Petunia care – the right tips for a rich bloom well into autumn

Petunia care the right tips for a rich bloom - Petunia care - the right tips for a rich bloom well into autumn

Its bright and multi-faceted blaze of color makes the trailing petunia a popular plant. Due to their tendrils, these nightshade plants are often found on balconies and terraces, in flower beds and on walls. The flowering period of these beauties extends from May to October. In order to optimally support their growth, however, certain requirements regarding petunia care and location must be met. Because petunias are not easy to care for. Plants should not be left to their own devices, especially on hot summer days. However, the high maintenance effort is quickly forgotten as soon as the hanging petunias show their unmistakable blooms in warm spring.

The right petunia care leads to more gorgeous flowers on the terrace and balcony

Petunia care the right tips for a rich bloom - Petunia care - the right tips for a rich bloom well into autumn

The right petunia location and soil

Petunias are closely related to tobacco plants and, like them, need plenty of sunlight to develop to their full beauty. A sunny location optimally meets their requirements. Dark places should be avoided and light penumbra is tolerated by the plants.

Sufficient warmth and good protection from rain and wind are factors that can positively influence the growth of these beautiful ornamental plants. If you don’t have a balcony, you can cultivate the hanging plants on wall spurs or in hanging pots. Most trailing petunias only make low demands on the substrate.

Combine different petunia varieties

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The soil should be permeable and nutritious. Well over half of these exotic ornamental plants are cultivated in containers. Conventional potting soil has proven itself. Older substrate should be mixed with humus annually. Small amounts of sand ensure that the ground cannot compact and the supply of water and air is guaranteed.

Tiny pebbles could also be mixed into the soil

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What watering for petunias?

In principle, petunias cannot cope with a dry substrate. Even short-term drought can cause considerable damage to the plants that follow. The danger increases with potted plants in summer. The soil in the pots can only absorb a little moisture, which evaporates quickly in the heat. For this reason, a regular check of the floor is recommended. The finger test has proven itself for this: If the top layer of the substrate feels noticeably dry, you have to water the plants. You can check this perfectly with your index finger. If you let the soil dry out completely before watering it again, it will not be able to retain enough valuable water. More than 2/3 of the water flows away unused. It is best to water in the morning and late afternoon, never in the midday sun. It is better to use lime-free water and avoid waterlogging.

Extra tip: A layer of porous material drains excess water from the plant roots faster and prevents root rot. For this purpose, a 3 to 5 cm thick layer of porous, non-rotting materials is spread out on the bottom of the vessel. Lava chippings, broken potsherds or coarse pebbles have proven to be good for this. A layer of substrate should separate roots and drainage.

Make sure your blooming beauties get the portion of precious water they need

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Fertilize petunias

The pretty plants transform every traffic light and balcony box into a lush sea of ​​flowers. In order for the plants to achieve this goal, a regular supply of nutrients makes sense. Special fertilizer for petunias has the necessary minerals that support the growth of the blooming beauty and the formation of flowers. To avoid over-fertilization, the products may only be used according to the instructions on the packaging. Excessive doses of nutrients can damage roots and cause overgrowth of shoots. Liquid fertilizer should only be administered with the irrigation water. If the hanging petunia has overwintered, the last fertilizer will be delivered at the beginning of August. By the way, some natural fertilizers such as coffee grounds are perfect for petunias.

Take good care of your flowering plants!

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Sow and prefer petunias

With the right care and approach, hanging petunias are perennial. If you want to reduce your maintenance effort, you can renew the plants from your own seeds every year. To get seeds, you must not remove the faded inflorescences. Once the seed pods are ripe, remove them with sharp scissors and store in a dry, dark place.

January is the right time to start growing petunias. This requires a shallow rearing vessel and lean soil. Scatter the fine seeds and only cover them with a very thin layer of substrate. The soil must not dry out. Spray it regularly with low-lime water. A bright, warm windowsill is the ideal location. Avoid full sun exposure and active heat sources. High humidity ensures fast and reliable germination.

After two pairs of leaves have formed, the young petunias are pricked out and placed in separate planters. In order not to damage the fine roots, you should remove the seedlings from the old substrate with a spoon. The nightshades can stay on the windowsill until they move into the garden.

After the ice saints in May, feel free to bring the petunias outside

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plants and repotting

Hanging petunias are in no hurry to move outside. Only after the ice saints should you move the cold-sensitive plants to their final location. Many of the young plants are not used to direct sunlight. If this is not taken into account, discoloration and burns will occur on the leaves.

Because of their long shoots, trailing petunias need an elevated location. These requirements are best met through the use of hanging pots or balcony boxes. As already mentioned, drainage at the bottom of the vessel must not be missing. It is also advisable to have a coaster for the pots.

Perennials should be given a new container immediately after leaving their winter quarters. The roots are freed from the old substrate and placed in lukewarm water for about 15 minutes. In this way, the petunias, weakened by the winter, can absorb the valuable liquid sufficiently and have ideal conditions for transplanting outdoors. When different colored trailing petunias share a plant pot, they make a great impression. A minimum distance of about 30 cm should be maintained between the plants.

Large wine or beer barrels are also suitable for planting petunias

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Wintering in petunias care

Hanging petunias prefer to spend the cold season in a warm, bright place. Even before the first cold weather, the plants have to move to the protected area. Before transplanting, it is worth checking the plants for pests and diseases. Remove diseased plants immediately to protect remaining specimens.

The following care measures have proven their worth during the winter break:

  • Avoid direct proximity to active heat sources;
  • Do not allow drafts;
  • Water petunias in the winter months;
  • Do not fertilize the plants.

Provide suitable winter quarters for your petunias

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Common petunia pests and diseases

Unfortunately, powdery mildew and aphids can affect the flowering splendor of your petunias. There are a few countermeasures you could take.

For aphids

These pesky insects are not particularly picky about their host plants. Even dry or wet and cold weather does not keep the pests, which are only a few millimeters in size, away. They make themselves comfortable on the underside of leaves, which makes finding them a lot more difficult.

Rather, one finds the sticky remains of the aphids, the so-called “honeydew”. Many ants in the immediate vicinity of the plants can also be an indication of aphid infestation. Treating petunias with proven home remedies is difficult. For example, showering with a sharp stream of water not only sweeps away the pests, but also attacks the plant leaves.

Because of this:

  • Pour and regularly spray diluted nettle decoction on the leaves;
  • Gently wipe the shoots with mild soaps;
  • Use natural enemies like ladybugs and lacewing larvae;
  • if the infestation is severe, use conventional insecticides.

Fight aphids with alternative methods if possible

Petunia care the right tips for a rich bloom - Petunia care - the right tips for a rich bloom well into autumn

With powdery mildew

This is a fungal pathogen that appears as a white coating on the leaf surface. Later the foliage changes color and dries up. Powdery mildew is a “fair-weather fungus” that attacks plants that are particularly weak during long periods of drought. Therefore, water your petunias regularly and sprinkle them with a mixture of milk and water. Dispose of infested plant parts with household waste.

With proper, loving petunia care, your beauties will bloom with full force

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Follow our handy tips and ensure the best conditions for these beautiful flowers, which will delight you with magnificent blooms well into autumn!

There are many different petunia varieties to choose from

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The pink flowers are a real classic

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Spotted petunias, on the other hand, are an absolute eye-catcher

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