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Growing petunias step by step

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Petunia is one of the most popular garden flowers. Shrub or ampelous flowers adorn classic flower beds, stone compositions, flowerpots, drawers and pots, they decorate gazebos, window sills and balconies. A definite plus of petunias is the duration of its flowering, starting in May and ending in late fall.

How to grow a petunia, will be discussed in stages in this article.

Preparatory work

First of all, it is necessary to determine the variety of colors. As it is known, there are bush and ampella type petunias. The first grow in neat bushes, they are often planted in flower beds and rabatki. Ampelnye flowers are distinguished by long shoots, falling from hanging pot. Sometimes these varieties are used as creeping, then shoots with bright flowers become the basis of the flower arrangement.

There are many varieties of petunias, which are quite simple to grow - in May, you need to sow seeds in open ground and water regularly. These flowers do not require any difficult care; they are able to grow on their own.

But those who want to grow a real multi-colored miracle in their garden will have to go a long way, and it begins with the purchase and selection of petunia seeds.

When buying seeds, you need to remember that the packaging of 100 or 1000 pieces is a sign of poor quality seed. Good varieties differ packs of 5-10 seeds. Typically, the seed of such petunia is placed in colored granules.

Tip! It is better to give preference to granulated seeds of petunia, placed in a plastic flask. This ensures their integrity and increases the chances of germination of all seeds.

How to plant petunia seedlings

In order for the petunia to start blooming as early as possible, it is better to sow the seeds not in the open ground, but to pre-grow the seedlings in pots or boxes.

This should be done in early March, some varieties of ampelous flowers are sown in February, as they have a longer growing season. Boxes for seedlings should be shallow, with low sides, so that the plants have enough sunlight.

Petunia loves light and loose soils saturated with oxygen. You can buy soil for seedlings of flowers in a specialty store, but it is easy to prepare it at home. For this you will need:

  • two pieces of turf land;
  • as much hardwood soil;
  • one piece of peat;
  • one piece of river sand.

All components need to be mixed, and the soil for seedling petunias is ready.

There is another option: to combine in the tank for petunias three parts of garden soil, three parts of peat and some baking powder (wood ash, sawdust, sand, humus).

It is desirable to sift the soil for seedlings of flowers, since the seeds of this flower are very small, they may “hang” or not germinate through clods of earth. Pour the sifted earth into containers and pour it abundantly with distilled water with the addition of manganese. You can sow seeds the next day.

It is better to mix small seeds with dry river sand - it is easier to evenly distribute them in a container for seedlings. If the seeds are granulated, they are already clearly visible and very convenient to lay out.

Having distributed the seeds over the container, they are lightly powdered with dry, sifted soil, and then sprayed with a spray water with warm water. Now you need to cover the container with a plastic lid, film or glass and place it in a warm place, the temperature is about 23-25 ​​degrees.

Important! Be sure to daily wipe the condensate accumulated on the inside of the film or glass. If this is not done, the plants can become infected with a “black leg” and die.

Planting petunia seedlings over, now it remains only to wait!

Picking seedlings

When the first sprouts appear under the film (approximately five days after the seeds are sown), it is necessary to remove the shelter and transfer the seedlings to a cooler place. Now the optimum mode for flowers is 18 degrees at night and around 20-22 in the daytime.

Growing petunia at home requires additional growth of the seedlings, because in February-March there is still very little sunlight - plants can die from its lack. To do this, you can use any fluorescent lamps, just do not need to install light bulbs that heat up, excessive heat will destroy fragile flowers.

It is necessary to dive the seedlings of flowers when a pair of leaves is formed on each plant. Before transferring to individual containers, the seedlings must be watered abundantly with warm water and left to stand for several hours.

Petunia needs to be carried very carefully - miniature stalks and leaves are very fragile. Plants are taken as a petal, ensuring that a lump of earth is held between the roots, and transferred to an individual cup or pot.

After transplantation, the plants are sprayed with warm settled water from a spray bottle.

Flowers are planted, now you have to wait for the spring heat to move the petunia to a permanent place. In the meantime, plants need regular care and competent watering.

How to care for a petunia while she is at home

Petunia seedlings cannot grow by themselves - they need proper care. To grow healthy and strong flowers by May, you must follow a number of rules:

  1. Water the seedlings of flowers only from a spray bottle using room temperature separated water. This should be done with a spray gun, as the petunia’s roots are superficial at this stage and can be easily washed.
  2. For rapid growth and abundant flowering, seedlings of flowers begin to fertilize within two weeks after picking. To do this, you can use any mineral or organic fertilizer dissolved in water for irrigation. Often used as growth stimulants and special additives designed specifically for petunias. Do not fertilize flowers with mullein - it can be spores of mushrooms, which is very dangerous for petunias.
  3. To bush was beautiful and uniform, the seedlings of flowers need to pinch, forming the stems and side shoots. Only ampelous varieties do not need to be formed - their creeping stems will still strive to grow in length.
  4. Often the plants bloom before they can be transferred to open ground. There is nothing terrible in it; on the contrary, you can see the hue of the inflorescences with your own eyes, on the basis of which you can draw up a design for a flower bed or a flowerpot.
  5. Two weeks before the transfer of petunias to a permanent place, they begin to temper. The process resembles the hardening of seedlings of tomatoes or peppers - the boxes simply take out to the balconies or to the street, gradually increasing the time they spend in the fresh air.

When the bushes of seedlings become lush and strong enough, 15-20 buds or inflorescences will form on each of them, the leaves will be bright green, petunias can be taken out into the open ground.

How to put petunia on a permanent place

It is possible to plant flowers in open ground only when the threat of spring frost has passed. In most parts of Russia, it is customary to do this in mid-late May.

Important! Place for planting flowers should be well lit and protected from strong gusts of wind. Wetlands or lowland areas are contraindicated for petunias; well-ventilated, slightly elevated areas of the garden are suitable for these flowers.

Before planting petunia in the ground, it is necessary to thoroughly loosen the soil on the site and prepare the wells to transfer the seedlings of flowers. Bushes carefully transferred to a bed and sprinkled with earth to the first leaves. Now you need to water the plants with separated water, trying not to wet the leaves and buds.

It is recommended to plant flowers in cloudy, warm weather or in the evening. It is important that there is no scorching sunlight that can burn delicate leaves - the petunia will become sluggish and poorly take root.

The distance between the bushes should be enough for the normal development of flowers. For varieties with large flowers, 25-30 cm between the bushes is enough, and 15 cm is enough for petunias with small buds.

If flowers are supposed to be grown in flowerpots or boxes, you need to consider that one adult plant needs at least five liters of soil. So, in a ten-liter pot, for example, you can plant no more than two bushes. If it is supposed to grow petunia in boxes, then the calculation is as follows: in each meter there should be a maximum of three bushes.

How to care for petunia in flowerbeds and in flowerpots

The difference lies in the amount of soil in which flowers grow. If you need to water the flowers in large flowerbeds or in rabatki as necessary and depending on weather conditions, then in cramped pots and drawers the moisture will evaporate too quickly - you will often have to water the petunia.

Sometimes it is necessary to water the flowers at least twice a day. It is better to do this early in the morning and in the evening, when the sun no longer bakes.

Attention! If the scorching sun hits the leaves of plants through water droplets, the plant will get a severe burn and, with a high degree of probability, will simply disappear.

Petunia care is not only about watering, flowers need other “procedures”:

  1. It is necessary to continue to pinch the stems and shoots on the bush varieties throughout the entire flowering period. Only so the bushes will be neat and well-groomed.
  2. Fade flowers should be picked off weekly. Leave a few inflorescences, if you need to collect seeds for the next season.
  3. If you fertilize the flowers at least once every two weeks, the inflorescences will be larger and brighter, the petunias' flowering time will last.
  4. Petunia belongs to the plants of the nightshade family, which means that the same diseases that affect potatoes and tomatoes are dangerous for it. To protect the flowers from the "black leg" can be drugs "Oxadixyl", "Metalaxyl" or "Mancozeb". This disease appears due to excessive moisture. The same problem leads to the infection of petunias with late blight. For this ailment flowers should be treated with preparations containing copper. Otherwise, the roots of the plants will start to rot, and the bushes will disappear. Grayish small spots on the leaves and flowers can be gray rot - another fungal disease of ornamental plants. It must be fought with the help of such means as “Dispute”, “Maxim” or “Integral”.
  5. To prevent contamination of flowers, it is enough to maintain a normal level of moisture — the ground between the bushes should be neither excessively dry nor too wet.
  6. In the middle of summer, as a rule, petunia begins to degenerate - it becomes less inflorescences and leaves on the bushes. To update the plants, prune their stems. On the bush plants need to leave 10-15 cm, and ampel is shortened exactly by half.
Important! Collecting seeds from petunias on your own, you need to understand that almost all flowers today are hybrid - you can grow petunia from seeds, but its inflorescences can differ in size or shade from the “parents”.

To save the "breed" and extend the life of a valuable variety of petunias, you can try reproduction by grafting. Cuttings are cut from the bushes of the parent plants and placed in a cool place for the winter. In the spring, cuttings are placed in water until the roots appear, then grown as ordinary seedlings - in pots or boxes.

That's all the recommendations on how to properly grow a petunia in your garden.

Conclusion

Growing and caring for petunias can be both very simple and quite complex processes - much depends on the type of flowers, their type, and the requirements of the gardener himself.

For example, simple varieties with small inflorescences, intended for open ground, flower beds and rabatok, do not need complex care. If the land on the plot is quite fertile, and the summer is not arid, the flowers can simply be sown directly into the ground and forget about them. Petunia can easily grow independently, especially when the conditions for its growth are favorable.

But more decorative varieties, such as ampelous, large-flowered or giant petunias, reaching a height of 150 cm, look particularly impressive, but, accordingly, require much more attention from the gardener. They need to be grown in a seedling way, constantly fertilized, treated with stimulants and fungicidal preparations, regularly watered and pinch. But such efforts are fully justified - petunia of various varieties may well fill the entire flower garden or decorate a spacious terrace, loggia, and an arbor.

To help a novice gardener can video and photos about planting and caring for petunia. So, we grow a petunia without errors and enjoy the result!

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