Gardens

Mistakes to Avoid When Growing a Petunia

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Because of its wide trumpet shaped flowers, branching foliage and wide variety of colors, the Petunia is one of the most popular flower bed and garden flowers today. Prolific bloomers, Petunias are relatively easy to grow; however, there are some mistakes you need to avoid if you want to produce healthy and beautiful petunias year after year.

Sowing Too Deep

When sowing Petunia seeds, don't sow the seeds deeper than three or four times the diameter size of the Petunia seed. If you plant the seeds too deep, the heat from the sun will not be able to adequately warm the seeds enough to allow for proper germination and plant growth. Some varieties of petunias should not be covered with soil at all.

Starting Petunias Too Late

Petunias require a long growing season and should be started in early March for best results. If you live in a warmer climate you should be able to start the seeds outside as early as the first week of March. In colder climates zones, you should start your petunias inside and then transfer them outside when the weather is a little warmer.

Planting Petunia Seed Too Thickly

Overcrowding petunia seeds, or planting the seeds to thickly will usually result in too many seedlings growing and a small area. Overcrowding of petunias invites a host of fungi that will cause powdery mildew disease as well as many other fungi related problems.

Poor Soil Preparation

In order to produce the most blooms and flowers for your petunia plants, you need to plant the seeds in a soil that has been well worked. Make sure to pulverize the soil completely and rake it smooth before planting petunias.

Planting Petunias in Acidic Soil

Always test the pH level of your soil before planting petunias. Petunias require a soil pH below 6.5. If your soil is more acidic than this, try adding lime to the soil to soften the acidity level a little.

Dividing or Transplanting Petunias in Direct Sunlight

Trying to divide or transplant petunias in direct sunlight on hot, sunny days often results in plants being wilted by the hot sun. So, choose a cloudy day to reduce the chances of wilting. Also, transplanting on a cloudy day may eliminate the need for watering as well.

Overwatering During Propagation

Petunia cuttings are usually very small or thin and too much water may cause the plug of the Petunia to become oversaturated. If you over saturate a Petunia cutting with water, it will usually result in uneven roots, yellowing of the growing tips, uneven growth and even hardened cuttings.

Failure to Prevent Weeds

If you space your petunias 6 to 12 inches apart, weeds sprouting between the plants will be an issue if you do not cultivate the soil often or use mulch.

Failure to Deadhead

Many varieties of petunias will stop producing blossoms if they are not deadheaded on a regular basis. So clip or pinch faded or dead blooms often to promote the growth of new blooms and flowers.

Too Much Water

Watering petunias too match will be cause them to become leggy and produce more stems than flowers. Water petunias to where the top of the soil is barely damp and not too wet.

Petunia.jpgPhoto copyright Dave's Garden (davesgarden.com)