My flowers were growing wonderfully and in a nice bush form, a few days ago it started to flatten outwards. Thought it may have been due to some animal (my cat), but today I have found these brown egg like balls on the plant. What is this and could this be killing my plants? I live in SE England, if that helps with identifying what this could be!

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Thank you

  • Oh that looks like a cat laid in those violets you can see the body outline! Those brown egg balls are the seeds!!
    – stormy
    Commented Jul 1, 2019 at 23:00

2 Answers 2


Your violas/pansies are nearing the end of their natural life cycle - the “balls” are the seed pods. You can harvest them as soon as they start to open or wait and see whether they seed themselves. Some seed pods have already dispersed their seeds, so don’t be surprised if little seedlings appear at some point.

The plants have kept growing new stems and blooms at the ends of the branches, getting more and more lanky top-heavy. Often there comes a time when they can’t support themselves any longer and they start to flop. A heavy rain, hard watering or a lazy cat can trigger it.

There’s little you can do now, especially as they are quite bare in the core, but before you rip them out, you can try to prune them back now and hope that they will grow again from the center. Do fertilize, but don’t overdo it, or you will encourage more lanky growth. Ultimately, they will die, they are annual or short-lived perennials.

So yes, the brown balls in your question are indeed causing your flowers to die, but that’s more a philosophical answer.

  • Thank you! I was hoping it was the natural cycle of the plant causing this, over external insect/cat factors!
    – Asw
    Commented Jul 3, 2019 at 11:32
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    – Stephie
    Commented Jul 3, 2019 at 12:33

Those are seeds, you can harvest them if you want to sow them next year.

  • 1
    OHH! Dope. Thank you! Any ideas as to why the bush form, all of sudden flattened out? Do you think, putting the plant into a pot would help revive the plant?
    – Asw
    Commented Jul 1, 2019 at 12:14
  • 1
    I think cat has slept there?
    – benn
    Commented Jul 1, 2019 at 12:30

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