Petunia cultivation

Petunia

There petunia it is a perennial plant that produces bell-shaped flowers, from spring to autumn, in cascades of surprising colors for profusion and sweetness of perfume.

petunia

General characteristics of Petunias

To the genre Petunia originally from South America belong 40 plant species herbaceous of the Solanaceae family, cultivated as annual or perennial ornamental plants both in pots and in the ground in all gardens.

Petunia is a luxuriantly growing herbaceous plant that forms dense, very decorative bushes, up to 60 cm high, in full vegetative development. It has a fasciculated root that extends deeply and laterally.

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The drooping or surfinia variety develops mainly in length.

Petunias

The aerial part of the plant is formed by herbaceous stems, prostrate or drooping with fragrant leaves, light green in color, covered with a very thin hair.

The leaves they are ovate-elliptic with entire margins. The top page is bright green while the bottom is lighter. The leaves are soft soft due to the presence of a short whitish down and slightly sticky to the touch.

Petunia-surfinia-hanging

The flowers, carried on the apexes of the central and lateral stems, are large bells with a white, pink, purple, blue, orange, yellow, purple red corolla.

The tubular portion of the corolla is almost straight, while its margin is wide and five-lobed.

petunia

Flowering of petunia

There petunia blooms profusely from spring late until the middle of autumn. There are many hybrids and cultivars on the market, even with double flowers or with jagged or wrinkled-looking corollas.

Petunia-cultivation

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Cultivation of petunia

Exposure

Petunia loves sunny places, sheltered from winds and pouring rains. It does not suffer from the heat but is sensitive to frosts and low temperatures.

Ground

It prefers soft, well-mixed, humid and well-drained soils.

Watering

It is a plant that needs frequent watering during the vegetative period. In summer it needs daily water supplies, preferably after sunset and avoiding wetting the leaves and flowers.

Fertilization

Petunia to be able to produce flowers in profusion needs many nutrients therefore the cultivation soil must be fertilized for its entire vegetative cycle, on average every 20 days, with the administration of a fertilizer for flowering plants diluted in the watering. Alternatively, slow-release granular fertilizer can be administered every 2 months.

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Petunia-cultivation-vase

Petunia: growing in pots

Petunia is grown in rectangular pots, bowls and planters, filled with specific soil, rich in nutrients. For good drainage, vermiculite or expanded clay is generally used as a base material.

Repotting

Petunia plants grown as perennials should be repotted according to the growth of the plant, generally every year, in early spring. The new pot must be larger than the previous one and the soil must be fresh and fertile.

Multiplication of petunia

Petunia propagates by seed and by stem cuttings.

petunia

Sowing of petunias

Sowing should be done in seedbeds at the end of winter or directly at home in spring.

THE seeds they should be spread on the soil and pressed lightly with the fingers.

Sowing-seedbed

After sowing, moisten the soil with light sprays of water. The seedbeds should be placed to germinate in sheltered places with temperatures between 15 -18 ° C.

Petunias-half-vase

If you practice sowing in pots or in the ground, petunia seeds should be covered with a light layer of universal soil.

When the seedlings are strong enough they should be thinned out at a distance of about 15 cm from each other or transplanted into individual pots.

petunias

Planting or planting

Petunia plants should be planted when the risk of night frosts is completely averted, between May-June. The holes intended to accommodate them must be larger than the bread of earth and spaced 20-25 cm apart. Each plant must be removed from its container, cleaned of excess earth and inserted into the hole, taking care not to damage the roots; each plant, once placed in the hole, must be covered with earth up to the height of the collar; the ground must be compressed with the hands. Finally water abundantly. avoiding wetting the leaves. A good specific fertilizer for flowering plants is administered one week after planting.

petunia

Pruning of petunias

To favor the emission of new shoots and flowering, topping the apical part of the stems that have already produced the flowers. In July or August, petunias should be pruned by about half length to promote regeneration. This way, they will emit new shoots and return to produce new flowers in profusion. Regeneration of the bushes usually takes place after 2 weeks.

Petunia-surfinia

Petunia pests and diseases

Petunias are affected by aphids that colonize budding flowers and younger leaves. They are attacked by the red spider mite that makes its leaves gray or yellowish. Also in this case, the use of insecticidal products is recommended.

petunia-dwarf-topping

Cures and treatments

In winter, the Petunias grown in pots must be protected from the cold and for this, they must be transferred to special greenhouses where it is possible to recreate the climatic conditions of the warm and temperate season.

To eliminate parasites it is advisable to carefully wash every part of the plant and use specific insecticides.

Variety of Petunia

There are many species of Petunias, many of which are widespread hybrids and cultivated for their imposing appearance and the size of the flowers. Each hybrid species in turn includes numerous varieties.

Petunia Multiflora

It includes very lush plants, more than 50 cm high and up to 1 meter wide with large leaves and flowers about 5 cm wide. The most common are the Cherry Tart, with pink and white flowers and the Plum Crazy, with mottled flowers of varying shades. They are grown in sheltered places even if they do not fear the wind and very heavy rains.

Petunia-grandiflora

Petunia Grandiflora

A hybrid species similar to Multiflora but with larger flowers that reach a width of 10 cm. The plants belonging to this group are rather delicate plants that do not tolerate exposure to strong wind currents that could damage the flowers and the tender vegetation. The most common variety is the Cascade with white, blue, red and pink flowers.

Compact dwarf petunia

It includes a group of Petunias smaller in size than other plants with vegetation 20-25 cm high. Among the most popular to be grown in small pots we find Aldermann, with violet flowers, and Fire Chief, with scarlet flowers. they are species with particularly small dimensions.

Petunia pendula

It includes perennials with very dense, drooping vegetation. From spring to autumn, it produces fragrant cascades of bell-shaped flowers in different shades of color. These species are grown in hanging baskets.

Petunia-uses

Uses

Petunia plants are the undisputed queens of summer, appreciated for the bright colors of the flowers that persist on the twigs until late September. They are grown easily and without particular care on balconies, terraces, in the flower beds of coastal, urban, mountain gardens and in all places where there is a lack of color.

petunia-meaning

Language of flowers

In the language of flowers, petunia symbolizes irrepressible love.

Is petunia poisonous?

All the parts that make up the plant, i.e. stem, roots, flower are toxic both for humans and for pets such as dogs and cats, due to the presence of toxins that attack the nervous and gastrointestinal systems.

Ingestion can cause diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, abdominal pain, heart problems and neurological irritations.

Curiosity

Petunia was introduced to Europe in 1833.

Petunias photo gallery

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