiful. However, as you've already noticed, it does take over the lawn at a very quick rate.

People tend to use common blue violets (viola papilionacea) in their gardens, but they're self seeding, and easily get established in the nearby grass.

I had a customer whose lawn was infested with them in an area next to the fence between her and her neighbors yard. Her neighbor loved them, and encouraged them to grow in her flower bed. Unfortunately, they respect no boundaries, and quickly started taking over our customers lawn.

Blue Violets are one of the toughest lawn weeds to get rid of. Digging them out if they are in a small patch is doable. However, you'll have to get the entire plant, so dig deep and wide. Even the smallest amount left behind will re-grow.

At the best of times, you should keep a close eye on the area as they tend to be stubborn growers, even when you think you've gotten them all out.

If they've taken over a larger area, I'd suggest a major removal and lawn overseeding. The best organic approach to killing weeds this tough is a radical over haul. You'll have to start by tilling up the affected area, then rake out all the grass and violet materials, level it off nicely, and reseed with a good quality certified grass seed.

If you want to keep them in the garden, I'd suggest you put a barrier between the garden and the lawn edge. Something like mulch, or a border of stone or wood beams. Even then, you'll have to keep a close eye on them, as they really do have a mind of their own and spread like crazy.

Hope this helps!


Jun 05, 2012
Violet Lawn?
by: Cheryfa Jamal

Oh, what I wouldn't give for a lawn full of violets! How beautiful. But then I purposely seed my lawn with clover and let the dandelions and plantain grow where they want. Makes for nice texture instead of a straight carpet.

They can be harvested as medicinal tea. Look it up, you might find you are drying them out after digging them up.

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