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What Is an Australian Violet?

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  • Written By: Rhonda Rivera
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 20 May 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
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An Australian violet is a plant commonly used as a ground cover in rock gardens. The vines of the plant grow to cover up to 12 inches (30 cm) of ground, and have purple and white flowers. It is a native of Australia, commonly found on the island of Tasmania and the state of Victoria. This kind of viola is usually quite easy to grow, to the point that some people have found that it grows so aggressively it can be considered invasive.

This plant does not spread very far for a ground cover plant, nor is it very tall. It is fairly easy to grow, and growing many of them together is not usually a problem unless they are in a position to suffocate nearby plants. Many people use the Australian violet in rock gardens or keep it in an indoor container. The plant can thrive in either situation granted it has at least six hours of full sun per day and enough water.

The appearance of the Australian violet varies depending on the exact variety. In general, an Australian violet is purple and white and looks a bit washed-out, as if the color has faded in the sun. Some varieties are of a richer purple, however, and therefore more prized as cultivated plants. The cultivated varieties are used as house plants, potted plants meant as gifts, and both residential and commercial garden plants. When in good condition, the plant should repeatedly bloom throughout the year.

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This plant is most common in south Australia, though it can be grown elsewhere because it is very hardy. South Australia makes an ideal growing ground due to its exposure to full sun and dampness. For best results, it should be covered with mulch during cold weather. Even if not protected from harsh weather, the Australian violet often survives the winter and begins to thrive again in spring.

Most violas are easy to grow, but some are invasive and therefore a threat to local flora. It is best to look up invasive plants in the area and the laws regarding them before planting an Australian violet. Once planted, the vine needs at least six hours of sun per day with little shade. It can die if overwatered. The plant is tough and great for gardening novices due to how resilient it is.

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