The Q&A Archives: Petunias

Question: I live in the High Desert where we have extreme tempertures.
I love to have Petunias in hanging baskets. (Some sun - some shade in the hottest part of the afternoon.) I have to replant each year because they do not stand the cold weather. My problem is that they are blooming fine BUT the leaves and stems stay brown. Too much water, not enough, not enough sun? I feed them and do not let them hurt for water. HELP!!!
Thank you for your time.

Answer: Sounds like the placement of your hanging baskets is just about right for petunias in your climate. Petunias are annual plants and bloom all summer long, but will die at season's end. They'll need to be replaced each and every spring. If leaves are brown, they might still be getting too much sunshine during the hottest part of the day, or they may be windburned. Hanging baskets usually require lots more water than other types of containers, so watering thoroughly every day may not be too much for your petunias. Try watering thoroughly every morning during the summer months and see if that doesn't improve the appearance of your petunias. Apply water slowly so that it has a chance to trickle down and wet the entire rootmass before it drips out of the drainage holes in the bottom of the basket. If you pinch back the spent flowers (and some of the stem), your petunias will produce new flowering stems which will help renew the plant and keep those blossoms coming on strong. Best wishes with your hanging baskets!

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