Without blooming petunias, it is currently difficult to imagine a flower bed or a backyard. In recent years, a real petunia boom has begun - it is grown by everyone, even those who previously treated them with suspicion. After all, modern varieties, besides luring beauty, also possess unpretentiousness in cultivation. And growing up seedlings of petunias on their own is no longer a kind of super task, which even earlier it was scary to dream. And it’s good if everything started right from the very first time. And the seeds quickly and easily sprouted, and the shoots are strong and healthy, and the leaves open one by one.
But if the shoots are barely visible, and they are already sitting in the ground for several weeks, they stretch out and there is little or no progress. Then the thought gradually comes to mind, and how to feed the petunia so that it finally begins to grow and develop. Here it turns out that not everything is as simple as we would like. Before grasping the first fertilizers that came to hand, and flooding the unfortunate plants with them, you first need to find out what happens to the petunias.
The basic requirements of petunia at the time of emergence
Perhaps, in the first place among all the requirements for the care of petunia is light. Illumination should be as high as possible around the clock, since the first shoots of petunia appeared. It is because of this that sprouts are not stretched out and grow sturdy and squat. Two weeks after the emergence of shoots, the light for the night can already be turned off, but the 14-hour daylight hours of the seedling of petunia is needed for one or two more months until it blooms.
The second, important factor that must be considered in order for the seedlings, on the one hand, not to stretch out, but on the other hand, to develop quickly and well - this is the temperature that should be lowered a little after the emergence of shoots, but to certain limits.Attention! The ideal temperature range for petunias is from + 18 ° C to + 22 ° C.
In third place there is sufficient moisture both in the soil and in the air, which is easily achieved not by irrigation (it is so easy to get a surprise in the form of a “black leg”), but by creating in the first stage of growth conditions of a mini-greenhouse when the seedlings grow and develop under the transparent lid or plastic bag. At the same time regular daily airing of this mini-hothouse is necessary.
At the first stage of development, before the appearance of true leaves, and it takes about two weeks, the seedlings of petunia need nothing more. Failure to comply with any of the above requirements for care leads to the fact that the plants of petunia or freeze in growth, or stretched out in strings from a lack of light, try to fall in different directions.Tip! If it is impossible to perfectly comply with the above conditions, then once a week you can spray the seedlings with a solution of epin, zircon, HB-101 or another immunostimulant, which you will find on sale.
This procedure may look like petunia seedling dressing and will help the plants to overcome involuntary stress caused by imperfect growth conditions.
It should also be borne in mind that it is precisely for petunias that the very, very slow growth of the aerial part in the first month of life is characteristic, as for many plants with small seeds. It seems that they do not grow at all, but they simply build up the root system, which is not visible to the eye.
Why can not grow seedlings of petunias
Before answering the question of how to feed the seedlings of petunias, you need to understand for what other reasons it can slow down in growth.
Often when using unsuitable soil various problems arise with the cultivation of petunias.
- For example, in acidic soil (pH from 3-5.5) or alkaline (pH from 7.5 and above) petunia roots will not be able to grow and the plants will soon die. For successful cultivation of seedlings of petunia, a neutral or slightly acidic reaction of the land mixture is necessary (pH from 5.5 to 7.5).
- In addition, for petunia, especially in the initial stages of growth, loose, breathable, lightweight soil is vital. On sale, unfortunately, often there are soils of very low quality, with a large amount of vegetable garbage, heavy, badly leaking water. For petunia at the seedling stage, they are completely unsuitable, the roots in them will not be able to develop, and the seedlings will stop growing. When preparing the earth mixture, it is better to take half of the standard purchased soil from the store as a guarantee, add part of vermiculite for loosening, a bit of fine coconut fiber and biohumus. If the ground shrinks, kameneet, and when watering water stagnates on the surface, the seedlings of petunias urgently need to be transplanted into another soil.
- Another nuisance associated with the unsatisfactory quality of the soil is its possible contamination with various pathogens, which can also cause a delay in the development of seedlings. To eliminate this point, it is necessary to sprinkle the soil and the seedlings twice with a solution of phytosporin or glyocladin with an interval of 5-7 days between treatments.
The answer to the question of how to feed the seedlings of petunias before the picking can be very simple - nothing. The best option would be to simply transplant it into a fresh, more nutritious mixture, and even better for individual cups or pots and expect its further development. When the roots have nowhere else to grow, this is the simplest reason for the delay in growth and fertilizer for petunia, of course, can help, but not for long. In a separate tank, in fresh ground, the seedlings should quickly start growing.
Miracle - Elixir
If you have monitored the observance of all the above conditions and have done all possible operations, and the condition of the seedlings of petunia still causes you to have anxiety, you can try to feed it with ordinary “human” vitamins of group B.
Strangely enough, but they often act better than many specialized herbal preparations.Tip! You can use vitamins B1, B6 and B12 separately, and you can prepare a complex solution for maximum effectiveness.
To do this, in one liter of warm water dissolve one ampoule of each of these vitamins. If the shoots are not even two or three weeks old and they are absolutely tiny, it is best to apply a few drops to each seedling using a syringe or pipette. Older seedlings are better to carefully spray the resulting solution from the spray.
Try using these treatments once a week and soon you will definitely see results that can not fail to please you.
The main period for planting seedlings
Petunia is really a very insatiable plant, and for good growth and flowering it must be fertilized.Comment! That's just starting to do it better a week or two after the picks, when the roots have already mastered the new space and will begin to work actively.
Choosing from a variety of fertilizers presented today, the better to feed petunia seedlings for good growth, it is necessary, first of all, to dwell on the so-called liquid complex organo-mineral fertilizers. In stores, especially specialized ones, there is a very large selection of such fertilizers, the most popular of which are: Uniflor Growth, Agricola, Ideal, Effecton, Gumi Kuznetsova. They are very convenient for use at home, because a certain amount of them, according to the instructions, simply dissolve in water and the seedlings of the petunia are watered with this solution.
You can also use water-soluble powder fertilizers, the choice of which is very large at present, but among professionals the most popular brands are Kemira, Kristalon, Plantafol. Among the products of these companies, you can pick up fertilizers with a very different percentage of the main macro and microelements.
For the very first petunia feeding, it is necessary to choose fertilizers in which nitrogen would dominate in content, although phosphorus, which is responsible for the formation of a dense root system, at this stage will not be superfluous either. The third major macroelement, potassium, is not yet highly demanded, since its area of responsibility is the formation of buds, flowers and ovaries, and it will be needed in large quantities a little later. At the initial stage, it may be part of a bit. So, the approximate ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in the fertilizer should be 50% -40% -10%. The presence in the fertilizer for petunia of such meso elements of nutrition as calcium and iron is highly desirable. And, of course, certain trace elements should also be.Important! Trace elements in fertilizer should be only in chelated form. Chelates are well absorbed by different parts of plants, in contrast to trace elements in inorganic salts.
What is the main feature of petunia feeding? The fact that she really needs a lot of "food" for good growth and abundant flowering. But at the same time, she will enjoy much more often, but little by little, than rarely, and much. This means that it is necessary to make the concentration of the nutrient solution 3-4 times less than indicated in the instructions from the fertilizer manufacturer, but then pour the solution of petunia almost every other day, that is, instead of water. It is this mode of petunia feeding that will be rated best.
From about two months of seedling of petunia, when it is significantly stronger and has enough leaves, you can switch to the use of fertilizer with the composition of NPK in the form of 30% -40% -30%.
Tip! It is very important to carry out foliar feeding of seedlings of petunia about once a week.
That is, you dilute the fertilizer in a lower concentration than for irrigation, and with this solution carefully spray all the above-ground part of the seedlings. In this case, the effect of fertilizers occurs almost instantly, and this method of feeding is especially good if you have ceased to like something in the growth or development of seedlings.
At the last stage of growing seedlings - in May - both root and extra-root fertilizing will be very good with organic fertilizers: potassium humate, biohumus. They can be alternated with mineral dressings.
All described methods of feeding the seedlings of petunia will allow you to grow plants that will delight you with their beauty and abundant flowering until autumn. It is only necessary not to forget about dressing and adult petunia bushes throughout the summer.