Virtues: We love ‘Sky Blue Martien’ viola (Viola cornuta ‘Endurio Sky Blue Martien’) for its beautiful pale purple-blue flowers and the way it stands up to winter. This plant was the All-America Selections Cool-Season Award winner in 2010. Attracts butterflies. Tolerates deer.
Common name: ‘Sky Blue Martien’ viola, ‘Sky Blue Martien’ pansy, ‘Sky Blue Martien’ Johnny jump-up
Botanical name: Viola cornuta ‘Endurio Sky Blue Martien’
Flower: 3/4-inch flowers are pale purple-blue. Their centers are gold, with dark purple markings. Two upper petals and three lower petals for the classic “mouse-eared” shape of a viola flower. Blooms in fall and spring in the North; blooms through the winter in the South and stands up well to cold snaps, heavy winter rains and the occasional light snowfall.
Foliage: Small oval deep green leaves with shallowly scalloped edges.
Habit: Mounding, spreading cool-season annual to 6 inches tall and 12 inches wide.
Season: Fall and spring in the North, spring in the South.
Origin: Bred by pansy/viola breeder Martien Gutter for Syngenta Flowers. Gutter has created popular viola series in his 30+ year career, including Endurio, Delta, Colossus and Patiola. Syngenta named this selection for him.
Cultivation: Plant in autumn in the North for bloom that lasts well past the first frost, and they will rebloom in spring, starting as soon as temperatures begin to warm. Can also be planted in early spring in the North. Plant in fall in the South for winter-long bloom. Appropriate for growing in the ground or in containers. Grow in full to part sun. Prefers fertile, moist but well-drained soil. Deadhead spent flowers to prolong bloom. Shear back plants should they become leggy. Tolerates deer.
Image courtesy All-America Selections.
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