Image by Amanda Slater
By Becca Badgett
(Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden)
Growing petunias can offer long term color in the summer landscape and brighten dreary borders with lovely pastel colors. Proper petunia care is simple and easy. After learning how to plant petunias you can include them in your flower bed and container garden.
Four species of petunias include hundreds of cultivars and offer a perfect addition to the home landscape:
- Grandiflora petunias is the most common type of growing petunias. This species features 3 to 4 inch blooms which often grow upright, but may spill over the side of your container or window box.
- Multiflora petunias have smaller flowers and a more abundant bloom.
- Milliflora petunias are miniature versions of growing petunias, compact and reblooming.
- Spreading petunias are only 6 inches tall and can rapidly cover a selected area to function as a blooming ground cover.
Care of Petunias
Care of petunias includes regular watering and as much sunlight as possible to promote multiple blooms. Spreading ground cover petunias are pickiest about water, weekly waterings should be included in the care of petunias.
While petunias will grow in a partially shaded location, a fuller and more abundant bloom is produced in full sun. Soil prepared before planting petunias should have well-composted organic matter worked in.
Care of petunias will include regular fertilization with a balanced, water soluble fertilizer designed for blooming plants. As they are heavy feeders, petunias care will also include weekly feedings. Proper light, water and fertilization when caring for petunias will ensure a long season of beautiful blooms.
Proper petunia care involves removing spent blooms and the seeds they may produce. When deadheading the growing petunias, remove the base of the flower to include seed removal. Petunias allowed to go to seed will slow or stop blooming.
Purchasing Petunia Plants
Hundreds of cultivars of petunias are available to the gardener for use in a range of garden designs. Double and single blooms offer a selection of solid and multi colored flowers.
When purchasing young petunias, choose plants with a compact form and unopened buds. Open blooms on the petunia are best removed after planting for a more abundant show in the future.
Growing petunias is easy and rewarding. As you learn how to grow and plant petunias, you will never be at a loss for a beautiful bloom for a full sun area.