Plant type: annual.
Description: These flowers are among the most common annuals due to their ease of cultivation. Many gardeners consider them old-fashioned, but this opinion is erroneous. There are many new varieties with a wide range of shapes and shades. Today the most popular colors are red, white and blue. Petunia is terry, striped, upright – there is no limit to the infinite number of species of these flowers.
Hundreds of varieties have been bred to date. They form four groups based on flower size and growth patterns. Some of them will look great in containers, while others are best planted in bulk in the garden.
- Origin: South America.
- Deciduous ornament: petunia leaves are oval or oval-lanceolate, 10-12 cm long.
- Flowering: yes. In some species, the flowers have a sweet fragrance.
- Temperature range: 10-27°C.
- Humidity level: moderate.
- Care: Petunias tolerate heat and do not need much water.
Large-flowered group (Grandiflorus)
This is the most common type, producing large flowers 10-12 cm wide. They can be terry and non-terry. Some have a tiered growth pattern, making them suitable plants for growing in hanging baskets and window boxes. But most of the flowers are erect, which allows them to develop into whole “hills” that reach a height of 30-38 cm. From the moment of planting, place them at a distance of one step, in containers it is possible a little closer.
Multiflorous group (Multifloras)
They are usually more compact. The flowers of this type of petunia are smaller than the previous ones, but they develop faster, bloom more freely and their petals are more resistant to weather changes. Despite the fact that most of the plants in this group are non-double, terry species can also be found. They are usually planted in large masses to create splashes of some color in the garden. It is also desirable to plant them at a distance of one step.
The latter type is characterized by the fact that they intensively cover the ground cover and have the same English name (groundcover). Species such as Petunia Surfinia (Surfinia), wave (Wave) are very well known, they are only 15 cm high, but spread quickly. They can cover a large area in just one season, which is why they are often grown on slopes and on top of retaining walls. They are also often planted in hanging baskets and window boxes, where they can spread over 10 cm over the summer. If grown in bright sunlight, they will be completely covered in gorgeous flowers. But they require regular fertilizing and more frequent watering than other types.
Lighting: Petunia, which is not so difficult to care for, will grow best in full sunlight or partial shade. It is desirable that the sun’s rays illuminate the plants for 5-6 hours a day. The more sun, the more spectacular flowering. If there is too much shade, then the flowering will not be lush.
Soil Type: The soil should be well-drained. It is desirable that the soil contains sand or perlite, peat and lime.
Watering: A thorough watering once a week is usually sufficient, except during periods of drought. Soak the soil to a depth of 15 cm each time you water. If possible, water at ground level rather than over it, as this can promote disease development. If you are growing petunias in hanging baskets or containers, more frequent, possibly daily, watering will be required.
Fertilizers: Enriching the soil with organic fertilizers, such as compost, will work well for your flowers. You can apply top dressing right at the time of planting. You can also fertilize your petunias every two weeks with a liquid organic fertilizer meant for flowering plants.
Propagation: It is difficult to reproduce petunias from seeds. You need to start growing plants from seeds indoors 10-12 weeks before planting in the garden. Petunia, which is a little difficult to grow seedlings, requires one condition: the seeds cannot be completely covered with soil, since they need light to develop buds. Seedlings will appear within 7-21 days at a temperature of 21-27°C. After the seedlings appear, place them in a sunny position with a temperature of about 15°C.
Planting: Petunias should be planted when the soil is warm enough and there is no chance of frost. In order for the seedlings to get stronger, take them outside on sunny, warm days. Then, for several days, bring them into the room at night. Thus, petunias adapt to the conditions of the garden, and then they can be transplanted there.
Pests and Diseases: Usually these flowers are not exposed to any pests. Plant aphids occasionally infect young and mature flowers. Get rid of it with a water spray. Gray mold can develop in damp weather. To minimize the likelihood of infection, purchase varieties that are resistant to weather changes.
Application: These plants are mainly used for decorative purposes. So, for example, ampelous petunia, the cultivation of which does not cause difficulties, is best suited for planting in tall containers. This species is currently very popular with flower growers. Balcony petunia also deserves special attention. Its name speaks for itself. This is a great view for planting in balcony boxes.
Optional: If possible, remove those flowers that have already withered, including the part where the seeds are formed. This approach will allow the plants to bloom even more, and they will also have a neater appearance. If your flowers look messy on the outside, cut them in half and they’ll look bushy again. It is worth noting that rain can damage your plants, especially large-flowered species.