What is the secret to growing Petunias?

OakleyApril 10, 2010

For the life of me I cannot grow Petunias! The ladies at the greenhouse the other day were laughing with me because everyone can grow them except ME.

I've grown them in morning sun only, and all day sun. They just die. I snip them when they get leggy. Still die.

I water regularly because it's so hot here.

There is one particular Petunia I want to grow but I don't know the name of it. I see it in older ladies flowerbeds, they're a very light purplelish white flower and they get nice and bushy.

Anyone know of the type I'm talking about?

So, what am I doing wrong? I really want to grow these things!

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memo(Zone 4B Nebraska)

I could never keep a Petunia alive to save my soul when I tried to grow them in pots. No amount of water would suffice. Once I took to planting them in the soil they did fine. I personally think they need really good soil to grow well. There are two types of Petunias, the original type that increases in size and the other is a hybrid that is called "Wave" petunias. The Wave Petunias have a spreading/vining habit. That may be what you're looking for. I think they're both available in all the usual colors but I could be mistaken about that.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 12:55PM
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Hi Oakleyok
I haven't tried these yet, but Texas Superstars has a Petunia Tidal Wave that is supposed to handle our summer heat.

I did buy some purple petunias at Lowes a couple of weeks ago, they're not Tidal Wave but a different type (can't remember the name), it advertises that they rebloom without picking the flowers off, take the heat, etc. So far they're living up to their advertising with the blooms, we'll see when the real test comes. :)

Also saw some petunias there like you describe but didn't get the name; if you find out, pls let me know, I like those, too!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 12:59PM
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token28001(zone7b NC)

I start mine from seed. The nursery grown ones are pumped full of fertilizers and when you don't do that at home, it's hard to keep them alive. At least that's my experience too. They look great for a couple weeks then turn crispy and brown. My wintersown ones bloom all summer in sun and shade.

Calibrochia are the newest, tiny petunias that are great in hanging baskets and don't need to be pinched.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 1:22PM
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I wonder if I can find the Tidal Wave here, or any Wave? I'm pretty limited unless I want to drive 30 min. to the City. We have a wonderful midsize greenhouse in town (a town of only 1100), and our Walmart 10 miles away has a lot of flowers now, so they might have the Wave series.

Oddly, our new Walmart has had fantastic flowers that thrived in my beds!

Oh, the Petunias I saw that I liked were probably a couple of feet tall and spread out pretty good. They looked so old-fashioned and "cottagy."

I'll do a search to see if I can find any online. Only thing though, pictures of any plant ONLY shows the flower and not the whole plant once it's grown to give me an idea. It's a big pet peeve of mine.

I think I'm the only one in our town who can't grow them. lol

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 2:15PM
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Walmart should have the wave petunia, but they might sell out quickly. They're pretty popular.

Last year I put three plain white petunias in each pot with my star jasmine. (I had two 18" pots.) The white together was pretty and all I did was water them every day. I think the bigger pot really helped.

Mom has no problem with hers in the garden (in fact, they grow out in the lawn) but she doesn't have much luck with the pots. She has more wind and we get hot summers, so they dry out too fast. Maybe a bigger pot, out of the wind, with plenty of water would do the trick :)

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 3:54PM
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memo(Zone 4B Nebraska)

Perhaps the two foot tall Petunias were planted in a pot and set up on a stump or something? The Wave Petunias would cascade nicely planted in that manner.


    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 6:57PM
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My porch and flower bed are out of the wind, in fact we think that's why the other plants did so well last summer, except for "bleached" blooms on some things because of the heat and sun.

I did keep a Petunia on the front porch though, and it bloomed all summer but it wasn't anything to brag about. Maybe I should have put it in a larger pot?

I'll probably try that again. Thanks!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 8:25PM
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I have given up on petunias because mine always get budworms which eat the buds before they can bloom. They are so tiny and blend in with the foliage that you can hardly see them. It is usually recommended to spray with BT for them but even that has had little affect so I'm just not planting them anymore!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 9:13PM
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I buy the tiny sprigs they sometimes have at the nursery, and repot to three inch pots. Then I water them and pinch them as they grow. I don't put them out until they are big bushy plants that have developed this great root system.

After planting, I still check on them and pinch them back occasionally, I never strip them if that is any different than pinching. They also don't do well if you don't water during dry times. Mine usually do well all summer. And I just plant the regular garden variety, not the wave series.

However...all that being said they are in the greenhouse during the "growing bigger" stage, and this probably won't work as well if they aren't protected while they are babies.


    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 9:15PM
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I was told that another type of petunia to try is "Surfinia" petunia. It is supposed to do really well. It is grown by cuttings rather than by seeds. However, I only see the "Wave" petunias in my area.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 9:25PM
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susie_gardener_2007(OK 7)

I saw a new kind of petunia at a nursery last Thursday that I had never seen before. It was hot pink with double ruffles, so the flower looked huge and not really like a petunia. The guy at the nursery told me it was a "cascade" petunia. The stems were long and draping and it was in a hanging basket. It was very lush looking. I put it on my Mother's Day wish list. Have you heard of this new petunia?


    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 12:59AM
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