We love ourselves some petunias! And one of the best things about them is how easy they are to grow through spring, summer and much of fall. We grow them in hanging baskets, planters, landscape beds and window boxes and appreciate the way they spread and fill a space quickly with wave after wave of ample blooms.
We want this to be the year you have your prettiest petunias ever, so we’ve put together five things you should know before you grow:
1. GROW IN FULL SUN.
Petunias thrive in the cool weather of early spring and fall and bloom to their full potential with at least six (6) hours of sunlight.
2. WATER WHEN THEY NEED IT.
Your petunias love their time in the sun, so they will appreciate some moisture on hot days, but don’t feel like you need to water them every day. They are not big fans of soggy ground and wet roots.
Since container plants dry out much quicker, we recommend checking yours each morning and watering if they need it. Early morning is when they’ll soak up the most water without going into the evening soggy.
3. FERTILIZE EVERY TWO WEEKS.
We mark our calendars or set a calendar reminder to water in fertilizer every two weeks and/or use a slow-release fertilizer. Petunias are heavy feeders and will reward you with full, continuous blooms. We use Jack’s Petunia Feed in the garden center and in our own yards and containers.
4. YOU DO NOT NEED TO PINCH OR DEAD HEAD. BUT DON’T BE AFRAID TO CUT BACK.
I know, we thought so, too. Old varieties benefited from pinching and deadheading. But Wave Petunia blooms will simply dry up and fall off, making way for more blooms. Of course, you can always pinch off old blooms to keep your plant looking fresh.
Also, petunias can get a little leggy, especially in the sun. So don’t be afraid to trim them back with a pruner or scissors to help them keep their shape.
5. PLANT IN FRESH SOIL AND ROTATE IN YOUR LANDSCAPE FROM YEAR TO YEAR.
If you’re planting in a basket or container, always clean your container or liner and add fresh, nutrient-rich soil. We also recommend rotating your petunia planting in your landscape beds. Same principle as farmers rotating crops—it allows the soil to replenish itself.
We know you might have a favorite spot, front and center, where you want to plant. So if the location is non-negotiable, we suggest adding a little soil amendment when you plant.
To find your petunias and other pretty plants, plus more tips on growing happier, visit us at Benken or Benkens.com.