The Q&A Archives: Petunias in the Low Desert

Question: On the Miracle-Gro Bloom Booster box it says 1 Tbsp per gallon of water for outdoor plants, and to apply every 7-14 days. But I have petunias in a planter and here in AZ I need to water them every day. I have tried a solution of 1 tsp every time I water...the petunias tend to wilt in the early morning sun (have shade from l0 AM or so)...& they just don't seem to be husky and thriving as I would expect--yet I have seen petunias in this area (in the ground, however) thriving. What dosage would be recommended for container petunias that have to be watered frequently? Would it be better to have them down, so they don't even get the early morning sun?

Answer: Your petunias may be lacking light. They need at least 6 hours of sun, even in our low desert, and morning sun is better than the hot afternoon. When you water, be sure to water slowly and deeply to moisten the entire root area. Don't "sprinkle" lightly, which allows salts to accumulate in the root zone, which can kill the plant. I recommend following the product instructions. Fertilizing every 7-14 days should be adequate, even in our conditions. Overfertilizing is just as harmful as underfertilizing! Good luck!

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