Ask a Question forum: Help! My petunias!

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kathrynharri
Apr 6, 2017 8:43 AM CST
My petunias are wilting very quickly after I plant them!
Last week my girlfriends came round for tea and cake and Marjorie kept commenting on how saggy and disappointing they are. It was so embarrassing!! My husband told me to calm down but I simply cannot and will not. Any advice would be much appreciated! Please help me and my petunias, we've hit rock bottom (and resorted back to hourly gins!)
Name: Elena
NYC (Zone 7a)
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bxncbx
Apr 6, 2017 8:56 AM CST
Sounds like your petunias are experiencing transplant shock. When you plant them you are disturbing their roots (breaking them). It's a good thing to do since it encourages the plant to make new roots. But before this happens your plants will have a harder time drawing up nutrients and water from the soil. The plants should perk up once the new roots form but it will take some time.

To avoid transplant shock when I plant I always immediately fertilize them with a liquid fertilizer like kelp or seaweed. I'd be careful with chemical fertilizers because they may burn the roots. I also try and plant in the afternoon so they have a chance to recover a bit without having to deal with sunlight. If I do this my plants are nice and perky the next morning and never seem to experience transplant shock.

Hope this helps and welcome to NGA! Welcome!
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Apr 6, 2017 8:58 AM CST
Did you water them well before you planted them? If they were too dry in the packs they will have a hard time getting enough water from the soil. If they have not been planted more than a day or two you could lift one and see if its rootball looks dry. If that doesn't appear to be the problem, can you post a picture for us?
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
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dyzzypyxxy
Apr 6, 2017 10:31 AM CST
Hi and Welcome! It would help us to know where in the world your garden is, please? There's a space to fill in your location in your profile.

I always shade new transplants from the direct sun for a week or so, if it's dry and sunny right after I plant them. You can use leafy branches off some shrub, (I use palm leaves here in FL) or suspend a piece of shade cloth, or even just an old sheet.

Water them very deeply in the morning before the sun hits, too. That way they'll be able to take up water before the warm part of the day. It's always best to water early in the morning, in fact, for all plants.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Reine
Porter, Texas (Zone 9a)
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Reine
Apr 6, 2017 2:50 PM CST
@bxncbx @sooby @dyzzypyxxy

Thank you all for the good advice Smiling

I just bought petunias this morning to fill up space in a few pots of Amorphophallus paeoniifolius tubers, thought the color would be nice.

I knew to protect from sun for a bit, but didn't know about planting in afternoon, watering before planting or to use liquid seaweed. I was going to use a chemical transplanting solution.

This info will help the transplanting be more successful.

One question, should the open flowers be removed before transplanting?

Reine

Welcome! Welcome! Welcome! kathrynharri
Name: Elena
NYC (Zone 7a)
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bxncbx
Apr 6, 2017 2:55 PM CST
Reine,
I've never removed any flowers when transplanting. But I'm also not one for deadheading my flowers, I just wait for them to fall off naturally. I have no idea if it would help or hurt during the transplanting process. But I can say that I haven't had flowers immediately die off after transplanting the way I do it.
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Apr 6, 2017 3:10 PM CST
And just to throw in my 2 cents worth, I always try to transplant in the evening. I have much better luck that way. I did an experiment once, too. Same type of plant, grown in the exact same conditions. One batch was set out in the morning, and shaded from the sun. Second batch was set out that evening and no sun shade was provided. The morning plants drooped and took forever to recover. The evening plants showed no signs of distress and vastly outstripped the others. Some plants are more sensitive than others, but giving them overnight to adapt just seems like a good idea all around.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Meri Taylor
SD (Zone 4b)
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mnmat
Apr 6, 2017 5:58 PM CST
Woofie, I like that idea. It makes sense. Unfortunately, by the time evening rolls along I'm too pooped to pop. Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
Meri

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