Viola, Johnny Jump-Up, Heartsease 'Mixed Hybrids'

Viola tricolor

Family: Violaceae (vy-oh-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Viola (vy-OH-la) (Info)
Species: tricolor (TRY-kull-lur) (Info)
Cultivar: Mixed Hybrids
View this plant in a garden





Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade

Full Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


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)

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers



Bloom Color:



Bright Yellow



Medium Purple

White/Near White


Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Blooms repeatedly

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Headland, Alabama

Juneau, Alaska

Phoenix, Arizona

Tempe, Arizona

Canoga Park, California

Clovis, California

Elk Grove, California


Glen Avon, California(2 reports)

Merced, California

Pedley, California(2 reports)

Pleasant Hill, California

Rubidoux, California(2 reports)

San Francisco, California

San Jose, California

Sunnyslope, California(2 reports)

Wilmington, California

Clifton, Colorado

Creede, Colorado

Old Lyme, Connecticut

West Haven, Connecticut

Wethersfield, 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

Gloucester, Massachusetts

Middlefield, Massachusetts

Milton, Massachusetts

Quincy, Massachusetts

South Hamilton, Massachusetts

Bellaire, Michigan

Hopkins, Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Madison, Mississippi

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

Burlington, North Carolina

Graham, North Carolina

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

Harrisburg, 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

Fort Worth, 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

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 3, 2016, LanfrancoLeo from Harrisburg, PA wrote:

Every year I buy just one packet of seeds, and it is enough to literally cover with flower 8 big pots. It is a must in my garden: bloom profusely (you can barely see the leaves because the number of flowers), for long time (mid April till end of June) and is an essential plant for bumblebee and other pollinators. On the top of this the plant seems to be much more cold and high temperature hardy than any other ornamental related species (pansy and other hybrid viola). The contrasting purple/yellow white bloom make an excellent addition to my garden. I saw indoor in the middle of December, transplant outdoor early April and enjoy their flower with bee and butterfly up the end of June..


On Feb 8, 2016, dragnit from Timmins, ON (Zone 2b) wrote:

I have had this plant on my property for over 30 years from the original planting in a zone 2b. I look at them as friends and happy to see them every spring. They seem to migrate around my property and I never know where they will popup next.


On May 27, 2015, LadyMargellen from Burlington, NC wrote:

I live in Burlington, NC. I've had heartsease in my herb garden for years now. My plants were from a local nurseryman and were in all shades of purples, whites, yellows, rusts and apricots. None of the standard tricolour. Yesterday, I found the seeds for the tricolour at our local Home Depot, so I will be interested in seeing their cheerful little faces soon. At the moment, I have them in large containers and hanging baskets where they have self-seeded for years, but some have seeded to the ground near the containers. These are happy little flowers, and seem content to live in sun and shade. Mine thrive in full sun.


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.


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!


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...


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

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


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.


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.


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.


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!


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!


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.



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.


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.


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.


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.


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!)



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.


On Mar 28, 2005, kniphofia from (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.


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.


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. ... read more


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.