The Q&A Archives: Petunia Seed Starting

Question: When starting petunias from seed. Do I need to separate each seedling start, or can I just leave them all bunched together?

Answer: Thinning is an important part of seed starting. It's difficult to kill off the new sprouts, but the remaining seedlings will grow better without such close competition. Choose the healthiest looking seedlings to save and use a small pair of scissors to cut the stems of those that are crowding them. Use your finger to measure, and space each seedling one finger width apart. As the seedlings grow you can thin again, or transplant individual seedlings to their own pots. By the time the seedlings have two sets of leaves they should be spaced about one inch apart. When they have developed four sets of leaves they should be transplanted into individual pots. Thinning will keep your new plants healthier by providing enough space for roots to grow and good air circulation to avoid fungal diseases.

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