The Q&A Archives: Wilting Petunias in Containers in the Desert

Question: My potted petunias suddenly wilt and die, but usually just one at a time. I suspect I need to sterilize my pots and use new potting soil, but is there any way to save the rest of a large planter of flowers when only one petunia has died?

Answer: It's hard to say without knowing what is causing the wilt. If it's a fungal disease in your soil, you'd be best to destroy them all and start over with fresh soil as you mention. If it's a cultural problem, for example, root rot caused by overwatering, they could potentially be saved by correcting the problem. Another possibility is salt accumulation in the soil. Our water contains alot of salts, which can build up over time. Always water slowly and deeply, and let the water leach out salts by running out the pot's drainage holes. I hope this info helps!

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