Perennial of the Week: Viola ‘Etain’
If you love violas, then this is the one you must have in your garden! Viola Etain is probably the best of the viola family of flowers. It is a compact, reliable, steady performer in the garden. It is a beautiful English hybrid with 1.5 inch pale yellow lavender blossoms. It has a nice fragrance. Even though blooms are heaviest in spring to early summer, flowers will continue on this steady performer in the heat of summer.
Etain will perform best in moist well-drained soil, in full sun to full shade conditions. Even though most violas are more like ground covers, Etain is a mounding type which grows from 6 to 12 inches in height. It is very low maintenance and works well in many places such as flower beds, as a border, in a rock garden, and especially well in containers. As with most violas, Etain can get leggy and sloppy sometimes. When this happens, take a scissor to the plant and cut it back. This will bring the plant back to its nice compact style. Don’t worry; new blooms will form in abundance. Another way to keep this beauty blooming is with consistent dead heading.
Beneficial characteristics of Viola Etain are the ability to attract birds and butterflies. It has a beautiful fragrance that is not overpowering, and it is deer resistant. The only real problem you may encounter is snails or slugs. When this happens we recommend Bonide Snail and Slug Killer.
When first planting the Etain, incorporate into the soil nice compost such as Bumper Crop, along with some peat moss. This will provide a perfect soil foundation for new plants that can retain water and nutrients. Also use Espoma Bio-tone Soil Conditioner with beneficial mycorrihizae, this will help establish a healthy root system. Keep them watered well. Follow with a monthly feed of Espoma Flower-tone, don’t be shy you can also LiquaFeed them with Miracle-Gro.
Have fun and enjoy this plant for years.