Petunias are a whole genus of flowering plants whose petals give them a trumpet shape, similar to what happens in Mexican petunias. They are widely distributed geographically and, in fact, can be found from Brazil and Argentina to the southern United States. It has many different species and all of them are highly valued aesthetically, especially when it comes to giving color to balconies or terraces because they are hanging plants, which also serve both indoors and outdoors. If you like them, take note of this petunia care guide that we offer you at EcologíaVerde and you will see how easy it is to have them at home.
Characteristics of petunias
The most common is petunia surfinia. These are perennial plants that do not exceed a height of 45 cm, that can adapt to different soils and climates depending on the specific species. Their trumpet shaped flowers They can measure up to 13 cm, with flowering that covers almost all of the warm months. These encompass different colors and shades, from white, pink and violet to a vivid red. They are also very aromatic flowers, which cover the plant to a great extent.
Petunia care – practical guide
take note of this guide on how to care for petunias to be able to enjoy its colorful flowers at home:
location and temperature
Petunias do not tolerate frost or low temperatures, so it is very common to consider them an annual plant, since it is very difficult to make it survive the cold months unless you live in a tropical or warm climate. In addition, rain and wind can damage its petals, which are very delicate, so it is necessary to find a location where they receive natural light, but where they are not completely exposed to the elements.
Watering the petunias
As far as irrigation is concerned, these plants require abundant water, although as always, this should not be confused with flooding the substrate. In addition, you have to be very careful when watering them so as not to wet their petals, since, as happens with rain, they can be damaged if water falls directly on them. In the warm months, they will need daily watering.
Soils and compost
Petunias appreciate being in well-drained, nutrient-rich soils that allow them to get all the water they need without suffering moisture problems. In addition, in the hot months they must be paid once every two weeks, and up to once a week in the hottest of summer. We recommend this other EcologíaVerde article on How to make homemade organic fertilizer for plants.
Cleaning and pruning
Since these plants are producing flowers for a long time, it is necessary to clean them of damaged or withered flowers, which take light from the plant. The same should be done with the leaves that are not in good shape and, in addition, it is recommended to do an annual pruning from the first flowering to enhance it and also control its growth.
How to reproduce petunias
The best way to reproduce petunias it is simply by planting their seeds, since they germinate easily and are not complicated to grow.
However, for that you have to retrieve the seeds from the plant itself. You can extract them from dried flowers. Many times, when the flower has dried and withered, a small green capsule is visible, which turns yellow as the days go by. This capsule contains the seeds, and you must carefully remove it in order to sow them.
Many recommend extracting the capsule while it is still green and letting it dry in the sun to dry. In this way, we ensure that we do not lose the seeds due to the natural detachment of the capsule. Also keep in mind that not every dried flower will host a seed capsule, so don’t worry if it takes you a while to find your first one.
How to plant petunias
For sow petunia seeds follow these simple directions:
- prepare a pot or seedbed with a suitable substrate for these plants. Mixtures of coconut fiber with earthworm humus are always a great option, as they provide a loose soil, with very good drainage and rich in nutrients.
- Spread the petunia seeds over the surface of the substrate, making sure they don’t fall too close together.
- With your finger press the seeds lightly to bury them a few millimeters in the ground.
- Contribute water spray with a sprinkler, to avoid that the moving water ends up gathering all the seeds in clusters.
- Cover the pot or seedbed with cling film, which will help keep moisture in.
- Leave it somewhere light but not in direct sunlight. Ideally, they should be at a temperature between 21 ºC and 29 ºC.
- If the substrate seems to dry out, remove the plastic and spray water again, although you may not need to do this until they start to germinate.
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