The first things to consider are aspect and soil. In most localities in Britain, but not all, the plants succeed best in a north or north-west position - at any rate during the summer months, because they do not like exposure to much sunshine. These aspects are not conducive to early flowering, but this can be got over by transplanting some of the plants in September to a more sunny position - even a border under a south wall. The soil should be of a fairly retentive character, for Violets require moist, cool conditions; and it should be fairly well enriched with thoroughly decayed manure. If the manuring is excessive or the manure too fresh and strong, its effect will be to produce extra vigorous foliage, which is not desirable. The soil should be tilled deeply, whatever system of manuring is adopted.
Propagation is effected by offsets (or runners), cuttings, or by division of the crowns; division being more generally practised. This is done directly after the plants have flowered, by taking them up and sorting out the young but well-rooted crowns, rejecting the old, woody stems which are unfit for planting. The younger crowns are planted at distances of about 12 inches apart each way. If the soil has been treated as described above, a little leaf-mould or similar light material may be mixed with the surface soil before planting the Violets. When the plants have become well established and are capable of being lifted with a good ball of soil attached to the roots, they can be transplanted into any position where they are to flower, or, if desirable, left to bloom where they are. The summer cultivation consists in pinching out all runners, stirring the surface soil repeatedly with the Dutch hoe, and affording water during dry weather, the object being to encourage the development of strong, perfectly matured crowns by autumn. Spraying with clear water late in the afternoon of fine days is beneficial. Some growers prefer to set their plants rather wider apart than the distance already stated, and peg down three runners around each plant. Excellent results are obtained from either system, and as regards the latter method, it may be applied to Strawberries with equally good results. A word of caution is here necessary. Although the three runners may be permitted, this should be the maximum number, for it is just as impossible to get the best results from Violets as from Strawberries if the runners are allowed to grow as they please.