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 spread 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 for exterior and interior. If you like them, take note of this practical guide to caring for petunias that we offer you and you will see how easy it is to have them at home.
Characteristics of petunias
The most common is the petunia surfinia . These are perennial plants that do not exceed a height of 45 cm, which can adapt to different soils and climates depending on the specific species. Its trumpet-shaped flowers can measure up to 13 cm, with a flowering that reaches almost all of the warm months. These cover different colors and tones , from white, pink and purple to a bright red. They are also very aromatic flowers that cover the plant to a great extent.
Petunia care – a practical guide
Take note of this guide on how to care for petunias so that you can enjoy their colorful flowers at home:
Location and temperature
Petunias do not withstand 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, the rain and the wind can damage their 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 with rain, they can be damaged if water falls directly on them. In the warm months, they will need daily waterings.
Soils and compost
Petunias appreciate being in soils with good drainage and rich in nutrients, which allow them to enjoy all the water they need without suffering from humidity problems. In addition, in the warm months they must be paid once every two weeks, and even once a week in the hottest of summer.
Cleaning and pruning
Since these plants are producing flowers for a large amount of time, it is necessary to clean them of spoiled or wilted flowers, which deprive the plant of light. The same should be done with the leaves that are not well 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 breed petunias
The best way to reproduce petunias is simply by planting their seeds, since they germinate easily and are not complicated to grow.
However, for that you have to recover the seeds of the plant itself . You can extract them from the dried flowers . Many times, when the flower has dried and withered, a small green capsule is visible, which turns yellow with the passage of days. This capsule contains the seeds, and you must remove it carefully in order to sow them.
Many recommend removing the capsule while it is still green and allowing it to dry in the sun to. in this way, we ensure that we do not lose the seeds by natural detachment of the capsule. Also keep in mind that not all dried flowers will host a seed capsule, so don’t worry if it takes time to find the first one.
How to grow petunias
To sow petunia seeds follow these simple guidelines:
- Prepare a pot or seedbed with a suitable substrate for these plants. Coconut fiber mixes with worm castings are always a great option, as they provide a loose, well-draining, nutrient-rich soil .
- Spread the petunia seeds over the surface of the substrate, making sure they don’t fall excessively together.
- With your finger, press the seeds lightly to bury them a few millimeters into the ground.
- Provide water sprayed with a sprayer, to prevent the displacing water from ending up gathering all the seeds in clusters.
- Cover the pot or seedbed with cling film, which will help keep moisture in.
- Leave it somewhere bright but not in direct sunlight. Ideally, they should be at a temperature between 21ºC and 29ºC.
- If the substrate seems to be drying out, remove the plastic and spray the water again, although you may not need to do this until they begin to germinate.