Wild violets as ground cover

Asked May 21, 2015, 12:28 PM EDT

i have hundreds, if not thousands, of wild violets in my largely shady yard. I try to keep them out of some beds but otherwise let them be. Now I am considering intentionally using them as ground cover. Several questions: I assume they are native, but just want to be sure. What is their value for wildlife? How will they do under a large southern magnolia? Would they deplete water from the tree and damage it? Alternatively, would the large canopy of the tree prevent them from thriving? I

Montgomery County Maryland

3 Responses

Very forward thinking of you. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
They are native, and they do have wildlife value. In particular, they are the larval food source for fritillary butterflies. No worries on the magnolia.

Thank you! Once I transplant them, will I need to maintain them? I assume not as they thrive on their own.

We wouldn't even bother with transplant... they'll get there on their own eventually.
They might, after flowering look ratty and tired for a while, and you can either let them be or strip/mow them. They will grow back.
In winter they will disappear.