The Petunia (Petunia x) is a perennial plant grown as an annual which belongs to the family of Solanaceae. Originally from Brazil, it grows and flowers very well in our latitudes. The Petunia is one of the essential plants for flowering beds, borders, terraces, window sills and balconies. Its abundant flowering, which comes in purple, white, red, pink, black, plain or variegated, works wonders from May until frost. The Petunia is unparalleled for transforming any outdoor space and it is a real pleasure to grow different varieties because these plants do not pose any particular difficulty. Here is how to sow, plant and maintain your petunias.
Seedlings allow you to get your own petunia plants rather than buying them. All you need is a packet of petunia seeds in a single color or in a mixture to give birth to many plants a few weeks later. But let’s face it, petunia seedlings are rather reserved for gardeners who already have a great experience in the field.
It is between the month of February and the month of March that you can start sowing your petunias, but the ambient temperature must be around 20°C, that there is no draft and that the brightness is generous. If it is still too cold, the seedlings must be planted sheltered either in a bright room, or under a frame or in a tight.
The seeds are placed on a soil for seedlings then they are covered with a thin layer of fine sand. As for the containers, it can be biodegradable egg cartons, wooden crates or polystyrene boxes. As soon as the young seedlings measure a few centimeters in height, they must be transplanted into individual pots where they will continue to gain strength. The buckets are kept under cover at the beginning then can be taken out at the sunniest hours of the day to be brought back in the evening.
Plant the Petunia
Buying petunias in pots at a garden center skips the seedling stage. By opting for this solution, it only takes one hour to flower a balcony, a terrace or a flower bed since all you have to do is transplant each plant as soon as you buy it.
We multiply the types of containers, planters, pots, basins, hotpots. Cultivation in the ground is also possible because the Petunia is perfect for flowering a rockery or bringing a decorative note to the foot of an old low wall. Note that if we wish to obtain waterfalls of flowerswe install the plants in suspensions and we opt for Surfinia (Petunia x ‘Surfinia’). This is a Hybrid petunia with drooping habit.
The period of planting the Petunia in place begins in May. Planting these perennials does not require any special knowledge.
- For a plantation in a jarat the bottom of the container – which must absolutely be pierced – place a layer of drainage about 5 cm thick such as clay balls or gravel,
- Then fill the pot or planter with a mixture of garden soil and potting soil for flowering plants,
- Dig a hole,
- Take the plant out of the bucket after letting it soak for about 15 to 20 minutes in a container filled with water,
- Place the plant in the hole,
- Reseal by packing the substrate around the foot without damaging it,
- Water copiously.
For a culture of petunias in the ground, it is advisable to count at least 5 to 6 plants per square meter in order to obtain an extremely colorful floral carpet (in one tone or multicolored). This results in a ground cover of astonishing beauty and the visual effect is truly breathtaking for many months.
The Petunia is undemanding. It is therefore easy to cultivate provided it can benefit from perfectly draining soil because it don’t like having their roots in water.
In addition, he likes to be installed in a land moderately humiffere, furniture et light. He appreciates the sunny situations, sheltered from the wind and drafts. During heat waves or in regions with a hot climate, it is preferable to install your petunias in a semi-shaded area. Note that to flower well, petunias and surfinias must be able to benefit from a good 6 hours of sunshine per day in the morning and late afternoon.
Once the first frosts appear, the petunia season is coming to an end because this non-hardy plant not resistant to negative temperatures.
Caring for the Petunia
Regarding the maintenance of the Petunia, it boils down to the following actions.
We must be able to offer a sufficient freshness to his petunias by very regular watering so that the substrate is never dry. If they are grown in planters, it is necessary to water more frequently than in the ground, especially in periods of high heat, without drowning the roots so as not to asphyxiate them. It is therefore not necessary to water excessively and in periods of abundant and frequent rain, the watering can can remain in the shed for a few days.
To take advantage of a abundant flowering from spring until autumnit is necessary to bringliquid fertilizer to dilute for flowering plants. Particularly rich in potash, this fertilizer should be added to the irrigation water approximately every 8 days for a guaranteed decorative effect, but it is important to always respect the dosages clearly indicated on the container. Also be careful never to distribute fertilizer to a plant if the substrate is dry.
Pests and diseases
The petunia is very interesting because in addition to flowering profusely and being easy to grow, it is a insensitive perennial plant. At most, its tender young leaves attract slugs that can easily be removed from flowerbeds by spreading a little sand on the ground.
It is also possible to see aphids which it is necessary to eliminate quickly in order to avoid a severe attack. If you have not taken the precaution of installing ladybug larvae on the plants, you must use a antipuceron bio preferably so as not to harm the environment. A mixture of black soap and Marseille soap to be diluted in hot water allows (after complete cooling) to treat effectively against these undesirables. The treatment must be carried out regularly to obtain excellent results since it is thus possible to eradicate the aphids.
As for the diseases to be feared, they are few because of the high resistance of Petunia. However, beware of non-draining soils in which water stagnates. Excess water at the roots can cause them to rot and kill the plant.
Whether cascading, drooping, with small flowers or double flowers, the Petunia is very popular because it does not require no special care apart from regular waterings. It is still able to flower profusely for about 6 months. But to facilitate the production of new flowers, it is recommended to remove any that have faded as they wilt. This small perennial plant will thus retain its beauty.