In detail

How to plant and grow petunias?

How to plant and grow petunias?

The characteristics of petunia

  • Type: Flower and flowering plant
  • Height: up to 2m
  • Flower color : red, white, pink, purple, blue
  • Desired exposure: sunny, semi-shaded
  • Type of soil: well drained
  • Sanitizing: no
  • Diseases: Whiteflies
  • Varieties: sufinia, grandiflora, milliflora

Origins and characteristics of petunia

Very decorative with its brightly colored trumpet-shaped flowers, the petunia (petunia) is an annual plant that is easy to sow and cultivate. Its abundant flowering, which lasts several months, is very appreciated to decorate terraces, window edges or flowerbeds.

This plant is native to South America.

Belonging to the nightshade family, petunia is available in a range of bright colors: pink, red, purple, white.

The genus petunia includes about 35 species. Among them are perennials and annuals, as well as single or double flowering plants. The most popular are surfinia, a falling petunia and abundant superb in cascade in a suspension, the grandiflora with large flowers (about 12 cm in length) most sold in garden centers and the milliflora or Million Bells with smaller flowers, but more resistant to weathering. The latter is interesting for the ornamentation of flowerbeds.

Sowing petunia

Sowing is carried out under shelter from February and March, in terrine or in pots. Install some petunia seeds on a bed of potting soil and cover them lightly. Press the seeds to stick them to the soil and keep them moist on a regular basis.

The young plants in pots are installed in May directly in the ground or in planters. For the composition of beds, keep about 30 cm between each plant. Double varieties need a small stake to hold in place.

It is advisable to place it in a sunny or semi-shaded place, sheltered from the wind. In order for its colors to be vibrant, petunia needs lots of light and sun.

  • The bushy petunia is ideal for beds, borders or large basins
  • ThePetunia grandiflora is ideal for beds, pots or planters
  • The drooping petunia created real waterfalls of flowers. A balcony or hanging lamp is the perfect place to sow it.

Sowing petunia is sometimes finicky. If you are a beginner gardener, it is advisable to prefer seedling plants.

Petunia maintenance

Easy to grow in the garden or on the terrace, petunia however, requires a lot of water and fertilizer to flower generously. Daily watering in summer, especially when it is in a pot, is essential without being excessive so as not to rot the root system. Otherwise an unpleasant odor emerges very quickly.

Water preferably in the evening.

Petunia is a very greedy plant. A liquid fertilizer for flowering plants is recommended every week or every two weeks, from June to October.

To stimulate flowering and keep it always abundant, it is important to remove the faded flowers as you go along and pinch the stems in half. To have always lush petunias, proceed to a regular pruning. The cuts favor the development of new ramifications which will bring new flowers.

The cut is made at one third or half the height of the stems.

Once flowering is over, it is advisable to shelter your petunias for the winter. To do this, use a winter veil or put them in a cool and dry place. In the spring, fertilize the petunias abundantly.

Diseases, pests and parasites of petunias

Aphids and slugs love petunias. To prevent aphids from attacking them, plant nasturtiums nearby. To fight against slugs, beer traps will do the trick.

Another enemy of petunia : the whitefly. Also called a whitefly, it feeds on the sap of the plants it parasites. A solution of soapy water based on black soap is to be sprayed under the leaves to eradicate them.