I need to know what I did wrong-killed my double petunias

Ann_in_Houston(z9 Houston)May 27, 2012

I had them planted in a bed with my yellow roses, which gets some bright sun in the late morning/early afternoon. I watered them a lot until they started looking bad. So, I figured I was over doing it and slacked off. They didn't look any better, and my mil, who is only slightly more successful at gardening than I am, told me it actually wasn't enough, so I watered them some more. It was right before we went on a weekend trip and I made sure everything I had was well watered. I came home and they were dead, dead, dead. The roses are doing great, btw.

So, are their water requirements just a lot different than the roses'? Are they easy to over water? The thing about asking my mil is that if I make a mistake, it's almost always to under water, hers is to drown things; but I tried slacking off and also being more generous.

I have some other ones in a different location, that gets more early sun and the flowers are doing great but the foliage is kind of ugly.

I am in the process of replacing the dead ones with verbena. Any advice regarding that choice?

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I don't know for certain, but in the past what I have done is over water and stimulate a fungus. The fungus appears as if the plant is starving for water: they look wilted. Once it starts it's already too late.

I think about plants like this. fuzzy leaves do not like to get wet. Zinnias do not like to get wet in the evenings. Vinca hate my soil. All are fungus related problems.

sorry....the only petunias I ave successfully grown for any period of time are the lavendar self seeding variety. They are old and not extraordinary other than the fact that they live in my yard

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 12:44PM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

Oh, Cynthia, those are my favorite petunias......the old fashioned ones with the wonderful fragrance. Maybe I can get a start from you sometime.
I will put my two cents worth in, for what it is worth, and my experience with growing petunias is that it is very difficult to overwater them IF you have good drainage. To me, that is key, good drainage so the roots don't stand in water. Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 2:13PM
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I have the lavendar ones for about 3 years. They would pop up in a surprising place each year. I loved them too! I took them for granted and have not seen them in a nursery since 2005. Yes....I've been looking!

If you see them let me know and I will do the same.

Drainage must be the key. Mt beds tend to puddle and by the street where I can seed zinnias and cone flowers it is too hot for petunias.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 3:12PM
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Ann_in_Houston(z9 Houston)

Well, I don't know whether my drainage was good enough or not. My roses are happy. The symptoms of fungus that Cynthia describes really sounds right. I never thought of the leaves as fuzzy. They're very rough, I know that. I'll look at my red ones and see. The foliage on those is not pretty, but it's worth it for the beautiful blooms. The variety is Sweet Sunshine. The ones that died were very dark purple. Almost no red in it. They looked elegant for the one day they were there, with the yellow roses.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 4:38PM
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Ann_in_Houston(z9 Houston)

Regarding the tip about fungus. DH says he thinks the mulch has fungus. Is there a fungicide I can put on them to head this off? I am replacing the petunias with verbena and the leaves do seem a little soft and velvety.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 7:42PM
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I hope it is okay to post this here. Google "The Fragrant Path" and this tiny company carries seeds for the heirloom petunias. They come in several colors and are not limited to lavendar. I have not grown them here - only in MN and I loved them. He also had the tall cutting variety of ageratum that was a mainstay in my gardens. www.fragrantpathseeds.com Dependable seller with unusual offerings and highly recommended.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 6:43AM
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Fungus in the soil is very common and will kill most any annuals you put in that spot. An easy fungicide is to put cornmeal in the flowerbed. Spread it out in the flowerbed and mix in into the soil, then water. It may take several applications over time to get the fungus under control.

Carla in Leander

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 11:56AM
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