Dogtooth violet (Erythronium americanum), also called trout lily, is a North American plant in the lily family. It is found in woods and along streams from Nova Scotia to Minnesota, south to Georgia and Arkansas. The plant blooms in early spring, with the leaves appearing a few weeks later. Dogtooth violet is a perennial plant and will come back year after year. It is a good plant for naturalizing in woodlands or shady areas. The plant does best in moist, well-drained soil. It is fairly tolerant of the sun, but the leaves will scorch if the sun is too hot. If you want to plant dogtooth violet in your garden, you can purchase plants or bulbs from a garden center. The bulbs should be planted in the fall, about 6 inches apart and 3 inches deep. This plant needs much caring so that it can grow well. The following are the ways how to take care of the Dogtooth Violet Plant:
1. Soil Consideration
The Dogtooth violet’s ideal soil environment is loose, humus-rich, wet soil that imitates the habitat of their natural surroundings. Mulching the bulbs over winter with shredded leaves and a sprinkling of pine needles can help. Planting the bulbs beneath deciduous trees may also be a good idea to create a more desirable environment for them. According to Thespruce, Dogtooth violet prefers an even combination of pH 6.8 to 7.2 in their soil. This isn’t as much so for other forms of trout lily as it is for normal trout lilies (pH 4).
2. Water the plant regularly
Dogtooth violet needs to be watered regularly, especially during the growing season. Water the plant deeply and allow the soil to dry out slightly between watering. When the plant is actively growing, you can fertilize it once a month with a general-purpose fertilizer. You should stop fertilizing the plant in late summer so that it can go into dormancy.
3. Apply fertilizer
Fertilize dogtooth violet in early spring, before new growth begins. Use a balanced, all-purpose fertilizer and apply it according to the package directions. If you have an organic garden, you can use compost or manure instead of commercial fertilizer. Dogtooth violet should be fertilized every two weeks during the growing season. Use a balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10 or 20-20-20. Apply the fertilizer according to the package directions. When the fertilizer is mixed with water, be sure to stir it well so that the nutrients are evenly distributed. Apply fertilizer to the soil around the base of the plant, taking care not to get it on the leaves. Water the plants thoroughly after applying fertilizer.
4. Pinch back new growth
As dogtooth violet begins to grow in spring, you can encourage it to produce more flowers by pinching back the new growth. This will cause the plant to branch out and produce more flowers. According to Gardeningknowhow, Pinch back the new growth when it is about 4 inches long. Use your fingers or a sharp pair of scissors to snip off the tips of the stems. You can also use the special tools to pinch back the new growth.
5. Deadhead flowers
Dogtooth violet plants produce beautiful, unique flowers that are a favorite among gardeners. However, these flowers will eventually die and need to be removed to keep the plant looking its best. Deadheading is a simple process that involves cutting off the dead flowers at the base of the plant. This will encourage the plant to produce new flowers and keep the overall appearance tidy. You can deadhead dogtooth violets anytime the flowers start to look wilted or brown. Use sharp shears or scissors to make a clean cut just above the leafy base of the plant. Be sure to remove all of the dead flowers, as well as any brown leaves that may be present. After deadheading, dogtooth violets will usually produce new flowers within a few weeks. If you want to encourage even more blooms, you can add a fertilizer designed for flowering plants. This will give the plant the nutrients it needs to produce an abundance of flowers.
6. Cut back the foliage in early spring
As the weather begins to warm in spring, dogtooth violet plants will start to produce new growth. You can tidy up the plant by cutting back the old foliage that remains from the previous year. This will allow the plant to focus its energy on producing new growth and flowers. Use sharp shears or scissors to make a clean cut just above the leafy base of the plant. Be sure to remove all of the dead leaves, as well as any brown stems that may be present. After cutting back the foliage, dogtooth violets will usually produce new growth and flowers within a few weeks.
7. Divide the plants every few years
Dogtooth violet plants can become overcrowded after a few years of growth. When this happens, the plants will produce fewer flowers and the overall appearance of the plant will suffer. You can solve this problem by dividing the plants every few years. This will give the individual plants more room to grow and will encourage them to produce more flowers. Dividing dogtooth violets is best done in early spring before new growth begins. Use a sharp shovel or spade to carefully dig up the entire plant. Gently divide the root ball into two or three sections. Replant the sections in different areas of the garden, making sure to space them out so that they have room to grow. Water the plants thoroughly after replanting.
8. Protect the plants from frost
Dogtooth violets are winter hardy and can withstand frost and snow. However, the plants are not completely immune to cold damage. If the temperature drops below freezing, the leaves and stems of the plant can be damaged. To protect dogtooth violets from cold damage, you can cover the plants with a layer of mulch in late fall. This will insulate the plants and help to prevent the leaves and stems from being damaged by frost. You can use any type of mulch, such as straw, leaves, or bark chips. Be sure to remove the mulch in early spring, after the last frost has passed.
9. Watch for pests and diseases
Dogtooth violets are generally resistant to pests and diseases. However, they can sometimes be affected by slugs, snails, and aphids. These pests can damage the leaves and stems of the plant, which can lead to stunted growth and fewer flowers. If you notice any pests on your dogtooth violets, you can remove them by hand or treat the plants with an insecticide. Dogtooth violets are also susceptible to root rot, which is caused by too much moisture. According to Marshallsgarden, This can make the plants more susceptible to pests and diseases. To prevent root rot, make sure to plant dogtooth violets in well-drained soil and water them only when the soil is dry.