Questions On Petunia - Knowledgebase Question

Wyomissing, PA
Question by ctien
May 20, 2001
I would like to ask :

a. Is Petunia annuals or perennials. It blooms for the first year and will it continue to bloom the following year?

b. How do I prune cascading petunias. I am growing cascading petunias from seeds. However, I only see leaves from from the centre. There isn't any branches at all. How do I prune to make it more bushy? I discovered that the cascading petunia cannot be planted too deep in the soil. But if I don't plant it too deep, the plant doesn't look steady... as if it only depends on the roots to stand. Can I bury some of the stem in the soil?

c. I have started seeds on different colour of cascading petunias. But only the blue ones are growing fast and big. The red, pink and white ones are growing pretty slowly. When will it mature and when can I put them outdoor?

c. The weather here is about 93deg. F. Is this too hot for petunias? I have put my matured petunias outside the window sill. But during the hot sun, I can see that the leaves are softened. But in the night, it became strong again. My baby petunia is already 4 inches tall, when can I put them outdoor. I am afraid that the hot sun will damage the young plant.



Answer from NGA
May 20, 2001


Petunias are grown as annuals in cold winter areas because they do not withstand cold temperatures. In a warmer climate they will live longer.

Petunias can be pinched back (remove just the growing tip) when they reach a few inches tall. This will force branching. Theymay be pinched again when they have grown a few more inches, but further pinching will delay flowering. Note that some varieties are naturally more branching and bushier than others.

Healthy, stocky transplants will have roots filling the pack or pot and will be able to support themselves when planted. They should be planted at the same depth or barely deeper than they grew in the original pot. Planting them extra deep is not helpful as it may in itself cause problems.

If your plants are extremely weak and leggy, they may have been overfertilized with nitrogen or they may be in need of additional light. Most gardeners find it necessary to use supplemental lights such as shop lights turned on for about 16 hours a day in order to produce good quality transplants at home.

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