The Q&A Archives: Petunia

Question: I recently started seeds of Supercascade Red Petunia. I put the seed in 4 10in. pots on top of moist soil less mix. I covered pots with plastic film and kept them at about 70 to 80. After 2 weeks only very few have emerged. Any ideas?

Answer: Petunia seeds should germinate in 7-21 days. The seeds require light and heat to germinate. Sow on the surface of moistened seed starting mix and barely press them in with your hand. Then place them in a warm area (70F - 80F). Covering the pots with plastic wrap is optional - it will help keep moisture in, but isn't absolutely necessary. If you didn't plant your seeds too deeply, the remainder of them should sprout within the next few days. Be sure to remove the plastic now that some of the seeds have germinated so the air can circulate around the plants. If you keep it too moist, they may fall prey to damping-off disease. If your seeds were planted too deeply, they may still come up, but it will take a little longer. Planting at the proper depth is really important. Seeds have just enough energy to send a sprout up to the surface and develop leaves. Once the leaves have developed, they can provide food and energy for the seedling through the action of photosynthesis (converting light to energy). If seeds are planted too deeply, the sprout may run out of reserves before it can penetrate the surface of the soil. Hope your seedlings sprout soon!

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