Wild Violet Weed Information

Other Names: Wild Violet is also known as meadow violet and hooded blue violet.

Scientific Name: Viola papilionacea

Life Cycle: Broadleaf Perennial

How To Identify Wild Violets

Wild violets like shady spots that have fertile soil and our commonly found in irrigated lawns. Their leaves tend to look cupped toward the flower. Because the leaves are waxy and cupped the wild violet is able to withstand herbicide by letting the herbicide just roll down and drop off the leaf. Wild violets have Blue/purplish flowers which show up in May. Wild Violets are comparable to Creeping Charlie (Ground Ivy) because they are both weeds that are difficult to kill, and they both have underground root systems that makes it easy for these weeds to take over a lawn. 

How to get rid of Wild Violets in your lawn

Do you have wild violets invading your lawn? Wild Violets is a perennial weed so no pre-emergent herbicide will prevent wild violets from spreading in your lawn. Digging up large areas of wild violets has proven to be effective. However, wild violets spread underground and do not produce many seeds, so it is almost impossible to get all of the wild violets.

The Secret: We have found the best combination to spray on wild violets but you need 2 tanks or sprayers. In one sprayer, mix the herbicide Tzone Broad Leaf Herbicide at the recommended rate with a surfactant. In another sprayer mix Drive Xlr8 Herbicide (Quinclorac) with MSO (Methlylated Seed Oil). A popular product that has MSO in it is Prime Source Duo Stick. Prime Source Duo Stick will allow the herbicides to stick to the wild violets.  First, spray the T-zone on the violets and wait 10-20 minutes to let is soak in. Next, spray the Drive Xlr8 at the rate that is shown on the label. You should see the wild violets dieing within a few days. However, it may take a whole year of spraying the wild violets to get rid of all of them.

The reason this method works is T-zone contains the active ingredient Triclopyr which is known to kill wild violets. However, this normally is not enough to wipe out the whole wild violet plant so the added Quinclorac will give the extra dose of lethalness to kill the wild violets once and for all. The surfactant that is added to both herbicides helps the herbicide stick to the leaves. As mentioned above, wild violets have waxy leaves which cause the herbicide to roll of the leaves.

The best time to spray wild violets is either when the wild violets are flowering in May or early fall. Wild violets tend to grow aggressively and will tend to come back  if you spray them in the summer. Many times it may look like you killed the wild violets, but they will come back if you don’t spray them multiple times. Wild Violets have underground root systems, so even if you think the wild violets have disappeared, the roots still may be present in the soil.

Because you will need two different herbicides to kill wild violets, we recommend using two different sprayers. Buying two sprayers may seem expensive, but two Chapin 1 Gallon Pump Sprayers only cost $20 each. 

How to get rid of Wild Violets in flower beds

If wild violets are in your flower beds and not in your lawn, there are cheaper options to control wild violets. T-Zone is a selective herbicide which means that it will not hurt your lawn. However, if the wild violets are in your garden instead, a cheaper non-selective herbicide can be used. Since wild violets are tough weeds to kill and have waxy leaves, a non-selective brush killer is recommended. Roundup Poison Ivy Plus Tough Brush Killer does an excellent job on tough to kill weeds like wild violets. Be careful when you use roundup to kill wild violets because the round-up will kill everything you spray it on!