We usually think of Petunia plants as annuals. Actually, most of them are tender perennials. Most of us, just happen to grow them as annuals, especially up north. Gardners and homeowners love growing petunias for their bright and cheerful blooms. And, the flowers keep coming and coming. They are native to Argentina, Brazil, and other parts of South America. Attractive petunia flowers caught the eye of early explorers, who collected seeds to take back to Europe and North America.
Petunias grow 12-15 inches tall. The Petunia plant and stem are covered with soft hair. Bright and colorful funnel-shaped flowers begin to bloom as early as late spring. Flower blooms are produced in many single and multi-colors.
Petunias are popular, easy, and fun to grow. Fill an area or entire bed with Petunias. They also are great in windowsills, containers, or even hanging baskets.
Flowers Bloom: Summer to Frost
Flower Colors: includes a wide range of colors and bi-colors.
Plant height: 12 to 15 inches tall.
Plant Hardiness Zones: 3 – 11
Annuals and Perennials
Petunias are grown from seeds. Petunia seeds can be directly seeded into your flower garden or seeded indoors for transplanting later. For spring blooms, start your Petunias in pots and containers indoors six to eight weeks before the last frost. The seedlings will transplant well into their permanent home.
Sow Petunia seeds early in the season and cover lightly with 1/8″ of fine garden or potting soil. Water thoroughly once. They germinate slowly.
Note: We highly recommend a heated germination mat, to increase the speed of germination. And, it, results in a higher germination rate.
Transplant Petunias into your garden after the last frost date for your area.
If you are creating a flower bed, you may want to create a pattern or color scheme before planting. Or, use mixed varieties.
Final Plant Spacing: Space the plants 10 – 12 inches apart. They will tolerate a little crowding.
Days to Germination: 10 – 21 days.
Petunias like full sun. They prefer rich, loose soil that drains well. But, they tolerate poorer soils. Add a general-purpose fertilizer when planting them, then once a month after that.
Once your Petunia plants are established, they should grow well with few problems. Keep the soil moist to slightly dry. Water them during dry periods, once or twice per week. Keep them well weeded, or apply a 2-3 inch layer of mulch for a tidy appearance.
Tip: Remove spent blooms to promote additional blooms and extend the blooming period all summer long, and right up to the first killing frost. This will also keep the appearance neat and beautiful.
Petunia plants are half-hardy annuals. They will often survive the first frost if it is light. They will not survive a hard frost or freeze. Perennial varieties of Petunias will emerge again in the spring, in southern areas of the country.
Ideal Soil pH: 6.0 – 7.5.
Plant Problems – Identify the causes and find the cures.
Petunias seldom have problems with insects and disease. However, if insect or disease problems occur, treat early with organic or chemical insect repellents and fungicide.