What you need to know about Wild Violets:Wild Violet is a perennial broad leaf weed that is very common in our area (Indianapolis, Fishers, Westfield, Carmel, Noblesville). There are many varieties of violets. Some are native and some are non-native (parts of Europe & Asia). These weeds are extremely HARD to control once established. Often taking more than 1 season of treatments to fully control them in the lawn. However, with a solid fertilization and weed control program, you can get rid of this weed over time.
Where Wild Violets are found:Without proper fertilization and weed control, wild violets can be found all throughout the Midwest and Canada. Especially in Indianapolis, Fishers, Westfield, Brownsburg and Whitestown where we see it a lot. It is found more often in grassy areas than anywhere else and can spread rapidly if left unchecked. Wild Violets really like shady moist lawns. They will survive in sunny areas, but they really like full to partial shade. Remember, there are many species of violets and they can adapt to different environments.
Growing Season for Wild Violet:You can find Wild Violets growing all season long. The purple flower will emerge in the spring and last until early summer. Even if you mow the weed, the leaves will remain untouched and stay green all year long. It grows low to the ground and spreads via rhizomes so it spreads fast and stays low.
Weed Control for Wild Violet:There are 2 main ways to get rid of this weed. The first option would be to pull it by hand. If you are going down this route, we suggest that you get the soil moist first. The reason that is important is so you can more easily pull out the root system. It has a very tough root system and you need to get the entirety of it to keep it from growing back. You MUST get ALL of the root system and rhizomes completely.
The second option would be to put a weed control treatment on the weed itself and kill it. If you chose this option, you will want to make sure you read and follow the label of the product you purchase. Make sure the product is a selective herbicide and does not affect the grass. We recommend using a product that contains Triclopyr as the main active ingredient. Triclopyr has been shown to be a great chemical for tough to control broad leaf weeds. Since this is a very tough weed. You will probably need to blend products or rotate them throughout the season and add a surfactant to the chemical solution. Adding Nitrogen (fertilization) is also needed to help control this weed.
The BEST way to control weeds of any kind (which includes Broad-Leaved Plantain) is to aerate and overseed yearly until you get a really thick lawn and have a well thought out and designed fertilization and weed control program in place. Once you have a really thick lawn, you will want to aerate and overseed every 1-2 years to replace the dying grass with new seed.