Growing petunias gives the flower gardener velvety, colorful blooms from spring to fall. And petunias are amazingly versatile. Their compact and trailing varieties come in wonderful colors with single and multiple flowers. They can fit any blooming pattern or garden color scheme, plus they’re easy to grow!
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It’s best to sow petunia seeds indoors as it will take about ten weeks to have plants that you can position outside. Fill a tray with sieved garden compost or an organic nutrient-rich seed starting mix. Water it very lightly. Sow the small petunia seeds on top of the compost and press in slightly. Cover with plastic and place in a light place that does not have strong direct sunlight. Once plants have germinated, prick out into individual modules. Harden off as frosts end, then transplant into your garden.
For maximum flowers, petunias need lots of light. Prepare the soil for transplanting petunias by adding organic matter such as leaf mold or well-rotted farmyard manure. Fork this into the soil at least a week before planting. Make sure plants don’t dry out as they establish.
Although some petunias are perennials, they are usually grown as annuals. Plants can be overwintered in cold frames but they tend not to thrive the following year.
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Standard flower watering guidelines apply for petunias planted in the ground. But if you’ve made displays in baskets or plant pouches, they’ll need more watering. In hot periods this could be daily.
Once they’re flowering they need a weekly feed of organic tomato fertilizer (if you use liquid tomato fertilizer, add it to water before applying).
Deadhead flowers regularly to keep them in bloom.
Petunias have short stems, so they are not the most effective cut flower. However, as cutting flowers increases the number of future blooms, it’s worth experimenting with them. Cut with sharp pruners and add to small displays in flower rings or vases.
The following pests and diseases have been known to affect the success of growing Petunia Flowers (see Organic Garden Pest Control for information about how to prevent and address pests and diseases)...
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