Growing petunias – Our blogger Hannah gives some helpful hints and tips
Growing Petunias will provide sunny positions in your garden with months of colour. They are one of the easiest summer bedding plants to grow; with a few tips they will look stunning in your sunny seasonal displays!
Petunias are easy to grow from both seeds and plugs. However, plugs will provide an established plant in a much shorter time. If growing from seed, sow around 10 weeks before you want to get them outside. Petunias can be planted into your chosen container as soon as we say goodbye to the spring frosts.
With many weather resistant varieties now available, they are much more tolerable to rain. In addition to this, breeding of new varieties has developed climbing petunias such as our own Petunia ‘Purple Rocket’. This exclusive double flowering Petunia grows rapidly and produces a tower of purple once established on a frame.
Petunias love the sun so place in a bright place in the garden and the plants will flourish.
If planting in containers, mix in a fertiliser such as Incredibloom into the compost when planting. The high potassium content will boost the plants nutrients and ensure prolific flowering throughout the season.
In order to help the plants last throughout the season, deadheading is vital. Petunias produce so many flowers, that the seed will naturally follow. As the plant is putting all energy into producing seed, it doesn’t make so many new flowers. In order to keep the plants in top condition, removing the faded flowers will help the plant make new buds and keep it to a good shape before it gets too leggy. Some varieties will benefit from pinching early to keep a nice bushy shape to the plant, particularly in baskets or pouches. Ensure the flower is pinched back close to the stem, removing the whole part of the flower. If only the petal is removed the plant will continue to produce seed.
It is also important to not let the plants dry out, as this will slow growth. Keep the container moist at all times, however keep the balance and don’t let the plants ‘sit’ too wet. When watering, try to avoid getting the petals wet as this will prolong the life of the flowers.
Keep an eye out for pests and diseases on your plants. Aphids camouflage very well onto the colour of petunia leaves! If you can take action as soon as you see them as they distort the new buds. Later in the season, powdery mildew can sometimes become a problem with the British weather. If you have any bicarbonate of soda in your baking cupboard, mix a solution of 10gm of bicarbonate of soda per litre of water and spray onto the affected area.
Assistant Nursery & Site Manager