Petunia is a genus of 20 flowering plants native to South America. The name of the famous flower comes from the French, who acquired the word petun, which means “tobacco,” from the Tupi Guarani language.
Petunias provide long-lasting beauty in the summer landscape and may improve dreary borders with attractive pastel tones. Petunia care is simple and easy.
Petunias are the most popular flowers due to their gorgeous blooms and long flowering time. For bright summer color, plant petunia flowers in pots, hanging baskets, or beds.
Petunias (Petunia spp.) are a popular garden flower for both borders and containers. They are prolific bloomers, found in almost every color except true blue, with broad, trumpet-shaped blooms and hairy, sticky leaves.
In most areas, petunias are classified as annuals; however they may be grown as sensitive perennials in Zones 9 to 11. The flowers come in various colors and patterns, and they bloom from spring until frost!
These bright annuals can brighten up a front yard and used in borders, pots, hanging baskets, and as a seasonal groundcover. Their height can range from 6 inches to 18 inches, and spread range from 18 inches to 4 feet.
Petunia flowers are available in several colors, single and double blooms, smooth or ruffled petals, solid single, striped, veined, or picotee-edged colors, and even scents.
Petunias are plants that grow quickly. When sown as seeds, they germinate in around 12 weeks and are ready to be planted outside after the last frost date, reaching full growth by late spring.
- Common Name: Petunia
- Botanical Name: Petunia spp.
- Family: Solanaceae
- Plant Type: Annual
- Mature Size: 6–24 in. tall, up to 36 in. wide
- Sun Exposure: Full sun
- Soil Type: Well-drained, moist
- Soil pH: Acidic
- Bloom Time: Spring, summer, fall
- Flower Color: Pink, purple, yellow, red, orange, green, white
- Hardiness Zones: 10–11 (USDA)
- Native Area: South America
Types of Petunias
Today, nearly all petunia plants marketed are hybrids. Some Petunia types have proven so popular that they have their class, such as the Supertunia and Wave series. Bedding variations include grand floras with bigger blooms or multifloras with smaller flowers that withstand rain well.
- Grandiflora: Grandiflora petunias produce big blooms and thrive in pots or hanging baskets. These huge petunias often grow badly in the south because they decay in the humid, hot summers.
- Floribundas: Floribundas are a hybrid of the grandiflora and multiflora plant groups. They, like the multiflora variants, are free-flowering and produce medium-sized flowers.
- Millifloras: Milliflora petunias are smaller than other petunia types. Multiflora petunias are durable and prolific. They have smaller but abundant blooms and are ideal for summer bedding or a mixed border.
- Spreading or Trailing Petunias: These are slow-growing plants that can spread up to 4 feet. Because the flowers form the length of each stem, they make a beautiful, colorful groundcover.
How To Grow Petunias Plant
A nursery is the most typical place to buy young petunia plants. Growing petunias from seed might be worthwhile, especially if looking for a specific type. The following are the steps for growing petunias from seed:
- Start seeds at least 10 to 12 weeks before the latest frost date in zone.
- Sprinkle the small seeds over a damp seed-starting mix. Gently push them down, but don’t bury them because they require light to sprout.
- Wrap the container in transparent plastic and place it somewhere warm but out of direct sunlight. Within seven to ten days, you should notice seedlings.
- When the plants have three true leaves, they can be placed into their own pots until they are ready for outdoor planting.
- Petunias can tolerate hard weather and hot climes, but not frost. They require five hours of sunlight daily and flourish in wet soil and low air humidity.
- In most areas, weekly watering should sufficient. Watering hanging baskets and other containers should be done often.
- Fertilizer should be used monthly or weekly, depending on the type, to assist the plant grow fast.
Even if little plants are pruned as described above, petunias will become leggy and stop growing as many flowers as the summer advances.
At this stage, do normal pruning, clipping the shoots back by about a third of their height, or almost all the way to the ground if needed. The remaining plant will require part of its leaves to photosynthesize in order to re-grow.
Pruning is pointless with only a few weeks till the first frost. However, if make cuts in the late summer, petunias may produce second set of strong stems and lovely blooms.
This approach provides new plants that look and bloom likes the original plant. If petunias’ growing, then may grow clones from cuttings by filling a two- or three-inch-wide container with about two inches of pre-moistened seed-starting medium.
Remove the leaves off the lower part of the stem using your fingers, starting at the opposite end cut. Place the container somewhere warm that gets at least six hours of light every day, and cut the edge about half an inch into the dirt.
Place the container somewhere warm that gets at least six hours of light every day, and cut the edge about half an inch into the dirt. Typically, the kitchen windowsill is an appropriate location.
Throughout the roots process, keep the soil wet but not waterlogged. Roots will begin to form in about 10 days, maybe sooner. Allow the cuttings to establish itself indoors for about six weeks or until they produce new growth, before transplanting them outside.
Petunia Plant Care
Petunias bloom mainly in the summer; however they can bloom in the spring and persist into the fall until the temperature drops and frost hits.
Water the soil regularly during long dry periods in summer to keep it moist. Plants in pots will require regular, if not daily, watering to keep the compost evenly wet.
Feed with a liquid plant food regularly in the summer to ensure a steady supply of flowers. A high potash liquid plant food will encourage, larger flowers over flowering time, until the first fall frosts.
Petunias will need to be watered and fed regularly during the growth season. They may enjoy weather protection, which include relocating container plants to a sheltered spot over garden beds.
Soil and Fertilizer
Petunias like light, rich soil with adequate drainage. They may grow in a wide range of soil types as long as they are well-drained. They like a slightly acidic soil pH. They thrive in soil that is rich, wet, yet well-drained. Dig in lots of organic matter, such as garden compost, well-rotted manure, or other soil improvers.
Petunias should be fertilized with a balanced fertilizer at the time of planting. It’s a good idea to include compost into the soil. Then, starting July and continuing until plants die in the fall, fertilize every two to three weeks with a flowering plant liquid fertilizer.
Light and Water
The majority of petunia types like full sun, which means at least six hours in direct sunlight most days. However, in the summer heat, some shade, especially from the intense afternoon light, will help to keep them refreshed and blooming better.
Petunias like many other blooming annuals dislike being dry for lengthy periods of time. They dislike sitting in wet soil, which can damage roots. When there is no rain, it is necessary to soak weekly with 1 to 2 inches of water. Some spreading kinds and container plants require more regular watering.
Pests and Diseases
The hard parts of growing petunias are establishing them and keeping them moist, whereas pests and diseases are rarely a problem. Petunias, particularly in wet areas, are prone to fungal infections like as grey mold.
Aphids, flea beetles, slugs, and snails that eat on the stems and leaves are some pests that may plague petunia plants. May be frequently spray bugs off the plants with a forceful stream of water. However, if the infestation is severe and inhibiting flowering, a pesticide can be used.
Hope you enjoyed reading the Planting guide of Petunias. If you think we missed something or have a suggestion, please leave it in the comments section below.
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