How to take care of petunias

Image of maroon and white petunias

Petunias are beautiful, easy growing plants that flower profusely, and are excellent for ground cover. They come in a huge variety of colours, attract pollinators, and soften the overall look of your garden. Here’s how to take care of your petunias, so they flower throughout the season, and look happy.

Their watering needs are simple – water them once every few days, when the soil gets dry. It is also recommended to fertilise them weekly once they start flowering. Use potassium fertilizer – or, if you have rich soil or a thick mulch of nourishing material, you can forget about fertilizing.

Petunias love sun and will flower best if placed in a sunny spot, so keep that in mind before getting them. You can trim the plants once or twice throughout the season, to keep them from growing too leggy (and/or to take cuttings).

If you have plenty of pollinators in your area and a non-sterile variety, you’ll need to deadhead them, because each flower turns into dozens of seeds. Personally, I live in an area with very few pollinators, so I hand-pollinate some flowers, and save their seeds. For the rest, I pinch off the flowers and put them on my compost pile. The flowering stem points outward and the seedhead is somewhat large-ish, so they’re easy enough to spot.

The last thing you need to know about petunias is that they don’t like getting their leaves wet. Their leaves and stems are fuzzy, so the moisture stays on for a while and can cause problems. However, if your plants start to look a little dirty, you can spray/hose them with water on a sunny (or windy) day, and they’ll look as clean as ever once they’ve dried.

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