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When is it safe to set out violas?

Chicago, IL(Zone 5b)

Hi all -

I have several varieties of pansies and violas that I've grown from seed and they are looking nice and robust - no blooms yet, but they are getting bigger and bushy and I need to make room under my lights for more seeds, LOL. I need to get the suckers outside as soon as it's safe. I live in Chicago, zone 5B. Can you plant them out while there is still a threat of frost? I just don't think I can wait until May 15th. Thanks!

Raleigh, NC(Zone 7b)

we grow them outside all winter here, where they get frozen and snow on them etc and they are fine. Frosts won't hurt them at all. I would take them out a few days before you think a frost is going to happen though, so they can acclimate some, but either way they will be fine.

Jacksonville, NC(Zone 8b)

Annebrent and tigerlily,
I just bought some Violas for the first time today. ["Sorbet coconut swirl"] They were so eyecatching, I had to. I didn't even have a place in mind for them at the time. Any ideas on where they look good other than a pot ?
Lynda

Raleigh, NC(Zone 7b)

I usually put them in the ground, in a established flower bed, but regardless-for you, in your zone, they are not going to last very long-maybe a few months because of the heat. Pansies/violas do much better in cooler temps. So be sure to put them where they will get some shade and that will help them some-but they are going to stretch/bolt when the heat comes. You would be better off to buy them in Oct to plant for the winter. I love Coconut Swirl too-one of my favorites-its what we call a "bleeder" as the colors bleed into one another as opposed to sharp lines between the colors.

Chicago, IL(Zone 5b)

Thanks Tigerlily -

I am planning on hardening them off in a couple of weeks when they are a tad bigger and then setting them out. Wish me luck! Lynda_45, would love to see a pic of your sorbet coconut swirls once you decided where you're going to put them!

Jacksonville, NC(Zone 8b)

Sure thing Annebrent. Here is where I put some in a pot with a daisy. It probably wasn't a good idea, since the daisy is such a sun lover, but we'll see.Right now, the colors were so pretty together,I couldn't resist.Actually, My sorbet doesn't show so well in this. I'll take more when I get the others planted somewhere else.

Thumbnail by Lynda_45
Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

annebrent I'll start hardening mine up next week and plant them in the ground/containers by mid May. I would start now but we're having a cold snap.They are the first things out of the greenhouse for me.

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