A Look into the Growth, Care and Varieties of the Petunia Plant
A popular flowering plant
Native to South America, Petunias are popular flowering plants. Petunias are a member of the Solanaceae plant family, Petunias are commonly grown in several households owing to their capacity of being able to tolerate some of the harshest conditions.
The Petunia plant is mostly famous due to the many colours of Petunias, due to the several Petunia varieties. However, what you might not know is that Petunias are the original of four different species. These four species, in turn, give rise to several different cultivars or the other types of petunias or petunia varieties.
The four main species of petunias are mentioned briefly below.
- Grandiflora Petunias:These are, hands down, the most common types of petunias. The Grandiflora Petunia blooms measure roughly around 3 to 4 inches and grow upright.
- Multiflora Petunias:These Petunias are known for producing slightly smaller blooms as compared to the Grandiflora Petunias. However, the Multiflora Petunias sport a more abundant bloom.
- Milliflora Petunias:These are popularly known as the miniature types of petunias. The Milliflora petunias can rebloom and are compact.
- Spreading Petunias:The Spreading petunias are called so because they can rapidly cover a selected area and form a blooming ground cover. These petunias can easily grow around 6 inches tall.
Petunia Colors/ Petunia Flower
Available in several colours
The Petunia plants are beautiful flowering plants. The different vibrant colours of the Petunia plants can easily liven up the environment. The size and colour of the Petunia flowers differ from variety to variety.
Yes, the petunias are available in different colours. Some colours are common in other flowering plants, while several others are not. Here is a look at some of the most popular petunia colours.
- Black Petunia
Extremely rare colour
When it comes to the colours of flowers, black is a colour that we seldom come around. Even when it comes to petunias, Black Petunias are extremely rare. Black petunias mostly grow as perennials and are known to symbolize negativity and rebellious emotions. Popular examples of Black petunias are Black Cat, Black Mamba, Black Ray, Black Velvet, etc.
- Blue Petunia
A widely popular colour
Blue is a rather common colour when it comes to Petunia plants. Blue Petunias are quite common and also widely popular. The term blue is often used for many flowering varieties as a vague term. But when it comes to petunias, there are many true-blue kinds of Petunias available. Some of the most popular Blue Petunias are Capri Blue, Carpet Blue, Frost Blue, etc.
- Purple Petunia Flower
Quite a common colour
The Purple Petunia flowers are known to be the most popular kind of Petunia varieties. The Purple Petunias look great in gardens as well as hanging baskets. Purple Petunias are also one of the most common types of Petunias and thus, found in several households. Some popular types of Purple Petunias are Merlin Blue Morn, Moonlight Bay, Night Sky, Sugar Daddy, etc.
- Red Petunia
A classic Petunia colour
The Red Petunias are often termed as the classic types of Petunias. The Red petunia varieties are not tough to spot and are available in enormous numbers. By the look of it, the red Petunia flowers are not rare at all. Some popular examples of Red Petunias are Aladdin Red, Capri Rose, Hurrah, etc.
- White Petunia
A symbol of purity
Even though most flowering plants bear white blooms, the White Petunia flowers are somehow seemingly more royale. The White Petunias are a pure white colour, a rarity in the world of horticulture. White Petunias are known to symbolize purity and peace. Some examples of White Petunias are Capri White, Carpet Buttercream, Shock Wave Coconut, etc.
- Yellow Petunia
A symbol of trust
Yellow is a rather common and popular colour when it comes to Petunias. Yellow Petunias are mostly regarded as a symbol of friendship, trust and sympathy. The Yellow Petunias are also exchanged to denote deep respect for one another. Popular examples of Yellow Petunias are Petunia Amore Queen of Hearts, Petunia Grandiflora Prism Sunshine, Petunia Surfiana Yellow, etc.
Caring for the Petunia plant
Easy to care for
Caring for Petunia plants is not as tough as it is often made out to be. Petunias are easy to look after if met with the basic care requirements. Here are some basic care tips that can help to care for Petunias, an easy as well as effortless task.
- The Ideal Planter:An ideal planter is neither too large nor too small per the current size of the Petunia plant. The planter should also have enough drainage holes to let out the excess water that would otherwise pose a serious threat to the growth of the plant.
- Potting Mix for the Plant:The potting mix picked for growing petunia plants should be of good quality and more preferable organic. The soil should be well-draining and also consist of well-composted organic matter. You can also add some parts of peat moss and sand to the potting mix.
- Light Needs: Petunia plants are known to be the full sun. The plant thrives best when exposed to bright sunlight. Petunias can also do well in partial shade but exposure to sunlight is very important as it is the most essential factor that encourages the blooming of the Petunia plant.
- Watering the Plant: When growing outdoors, the petunia plant does not require much frequent watering as such. However, when planted indoors, the Petunia plant should be watered frequently enough to maintain a damp consistency of the soil. Make sure that you avoid over-watering as well as under-watering.
- Fertilizing the Plant:Fertilizing the Petunia plant is an essential step in making sure that the plant meets its nutrient requirements. Petunias are known to be heavy feeders but also do quite well when fertilized once a week. Use a water-soluble fertilizer to ensure a proper and long blooming period.
- Deadheading the Plant: Deadheading the Petunia plant is important to ensure the next couple of blooms in the plant. As a Petunia flower starts to gently fade away, remove the flower. To avail the seeds that grow within the flower, make sure that you remove the flower from its base.
Types of Petunias/ Petunia Varieties
There are different varieties of the petunia plant, each of them unique from the other in its unique way. Here is a look at some of the most common and popular Petunia varieties.
- Double Petunia
A popular hybrid variety
The Double Petunias are one popular hybrid Petunia variety. Most of the double Petunias are remarkably big and put on a spectacular show when in bloom. Double Petunia mostly blooms throughout the summer season.
- Petunia Axillaris
Popular white petunias
The Petunia Axillaris is a popular kind of White Petunias. It is also known as the Large White Petunia, the White Moon Petunia or the Wild White Petunia. Native to South America, the Petunia Axillaris plant can grow around 60 centimetres tall.
- Petunia Surfinia
Often grow as trailing plants
The Petunia Surfinia grows as an annual and is often lauded for its capability of tolerating extreme levels of heat. The Petunia Surfinia mostly grow as trailing plants and look best when planted on the balcony.
- Night Sky Petunia
A beautiful variety
The Night Sky petunia is a popular kind of Purple Petunia. Usually grown as annuals, the Night Sky Petunia starts blooming during the summer season. The plant continues blooming well until the first fall frost settles in.
Propagating Petunia Seeds
Easy to grow via seeds
The Petunia plant can be propagated in a variety of ways. However, if you are already growing petunias at home, propagating through seeds is easier for you as you have ready access to the seeds.
Here is a step-by-step breakdown of propagating Petunia plants through the Petunia seeds.
- As Petunias bloom during the summer season, we need to sow the seeds around 10 weeks before the summer season to make sure that they reach just the right size by the summer, capable enough to flower.
- Take a planter where you would like to grow the Petunia plant and fill it up with some good quality seed-starting potting mix.
- Sprinkle the teeny-tiny seeds of the petunia plants on the surface of the potting mix in the planter.
- Gently moisten the seeds by spraying some water.
- Using a transparent plastic sheet, cover the planter. The plastic sheet helps retain the moisture.
- Shift the covered planter to a spot with bright sunlight. Make sure that the temperature level in that spot is maintained at around 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Once the seeds are visibly sprouting, get rid of the plastic sheet and shift the planter to a cooler spot. Make sure that the new spot maintains a temperature around 65 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the day.
- Make sure that the lights are around 6 inches above the planter. You can use regular fluorescent lights instead of buying special growing lights.
- Use some soluble fertilizer on the plant once every week or two.
- Water the Petunia plant as and when the soil turns dry.
Soon enough, the petunia plant will flourish as a grown and mature flowering plant.
Propagating Petunia through Cuttings
Easily propagated through cuttings
If propagating Petunias through seeds is not your cup of tea, propagation through cuttings might work well for you. Here is a step-by-step breakdown of propagating the Petunia plant through cuttings.
- Use a sterilized knife and gently cut off a couple of inches of a stem from a mature and healthy Petunia plant.
- Let the cutting rest at a place for some time, allowing enough time for the cut wound to dry up.
- Prepare a planter with some good quality potting mix.
- Apply some rooting hormone on the cut side of the stem and stick it into the potting mix.
- Shift it to a spot with some bright sunlight and water the plant regularly.
In some weeks, the stem will start sprouting leaves and will have a well-established root system. Soon enough, it will also start producing flowers.
Do petunias like sun or shade?
Petunias love the bright sunlight. However, exposure to sunlight is necessary to encourage blooms in the plant.
How long do petunias last?
Petunias usually last around 2 to 3 years.
Do petunias grow back every year?
The perennial Petunia varieties grow back every year. However, remember to deadhead the flowers once they start to fade away.
Where do petunias grow best?
Petunias grow best when they are exposed to bright sunlight. exposure to sunlight is very important as it is the most essential factor that encourages the blooming of the Petunia plant.
How to care for petunias?
To care for petunias, place them in a spot that receives bright sunlight for around 5 to 6 hours every day. Water the plant frequently if growing indoors. It is also important to use a soluble fertilizer on the plant once every week or so.
How long do I water my Petunias?
Petunias require watering as and when the soil starts turning dry. This might account for once every few weeks in the winters or once every few days in the summers.
How should I prepare the soil for planting petunias?
To plant Petunias, choose a potting mix that is organic and of good quality. Make sure that the soil is well-draining and also consists of composted organic matter.
Can we prevent insects from eating Petunia leaves?
To prevent insects from eating the Petunia leaves, use an application of 2.5 to 5 tsp soil per 1 gallon of water. Apply it on the foliage to keep insects away from eating the leaves of the plant.
Why do wave petunias stop blooming?
Wave petunias might stop blooming if it is not met with the proper care requirements of the plant. It might also happen due to the absence of sunlight, water or fertilizer.
How to make petunias flower in the second half of the summer?
To make Petunias flower in the second half of the summer, make sure you deadhead the flowers as they start fading. Deadheading the flowers is essential to encourage the next blooms.