petunias from seed OUTDOORS???

kwyet1(z6 CT)February 21, 2009

...can anyone tell me what the minimum temp has to be for me to start the 'wave' petunias from seed outdoors?? I live in zone 6 and they do self-sow every year on my deck(though my local nursery tells me that's impossible). I have started some inside....but would like to 'sprinkle' some seed around my gardens...just have no idea how soon I could do that. Maybe someone in zone 7 (one up from me) may know???

Thanks so much,


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

In the spring, the air temperatures may be warm for a few days, but this won't have much effect on the soil temps. Only when the days and nights both stay warm for an extended period of time will the soil temperature start to rise.

Soil temperature is critical for good germination of Petunias. It has to be between 20C - 27C (70F - 80F) from everything I've read. I believe seed can be spread around outdoors up until mid June - and not covered over since they need light to germinate.

Hopefully, someone has real knowledge of direct seed sowing outdoors...(I'm one who makes a bee-line to a favorite Mom & Pop greenhouse that spcializes in annuals. Starting from seed outdoors here is iffy at best since the soil is just reaching @50 degrees by Memorial Day and our growing season is shorter than in many areas.)

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 7:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Winter Sown petunias can successfully be done (via winter sowing in containers outside) in your zone in February & March and have germination by April. If you're interested in getting started, come on over to the winter sowing forum and join the fun...why wait?!

Here is a link that might be useful: Winter Sowing Forum

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 8:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


I think Wave petunia seed are kind of expensive to be "sprinkling" them around outside. And, as tiny as they are, I would think that the probability of any one seed managing to sprout and survive would be rather small.


    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 12:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


To give you an idea how expensive Wave Petunia seeds are, Burpee sells a packet of 15 tiny seeds for $5.25 and Parks sells a packet of 10 pelleted seeds for $3.95. Burpee says explicitly to plant them indoors. In my opinion, planting Wave petunia seeds outdoors would be pretty much like throwing money away.


    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 10:03AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi Linda-
I found Tidal Wave Petunias at Lowe's by Ferry Morse for 15 pelleted seeds for $2.47. After the initial 'investment,' I plan to have unlimited supply since the Waves are successfully started from seed.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 11:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

Petunias self seed here on my deck in pots. The plants cascade out of my deck boxes and turn up in pots all over the place. I say this, because the note above on soil temp makes perfect sense. Potted soil would obviously warm up more quickly. Typically, I begin to see petunia seedlings (integrifolia) sometime in March. I believe you would be best served to winter sow, as noted above, especially since seed are so pricey. You would get a much higher rate of germination. By the way, I have never had a single seedling come up in my beds, which doesn't mean it isn't possible, but still...

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 5:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Mmqchdygg, yes, Wave petunias ARE grown from seed, but because they are F1 Hybrids, the seeds that they produce are NOT "Waves". Some seedlings will be similar, some will be upright, some will be prostrate, some will be flat out unattractive (I have seen Wave parents - they aren't pretty). I'm sure that someone will post saying that they save the seeds all the time, and that the resulting progeny are exactly like the originals. I'm saying it is genetically impossible for them to be exactly like the parents. By all, means, save your Wave seeds and plant away - I'm sure you will be very happy with how some of them look, and it will certainly save you money, but don't think that you will have an unlimited supply of Wave petunia seed. To the original poster, Wave petunias germinate best with a soil temp between 72 and 76 degrees. Under ideal greenhouse conditions, Waves take around 12 weeks from seed to flowering size (say, a 4" pot). So, you can certainly direct sow some seeds once the soil has warmed up, but you won't have nice, lush, flowering plants for 3 months.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 12:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

goblugal- Thanks for your notes...found this interesting tidbit over at the Wave site itself. Notice how they say the seed won't produce the same plant BUT that saving & planting them infringes on intellectual property...
Well, if it doesn't produce the same PLANT, then how on EARTH is Joe Gardener infringing on their intellectual property since they aren't the same plants??!! (Besides, I don't see Joe Gardener getting pursued by the Wave Police about using his own collected seed in his own garden...he's not selling them!)

Since Wave Petunias are "hybrids" Â crossing two "parent" plants to get a specific "offspring" Â the plants you purchase from the garden center each year are really one-of-a-kinds. Any seed that is taken from Wave Petunias will not grow into the same Wave plant and very likely will not perform in the same way.

And since each Wave series is legally protected and trademarked, collecting and re-planting Wave seeds infringes on our intellectual property. It is best to start fresh each Spring with new, young plants for the best performing petunias!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 1:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kwyet1(z6 CT)

...some of the seed I have is saved seed from last year (instead of just spilling all over my deck)so price isn't an issue. They look close enough to me like the originals (I can't tell the difference) I said...they DO re-seed for end of Apr. they will be 'popping' up in all my flower boxes on the deck (and spillage under the deck)from last year.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 2:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
token28001(zone7b NC)


They just throw that little tidbit about property rights in there as a last recourse hoping people won't be tempted to try anyway. I've saved seeds from every petunia I grew last year including waves. I've done this before and gotten some decent plants. Sure, they don't look the same, but blooms are blooms.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 8:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

When the plant is patented the name is patented with it. If you collect seed and represent it as growing "Wave" petunias, that is not true. Growing an inferior plant and claiming it is the "Wave" petunia is clearly illegal and even if you are not sued, you should be. Al

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 10:12AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Then they themselves shouldn't even be representing/selling their seed-which-will-grow-inferior-plants as 'Wave' seed.

It's all a crock. I'll invite them and their lawyer-friends over for tea while they oogle over my "Waves-that-aren't-really-waves"-that-I-grew-from-their-"Wave-but-not-really-wave-seed"-and-grew-their-"waves-but-not-really-waves"-plants, and remind them to bring their handcuffs for my ride back.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 10:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kwyet1(z6 CT)

Ok...I'm sorry I ever used the name of the petunia that I bought many years ago...In any case...they keep popping up in my flowerboxes every year. I can't remember the last time I bought a petunia...and though they might now look exactly like the parent plant...they work fine for my purposes.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 10:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm tellin.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 11:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi Linda-
What is in that 'generic petunia' & other plant grouping in your first picture? I see a 'generic spreading purple petunia' and not sure if the yellow one is a spreader or not...and what is that other red/white flower? Such a pretty combination!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 11:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kwyet1(z6 CT)

...glad you like the combination...the colors are much brighter in person, of course. Along with the 'generic spreading purple' petunia & the 'generic spreading yellow' (don't know this one's name anyway...good thing..phew!) petunia...that is a Vinca growing in the background. I believe it was a hot pink with a white eye. (I like bright colors...they make me happy) :)

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 1:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'll have to go hunt for that spreading yellow one. I didn't know there was a yellow spreader out there.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 1:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

For the last three (this will be my third) years I have been growing petunias from seeds. But I am doing them winter sown way. Just punch some holes on the bottom of milk jug either the gallon or half gallon. And then slice the jug in half and I use some floral wire that I have precut and punch some holes in the corners of the jug using a small hole punch and add some soil and then toss on the seeds. Connect the top part and the bottom part of the jug you can throw away the lid of the milk jug that screws back on this is not needed. And then put outside and let mother nature do her thing. And when the weather starts warmer up the seeds start popping up and then just plant the little seedlings where you want them. Right now I have at least 15 or so most likely more than that of the different colors/types of petunias. I am wondering howmorn mix will do and turn out.

And I am saving my seeds and growing them. Who knows they may have a better color to suit my garden than the plant it was collected. And if nothing grows I am out nothing but time. And if it reverts back it maybe just what I was looking for. I have yet to meet a flower that I did not like with the exceptions to poppies (sorry to all of the poppie lovers).


    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 7:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


I just purchased 5 packages of petunias to brighten up my evergreen landscape (not much color other than shades of green) I hope to get a lush hanging basket? Is it possible in the middle of summer when air temperatures are in the high 80s to mid 90's. Should I take it indoors where I get a lot of sunlight and the air conditioner keeps the house at 75 degrees? By the way the Petunias are Liberty Garden-Choice Mix (The Page Seed Garden) I planted all seeds in a starter mix...Is there hope?

Any advice is welcome. If it's unlikely I would get a lush basket, please let me know as I will purchase a hanging basket. It was fun planting regardless.

Thank you.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 10:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mytime(3/4 Alaska)

Most petunias (perhaps all?) take more than 10 weeks from planting time to bloom. So will there be time to enjoy your petunias once they begin blooming in 10 to 12 weeks, before they are killed by frost?

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 12:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
vignewood(z6 CT)

I spent a small fortune on wave petunias last summer so in the fall I collected as many tiny seeds as I could from the seed pods that formed. They germinated in my basement window in April. I sprinkled some in pots outdoors in The spring and they began to bloom two weeks ago. I have begun to collect all kinds of seeds in the fall. I put them in labeled envelopes in a shoebox for winter storage and sow them indoors in the spring. Many are shared with family and friends.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 2:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have volunteer petunias that come up all over my yard even though I've never planted any--I think they came over from the neighbor's yard. She is very old and never comes outside, doesn't do any gardening, so they've apparently been taking care of themselves for years. I am still seeing new plants here and there even though the temps have been around/above 100 for at least a month.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 3:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sorry, I was reading along and noticed people asking if it was too hot to plant petunias, I was responding to them and not the OP.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 3:36PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
"Bounce" and "Big Bounce" Impatiens are highly resistant to DM?
With the move to houzz I haven't been following very...
Shade annuals in 8a
I am looking for some annuals for beds facing NNE in...
Beth9116 zone 8a TX
I picked up some caladium bulbs today -- am wondering...
I need help with my Big Red Judy.
Hello Folks! I planted two Cloeus Big Red Judy's last...
Best Garden worthy Sunflower?
I haven't found a Sunflower seed to purchase for this...
prairiemoon2 z6 MA
Sponsored Products
Acanthus Cooler Bench
$595.00 | Horchow
Modern Indoor/Outdoor Area Rug: Loloi Rugs Rugs Fairfield Life Style Collection
Home Depot
9 3/4 Inch Outdoor Pocket Light -Black
$37.81 | Bellacor
Jaipur Barcelona I-O Hoja Abstract Pattern Blue Indoor/ Outdoor Rug
Eden Outdoor Side Table, Patio Furniture
$295.00 | FRONTGATE
Monterey Polished Brass Three-Light Outdoor Fixture
$179.90 | Bellacor
Progress Lighting Posts Cranbrook Collection 1-Light Outdoor Gilded Iron Post
$87.64 | Home Depot
boomBOTTLE Wireless Outdoor Speaker
$129.99 | FRONTGATE
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™