Illinois State Flower and How to Grow It

Raul Cornelius is a Senior Editor at BalconyGardenWeb and an expert in flower and herb cultivation based in Phoenix, Arizona. A frequent speaker at horticultural events, he is also an active contributor to Facebook flower groups. Holding an MBA and a BCom, Raul blends his gardening skills with strong leadership and analytical abilities. Passionate about writing and photography, he enjoys early mornings with coffee and books, and nature bike rides during weekends.
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We’ve got all the information on Illinois State Flower and How to Grow It! And don’t miss out on the facts!

Illinois State Flower 1

Illinois State Flower is the Common Blue Violet, and it is really easy to grow. Here’s everything about it.

Table of contents

Illinois State Flower Information

The Illinois State Flower, the Common Blue Violet, is known for its resilience. It has beautiful heart-shaped leaves and delicate flowers that grow 4-8 inches tall and form cute little clusters. The flowers are not only violet but also purple, blue, white, yellow, and even green.

The flower was chosen as the official flower by schoolchildren in January 1908. It grows in prairies, woodlands, lawns, and wetlands, and its leaves are edible—used in salads and teas.

Botanical Name: Viola sororia

Other Names: Common Meadow Violet, Hooded Violet.

Illinois State Flower Facts

Here are some interesting facts that you might not know about blue violets.

  • There are over 700 species of violets worldwide, and nearly 30 are found in Illinois.
  • The Violet is also the State Flower of New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin, but Illinois was the first state to designate it.
  • Illinois school children chose the state flower via a 1907 vote where they picked their favorite flower.
  • The state flower movement was initiated in 1893 during the Chicago World Fair, but Illinois was not represented by any flower there.
  • Many people suggested the Purple Iris as the state flower, but it was never adopted.

Propagating Illinois State Flower

Illinois State Flower 3

If you live in Illinois, you must grow the state flower in your home. You can easily find one in your neighborhood or the local nursery. You only need a small 4-5 inch cutting with a few leaves.

Once you have it, get a small pot with a well-draining potting mix and plant the cutting in it. Don’t forget to remove the leaves on the lower half, though. Water it well and keep the pot on a windowsill with indirect light.

In 2-3 weeks, the cutting will root and grow into a pretty little Violet for your home.

Best Pot Size for Illinois State Flower

These flowers don’t go too big, so a pot that’s 6-8 inches deep and wide is enough. Just make sure there’s a drainage hole at the bottom. If you can find a terra cotta one, nothing like it.

Requirements for Growing Illinois State Flower


These flowers need dappled sunlight or partial shade, so the best place to keep them is under the canopy of trees or arbors, where direct sunlight does not reach them. The porch or balcony could also be the perfect place.


Natively, these plants commonly grow in loamy, sandy, and clay soils in Illinois. However, they aren’t picky about the growing medium and any type that’s well-draining will do. Here’s a best potting mix you can make at home.

  • 2 parts potting mix for base
  • 1 part compost for nutrients and drainage
  • 1 part perlite or sand for aeration and drainage

Combine all these well, and you’ll have the best mix for Blue Violets.


These plants love moisture but don’t do well in waterlogged soil. Soak them well and let the soil dry before watering them again. Overwatering will lead to root rot, so don’t water them repeatedly without checking the topsoil for dryness.

That’s it. If you can take care of these 3 simple things, your Common Blue Violet will keep flourishing without any fuss. You can give them the occasional fertilizer, but they won’t need much.

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