Petunia ‘Tidal Wave Improved’ from T&M
This climbing petunia has been trained up an obelisk to create a spectacular focal point
Image: Petunia ‘Tidal Wave Improved’ from T&M

Here you’ll find the best expert content on raising petunia seeds or growing petunia plug plants. We’ve scoured the web to bring you insights from the experts who know petunias best – the experienced, green-fingered garden bloggers who love to grow them. Here’s a wealth of information and advice to help you successfully grow your own perfect petunias. 

Ray Johnson – Gardening 101

purple multiflower petunia
This multiflora has smaller blooms than a grandiflora, but produces more flowers
Image: Pixabay/glacika58

“Once upon a time, all you could buy was a straggly plant with dull-pink flowers which preferred a warmer climate than ours here in the UK,” says blogger Ray Johnson of Gardening 101. Not so, these days! Join him as he runs you through the four main varieties of Petunia which grow reliably in the UK, beginning with the earliest to be introduced, Grandiflora Petunia. A great resource for anyone interested in growing these pretty flowers, Ray’s writing is clear and comprehensive. 

Tejvan – Gardeners Tips

Petunia 'Mythical Midnight Gold' from T&M
New varieties of petunia, like ‘Mystical Midnight Gold’, are being introduced all the time
Image: Petunia ‘Mystical Midnight Gold’ from T&M

“The secret of good petunias is plenty of strong light,” says Tejvan at Gardeners Tips. Originally from South America, “petunias are from the family Solanaceae that includes tobacco, cape gooseberries, tomatoes, deadly nightshades, potatoes and chilli peppers.” If you’re new to growing petunias and would like a succinct rundown of the different varieties and how to grow them, this is the place for you. Looking for a reliable Petunia? Tejvan recommends giving ‘Surfinia’ a try. 

T&M blog

Petunia 'Purple Pirouette' F1 Hybrid from T&M
These unique bi-coloured double flowered petunias are easy to grow from seed
Image: Petunia ‘Purple Pirouette’ F1 Hybrid from T&M

It’s not true that Petunias are difficult to grow from seed, say the expert horticulturalists here at the Thompson & Morgan blog. In fact, like any seed, they just need the right conditions in which to thrive, and timing is key to success. If you’re looking to grow glorious Petunias from seed to use as bedding plants or for containers and hanging baskets, just be sure to sow 12 weeks before you expect the last of the winter frosts to have passed – sowing indoors in March for June planting out is a safe bet.

Michael Perry – Mr Plant Geek

Petunia 'Peach Sundae' from T&M
Some petunias, like ‘Peach Sundae’ change colour as they grow
Image: Petunia ‘Peach Sundae’ from T&M

“Not only are the blooms smaller, more simple and smooth, but they also change colour like an excitable sunset,” says Michael Perry, aka Mr Plant Geek. He’s talking about Petunia ‘Peach Sundae’, a “billowing plant for basket or pot!” Just one of his top five most fascinating petunias, check out Michael’s post to see the rest of his favourites. This article is a great read for anyone pondering the weighty question of which petunias to grow next season – especially if you’re looking for something a little different. 

The Kitchen Garden with Eli & Kate

hand sprinkling petunia seeds
Sprinkle the tiny seeds as thinly as you can
Image: The Kitchen Garden with Eli & Kate

Don’t be put off growing petunias from seed says Eli at The Kitchen Garden with Eli & Kate. She explains that the biggest problem is the very tiny seeds which can be difficult to handle, but that needn’t stop you. Check out Eli’s blog post and YouTube video for well-presented clear advice on growing petunias this way. One method for handling tiny seeds, Eli explains, is to mix them with a little pale sand – that way, when you sprinkle them over your compost, you can see where you’ve been, ensuring even coverage.

John Moore – Pyracantha

petunias in a hanging basket
Petunias provide an excellent hanging basket display
Image: Yuriy Chertok/Shutterstock

If you’re wondering what to grow in your hanging baskets, expert gardener and blogger, John Moore of Pyracantha recommends giving Petunias a try. He says trailing varieties are ideal to grow this way provided you “find a spot for your basket that will hang in exposed sunlight all day as they like plenty of sunshine.” He recommends you go for a big hanging basket of at least 14” diameter and, for best results, fill it with quality compost that retains moisture effectively. 

Happy Sowing Happy Growing

Closeup of taking petunia cuttings
Taking cuttings is easy when someone shows you how
Image: altana-studio/Shutterstock

Taking cuttings from your petunias is a great way to get more plants for your money, especially if you’re growing from seed. The YouTube channel, Happy Sowing Happy Growing, provides an excellent short video which shows you exactly where to snip your petunias and how to pot them so they stand a good chance of rooting. A very straightforward process, all you need is some quality multipurpose compost and a pair of sharp scissors. 

Michelle – Veg Plotting

Petunia hanging baskets by door
This scented hanging basket is positioned by the door so the fragrance can be enjoyed
Image: Andy Shell/Shutterstock

Lots of people like to experiment with different varieties, says Michelle of Veg Plotting, but having found a combination of petunias that grow reliably in British weather, she’s sticking with her favourites, Surfinia ‘Purple Vein’ and Tumbelina ‘Priscilla’. If you fancy a go at creating a hanging basket (which Michelle says is akin to a horticultural “horn of plenty”) she offers some excellent tips on hardening off, watering and feeding.

 Mandy – Mandy Can U Dig It

Petunia 'Surfinia Star Burgundy' from T&M
Brighten up your front entrance with hanging baskets overflowing with petunias
Image: Petunia ‘Surfinia Star Burgundy’ from T&M

Now for some petunia trivia courtesy of prolific and supremely knowledgeable gardening blogger, Mandy of Mandy Can U Dig It. Did you know, for example, that the plant was named in “1789 by French botanist Antoine Laurent de Jussieu?” Head over to Mandy’s blog for more interesting Petunia facts plus tips on how to feed your petunias to avoid excessive foliage production at the expense of the flowers.

@kath_brewer

Petunia ‘Night Sky’ from Kath Brewer
Petunia ‘Night Sky’ is a stunning petunia
Image: @kath_brewer

See one of the most stunning petunias ever developed at its magical best, courtesy of Instagrammer @Kath_brewer. We think you’ll agree her photo of Petunia ‘Night Sky’, is an absolute corker. She says she couldn’t resist capturing them in all their glory amid the soft glow of the evening light. A great pic from a fabulous photographer, this is an Instagram account well worth a follow.

Carol Bartlett – The Sunday Gardener

Petunia ‘Frenzy Mixed’ F1 Hybrid from T&M
Petunias make an excellent bedding plant as part of your summer display
Image: Petunia ‘Frenzy Mixed’ F1 Hybrid from T&M 

If you’re looking for an overview of how Petunias fit into your summer bedding mix, Carol Bartlett of The Sunday Gardener offers an excellent article in which she compares the different options available to you. She says the soft pastel colours of petunias make them excellent bedding plants, and regular deadheading prevents them setting seed, forcing them to produce even more beautiful blooms that should last right through to autumn.

Ray – Gardening Online

person potting petunia seedlings
Pot your seedlings on after about 30 days when each one has 4-5 leaves
Image: Gardening Online

If you don’t usually grow your petunias from seed and you’re looking for a few practical tips, Ray’s video at Gardening Online is the place to start. From sowing the tiny seeds to seeing them flowering in the hanging basket, this start to finish guide to growing petunias from seed tells you everything you need to know. Ray sows his petunia seeds into drills before covering the tray with clear plastic and leaving in a warm place to germinate. About 30 days later, the seedlings should have 4-5 leaves and be ready to pot out.

Mahwish – Gardening Wise

closeup of a person taking cuttings of petunia
Take your cutting just below a leaf node and remove most of the leaves to propagate a petunia
Image: Gardening Wise

Is a petunia shooting up and overshadowing the other plantings in your hanging basket? Taking cuttings is an easy fix, says Mahwish of YouTube channel, Gardening Wise. Not only is this a great way to get more lovely petunias, you also force your existing plants to grow outwards, becoming bushy rather than tall. The trick to taking good cuttings, Mahwish explains, is to cut just below a leaf node and trim most of the growth away, leaving just a few leaves. A comprehensive video, this is a must-watch for budding propagators.

Lee Gardener – Project Diaries

hand holding petunia pods
Harvest the tiny petunia seeds from the pods when they’re crispy and dry
Image: Project Diaries

Harvesting seeds from this year’s petunias is simple, says Lee Gardener of the popular YouTube channel, Project Diaries. A man who loves getting stuck into his gardening, Lee gives an excellent demonstration of how to harvest petunia seeds. He says you should leave the seed pods on the plants until they’re crispy dry, then pick them and crack them open over a sheet of white paper – a great way to make sure you don’t lose any of the tiny seeds. Lee is a positive, friendly communicator who offers excellent how-to guides.

We hope you’ve found our collection of petunia content helpful and informative. Petunias really are a lovely bedding plant and trailing varieties look wonderful in containers and hanging baskets. For even more help with these charming flowers, visit our petunias hub page for links to other online resources – and don’t forget to tag us in to photos of your own wonderful Petunias!

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