Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Johnny Jump-Up, Heartsease, Wild Pansy
Viola tricolor

Family: Violaceae (vy-oh-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Viola (vy-OH-la) (Info)
Species: tricolor (TRY-kull-lur) (Info)

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

46 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden


under 6 in. (15 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

USDA Zone 2b: to -42.7 C (-45 F)
USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade
Partial to Full Shade
Full Shade


Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Blooms repeatedly


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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There are a total of 46 photos.
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24 positives
2 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral outdoorlover On Sep 8, 2013, outdoorlover from Enid, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Just got a bunch of seeds for this plant from a neighbor and I'm excited about seeing how they will grow next spring.

Positive Diamonddiva On May 21, 2013, Diamonddiva from Indianapolis, IN wrote:

I live in Indianapolis & transplanted these cute little flowers from my step-father's yard in northern Indiana. Within a day of transplanting they'd perked up, the flowers on them are still blooming & the buds on them are going strong. I've planted some in a shaded bed and some in direct sunlite, & hope to have them all thru my flower beds. It was great to find out the real name-my step-father calls them "jumping jacks", which was close!

Negative kbaumle On Nov 5, 2012, kbaumle from Northwest, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

I must be the only person in the world who can't grow these. And it makes me sad because I love them. No clue what the problem is. I can grow just about everything else. Well, there are those Bells of Ireland that have pretty much eluded me, too...

Positive Gabrielle On Feb 28, 2012, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

Such cute little faces on these. Self seeds freely. Blooms April-July in my garden.

Positive herbella On Aug 15, 2011, herbella from Albuquerque, NM wrote:

I love Johnny Jump-Up because it survives our arid climate and cold winters here in the High Desert of New Mexico.

Positive JD1226 On Mar 24, 2011, JD1226 from Salisbury, MD wrote:

After reading all the posts for little pretty flower called Johnny Jump-Ups, I am looking so forward to growing these in my flower beds. I hope they will grow good for me in the shade as well as the sune.

Positive summerchill3 On Jul 1, 2009, summerchill3 from Rexburg, ID wrote:

This delicate flower blooms freely all over my garden from spring to fall. It does especially well in the most deeply shaded areas. I suppose I've spent a couple thousand dollars on all my perennials, some of which only lasted one season, but the wild pansy is free, requires no tending, seems to resist weeds and grass, and is among the most beautiful of all my plants. I live in a harsh, high-desert climate: snow, wind, rain, hail, drought . . . and this little pansy thrives.

Positive Zone6aPA On May 4, 2009, Zone6aPA from Central, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:

A very traditional / heirloom viola; a few old-fashioned flowers in the garden are good for the soul!

Positive scottsmom On Mar 24, 2008, scottsmom from Point Phillips , PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

Johnny Jump-ups have been every where I've ever lived for as long as I can remember (67 yrs.) Bethlehem, Harrisburg, Reading, and now Bath PA. They now are growing in scrappy shale type soil and it's the first time they seem to be getting leggy and straggly. They make a comeback from their centers if cut back but there are so many, it's too time consuming, I just rake them out, (shallow roots and all) and there are still enough seedlings to fill in.
If they weren't so cute I'd call them weeds.
Forgot to add we had tons of them when I lived with my Nana in the Pocono Mts., Marshalls Creek, Stroudsburg area!

Positive valleyrimgirl On Mar 24, 2008, valleyrimgirl from Brandon, MB (Zone 2b) wrote:

This was my husband's favorite little flower when he was growing up and so, when we moved to our acreage almost 15 years ago, we had to get some from his mom for our garden. They are still happily reseeding and coming up here year after year.

We are in zone 2b and lots of people in our area have Johnny Jumpups in their gardens here.


Positive broncbuster On Jul 25, 2007, broncbuster from Waxahachie, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

These little jewels are very easy to grow in my limestone alkaline soil. They bloom all spring and some last into summer. I encourage anyone who likes low growing, clean, colorful flowers to plant them. They reseed like crazy, but only directly around the plants. Any unwanted plants can be easily pulled and/or transplanted.

Positive bmuller On Mar 28, 2007, bmuller from Albuquerque, NM (Zone 7a) wrote:

This is a reseeder but a welcome one. It looks pretty growing near or under almost any other plant. And it looks especially lovely en masse.

Positive CaptMicha On May 25, 2005, CaptMicha from Brookeville, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

These cheerful little violets are welcome everywhere. They look great in mass plantings as was mentioned before.

I bought plants three years ago, a year after I moved into my new house. The second year, violets popped up in places I didn't plant them. The fourth year, this year, they've multiplied.

They grow in part sun, in a bed where I have bulbs. After the bulbs have finished flowering, the violets start flowering and are great fillers.

Positive JaxFlaGardener On May 12, 2005, JaxFlaGardener from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

These are the only "flat-faced" violas that I'm aware of that can survive our hot humid summers in NE Fla. All other typical pansies dry up in the heat around June and don't return. I finally got some Viola tricolor started from seed, though it took several attempts to get viable seed and plant them at just the right time of year in the right conditions. Now that they are growing on their own, I hope that they will spread prolifically.

Positive julie88 On May 11, 2005, julie88 from Muscoda, WI (Zone 4b) wrote:

These have been my favorite flower for well over 50 years. I first noticed them growing in container on my grandmother's porch. (A 'trough' made from an old hot water heater.) The faces always made me smile as a child...and the never fail to live up to the name I learned to call them... "Johnny Jump-up" The are the first blooms in my garden in the spring...and the last ones in the fall. Sometimes they even flower in *December* after the first snow! (I live in Wisconsin, so that's saying a lot!)


Positive RDT On Mar 29, 2005, RDT from Crossville, TN (Zone 6b) wrote:

I noticed no one from TN commented or added that they grow these lovelies. My neighbor's yard is covered with them and they look beautiful in mass. If they show up in a wrong area they are easy to remove. It is late March and they are blooming already.

Positive kniphofia On Mar 28, 2005, kniphofia from Morpeth
United Kingdom (Zone 8a) wrote:

A really delightful little plant. Yes they seed around but for me they are always welcome, they seem to fit in anywhere. I wouldn't be without them.

I love the variation in colors that you can get in a small patch of plants.

Positive WillowWasp On Nov 8, 2004, WillowWasp from Jones Creek, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

This little fellow goes on and on. It self seeds and so far I have not had to replant it no matter where I have lived. It has smiled for me and given me more surprises than I can count. I will always keep them around........

And did you know: you can eat the flowers

Johnny jump ups are in the same family as violets and are edible. The leaves of Violets are high in vitamin c.

I like the candied violet flowers, dip the flowers in a light egg wash, sprinkle with a fine suger, allow them to dry.

Positive Daylahmnas On Aug 8, 2004, Daylahmnas from Chester, MA (Zone 3b) wrote:

Planted in shallow wood chip bed; the white and light blue/white mixed do not seem to be as prolific self-sowers as the tricolor purple. Although our area is zoned 4-5 in the Berkshire mountains of Western Mass. we have zone 3 winters occasionally and I can count on happy faces peeping up at me after I have removed two feet of snow during the month of February. When the snows melt in spring the violas are the only color in the gardens blooming non-stop through winter. The plants become a little leggy and dried during the month of August due to lack of water however they return to their former splendor in mid-september when all other flowers begin to wane. Collected seeds spread in other gardens have been successful. The deep purple viola blends well with garden sage for a bed border. This little plant is dependable and vivacious in any setting and soil.

Positive celtic_dolphin On Jun 17, 2004, celtic_dolphin from Boone, NC (Zone 4b) wrote:

Wonderful little viola! I started the plants from seed just two months ago, and it's already blooming! That's a record for this area, where we often get late spring cold snaps that slow down little seedlings. I can't wait to see how well it spreads in the garden, I hope to have a carpet of them blooming in a year or two.

Positive ladyrowan On Apr 2, 2004, ladyrowan from Garberville, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

These are nice little summer flowers. They seem to hold up much better than their much larger cousins. I planted the verigated, along with some solid purple, and solid yellow ones last year in a self-watering planter, and they grew so big they began to fall out of the pot! Even cutting them back doesn't seem to deter this flower. They just keep comming until Fall kicks in. A lovely little flower. I look forward to planting more this summer.

Positive wnstarr On Feb 24, 2004, wnstarr from Puyallup, WA (Zone 5a) wrote:

Edgewood, Washington

Great little "pansy" that is just as happy to be growing in the cracks of the drive or the gravel of the walk. It spreads everywhere, but what is not to love about this little face.

Positive ButterflyDust On Feb 23, 2004, ButterflyDust from Riverside, CA wrote:

Great little plant. Mine wasn't even affected by the 100 degree heat all summer in full sun out here in Southern California. Had lots of blooms all summer up until mid fall, and started reblooming again at the begining of January. I found a few seedling sprouting out of the ground at the begining of February.

Positive vagardener On Dec 29, 2003, vagardener from Springfield, VA wrote:

This is a wonderful plant in an naturalized setting. It was growing in my lawn, in direct sunlight, when we lived in Connecticut. The plant added a nice bit of color to the grass and was a profuse self seeder. Still, the plant had proper manners and it was not invasive. Live and let live seems to be in its personality. It is readily available in our Virginia garden shops and I plan to test plant them next Spring.

Positive anomina On Dec 28, 2003, anomina from Bradenton, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

it's now florida in december and my violas, all three colors, are still making happy faces. we've even had a slight freeze and the violas never blinked. a most gratifying plant, flowers freely, though small, doesn't seem to need much care. i'll add to this when the southern summer gets going.

Positive Kelli On Apr 22, 2003, Kelli from L.A. (Canoga Park), CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

Self-sowing without being invasive and with the sweetest little flowers.

Neutral Baa On Jan 9, 2003, Baa wrote:

A variable short-lived plant native to Europe and naturalised elsewhere.

Has heart shaped to ovate basal leaves and oblong to ovate stem leaves which can be downy or hairless, toothed and mid to deep green. Bears small, brightly coloured flowers in blue, white and yellow with dark purple whiskers.

Flowers April to November

Loves a well-drained soil in sun to light shade. Needs shade in hot climates and the hottest parts of the day.

It has been used in the past for medicinal purposes but can be violently purgative.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Headland, Alabama
Juneau, Alaska
Phoenix, Arizona
Tempe, Arizona
Canoga Park, California
Clovis, California
Elk Grove, California
Garberville, California
Glen Avon, California (2 reports)
Merced, California
Pleasant Hill, California
San Francisco, California
San Jose, California
Wilmington, California
Clifton, Colorado
Creede, Colorado
Old Lyme, Connecticut
West Haven, Connecticut
Ellendale, Delaware
Wilmington, Delaware
Alford, Florida
Bartow, Florida
Bradenton, Florida
Fort Meade, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Keystone Heights, Florida
Tampa, Florida
Braselton, Georgia
Dacula, Georgia
Monroe, Georgia
Valdosta, Georgia
Woodstock, Georgia
Rexburg, Idaho
Aurora, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois
Mount Prospect, Illinois
Washington, Illinois
Brookville, Indiana
Jeffersonville, Indiana
Noblesville, Indiana
Kalona, Iowa
Yates Center, Kansas
Barbourville, Kentucky
Benton, Kentucky
Ewing, Kentucky
Hanson, Kentucky
Salvisa, Kentucky
Lake Charles, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana
Scott, Louisiana
Gardiner, Maine
Skowhegan, Maine
Brookeville, Maryland
Cumberland, Maryland
Ellicott City, Maryland
Salisbury, Maryland
Attleboro, Massachusetts
Middlefield, Massachusetts
Milton, Massachusetts
Quincy, Massachusetts
South Hamilton, Massachusetts
Bellaire, Michigan
Hopkins, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Marietta, Mississippi
Mathiston, Mississippi
Springfield, Missouri
Kalispell, Montana
Candia, New Hampshire
Englishtown, New Jersey
Morristown, New Jersey
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Brooklyn, New York
Chemung, New York
Elmira, New York
Hammondsport, New York
Port Washington, New York
West Fulton, New York
West Kill, New York
Lake Toxaway, North Carolina
Thomasville, North Carolina
Warrensville, North Carolina
Belfield, North Dakota
Medora, North Dakota
Cleveland, Ohio
Glouster, Ohio
Hamersville, Ohio
Mount Orab, Ohio
Edmond, Oklahoma
Enid, Oklahoma
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Klamath Falls, Oregon
Turner, Oregon
Bath, Pennsylvania
Johnsonburg, Pennsylvania
Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania
Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Tioga, Pennsylvania
West Chester, Pennsylvania
Wakefield, Rhode Island
Westerly, Rhode Island
Crossville, Tennessee
Oliver Springs, Tennessee
Arlington, Texas
Bellaire, Texas
Boerne, Texas
Brazoria, Texas
Christoval, Texas
Liberty Hill, Texas
Paris, Texas
San Angelo, Texas
Salt Lake City, Utah
West Dummerston, Vermont
Leesburg, Virginia
Springfield, Virginia
Kalama, Washington
Puyallup, Washington
Spokane, Washington (2 reports)
Black Earth, Wisconsin
Ellsworth, Wisconsin
Merrimac, Wisconsin
Muscoda, Wisconsin
Porterfield, Wisconsin

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