Ask a Question forum→New at gardening- not sure how to take care of these

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Maple Grove, MN
gardennewbie96
May 12, 2020 5:58 PM CST
Hello, I am completely new at gardening. I just got this potted plant for Mother's Day (see image- I think they are petunias?) but I'm not sure if I'm taking care of these properly. I have watered them twice already but I'm also not sure how to properly water them as I cannot really sufficiently access the soil. I don't want to overwater them. Another silly question- it is supposed to rain here the next few days. Should I take the plant back in the garage or will it be able to withstand the rain? Any tips or help you give will be appreciated. Again, please go easy on me, I am completely new at this. Thanks in advance!
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Name: sumire
Reno, Nevada (Zone 6a)
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sumire
May 12, 2020 7:14 PM CST
Welcome!

How pretty! Yes, the purple flowers on top are petunias. I forget the names of the other two but they require the same care.

Petunias are sun plants, but in a pot like that are probably better off in part shade so they don't over heat. Does your pot have drainage holes? If so, watering thoroughly until the water comes out the bottom is the appropriate amount of water. (Without drainage holes, the plants would quickly drown.)

Typically, you would water when the soil begins to dry. But since you have trouble getting to the soil you can also water when the plants just barely start to droop. (Not lots of droop, too dry and you'll loose the flowers.) Fortunately, if the pot has drainage it is hard to over-water a petunia. Dependent on your weather and the pot, you may be watering anywhere from once a week to once a day.

They will be fine in the rain unless the expected rain is so heavy that it will flatten the plants . If you have frost expected, or hail, then they are better moved into the garage.

These are annuals, so should bloom all summer and then die when it gets cold in the fall. Cut off the dead flowers as they go crispy to encourage it to keep flowering.
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Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
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Calif_Sue
May 12, 2020 7:52 PM CST

Plants Admin

You have petunias, probably this one Petunia Constellation™ Aries
(petunias are not annuals, they are perennials grown as annuals in colder zones) the white is a lobelia and the red is lantana verbena.
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Name: Lynda Horn
Arkansas (Zone 7b)
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gardenfish
May 13, 2020 12:25 AM CST
The red flower is not a lantana, it is a verbena. The tall one in the center is a dracaena spike. Sometimes combos are put together using plants that have widely different water and sun needs. This one has plants that should grow together well. When these pots are put together they are usually crammed into the pot to make them look very full, so there is little dirt around each plant. They can dry out very fast in the summer, which is why careful monitoring will be needed. In MN where the summer temps are lower than, say here in my area, watering might need to be done every other day or every two days or so. I would have to water this twice a day. This will need fertilizer too. I would use a good quality liquid one, Miracle grow makes one, at half strength once a week. In order to keep it blooming.
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Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
Plant Database Moderator Region: California Cottage Gardener Garden Photography Roses Clematis
Houseplants Foliage Fan Keeper of Poultry Dog Lover Birds Hummingbirder
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Calif_Sue
May 13, 2020 9:05 AM CST

Plants Admin

LOL, I am forever getting those two names mixed up, thanks Lynda!
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Name: Lynda Horn
Arkansas (Zone 7b)
Eat more tomatoes!
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Container Gardener Lilies Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Zinnias
Organic Gardener Heirlooms Bee Lover Hummingbirder Echinacea Tomato Heads
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gardenfish
May 13, 2020 9:22 AM CST
Perfectly ok! They do look very similar. I grow both of them every summer. Easy, lots of blooms, and the butterflies love them. BTW, l once your flower pics! Lovey dubby
Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.
Mother Teresa
Maple Grove, MN
gardennewbie96
May 13, 2020 12:15 PM CST
Thank you so much everyone! I appreciate all the helpful information!

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