The Secrets To Getting Petunias To Bloom Heavily

These are simple growing tips you can easily do

There are several tips I’ll pass along about getting petunias to bloom very heavily and expand to their full potential. I’m also going to review some of the plants I’ve grown on trial in my garden.

The Growing Details

  • Sun: Full sun or very light shade
  • Bloom time: most of the summer
  • Propagation: seed for older varieties and cuttings from newer ‘super-petunia’
  • Soils: almost anything other than heavy clay that holds too much moisture and rots them
  • Distance apart: for the Supertunia types — 30-inches to 48 inches.
  • Hardiness: not frost tolerant (they might take a degree of frost if they’ve been hardened off but don’t count on it.)
  • Varieties: literally hundreds to pick from based on your favorite colors.
Petunia ‘Supertunia Royal Magenta’ (photo by Proven Winners)

Petunia ‘Supertunia Royal Magenta’ by Proven Winners. Goodness, I hadn’t grown this one before but it acted as all those other silly plants. It grew like stink and bloomed its head off. Bright color! Understand the key to success with these super petunias (from any source) is to feed them regularly. They demand a ton of food to support all that growth and blooming. If you fail with this plant, it’s likely because you didn’t feed it enough. I’d grow it again in either containers or the full sun garden if I wanted this bright magenta color. Good plant.

Petunia ‘Double Dark Blue’ I must be holding my mouth wrong when it comes to these double flowering petunias. Others get great growth. Mine is just-OK. The singles in this class of plants outgrow the doubles in my garden but… Then again, I’m not a double flower fan so perhaps this is the problem. Your results may vary.

Petunia ‘Blue Wave’ see the above comments about growing these fast-growing plants and this dark violet-blue flower is equally good in my opinion. It’s really a matter of choosing your color as to your preference. “Waves” or “Supertunia” are both good plants but different marketing companies. I love all the ‘Wave’ colors and it’s tough to beat them in the open sunny garden.

Petunia ‘Priscilla’ Photo by Proven Winners

The Trick To Getting The New Petunias To Bloom Heavily

The new petunias need a lot of feeding if they’re going to really perform in your garden.

I’d consider feeding weekly, or every second week with a fish emulsion or other organic liquid fertilizer to enable them to perform to their optimum level.

Do You Like This Color Of Petunia

Supertunia ‘Picasso In Purple’ Photo by Proven Winners

If you do like this Supertunia ‘Picasso In Purple’ from Proven Winners, I’d say go and grow it. It grew really well in my trials and filled a pot completely all by itself.

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What Kind Of Plants Come Back Every Year?

Annuals are killed off by frost

Biennials grow leaves in year one, flower in year two and die after that.

Perennial flowers come back every year. Until they die – which could be anywhere from 3 to 50 years. So just because a plant is labelled “perennial” doesn’t mean it will live forever.

And that my friends is the quick answer to what kinds of plants come back every year.

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This is what cold damage looks like in petunias

This is what cold damage (and a bit of wind to add to this plant’s misery) looks like in petunias. Peter Petunia took one for the team to share this misery with you.

cold damage in petunias

Those white spots aren’t a disease, they’re physiology issues where the leaf has been killed.

Will Peter Petunia Survive An April Planting

Well, only time will tell but it’s not only a question of survival

It’s A Question

It’s a question of being stunted. If Peter survives, we’ll compare his growth with that of petunias planted when the air and soil are much warmer. Hint: Peter is going to lose this contest.

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Moral of Story?

Plant at the proper time for your gardening zone and always – always – look down the road at the 10-day weather forecast to ensure there’s no freezing in your future.

Want to avoid this kind of problem?

Check out the other garden solutions on my Amazon ebook list here.

When You Just Can’t Resist Planting Something

I just couldn’t resist. Yes, it’s a silly thing but… (seriously folks) we’ve not had a hard frost in several weeks. And yes, it’s April 25 and our regular last frost date is somewhere about 3 weeks in the future.

But I just couldn’t resist.

And I have 249 petunias remaining under the grow-lights in the basement so what’s the worst thing that could happen? I’d lose this (albeit a brave and taking-one-for-the-team) petunia.

Brave Petunia

I’ve never planted an annual this early in our USDA zone 4 garden but there’s always a first time for everything. It’s planted in the growing zone on top of the dry stone wall surrounding our front gardens.

I’ll keep you up-to-date on Peter (the early planted) Petunia.

And for the record, nope I never even hardened the poor thing off.

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I’m Transplanting Annual Flower Seedlings

I started transplanting annual flowers (petunias) this morning. Well, I started and finished because we only need 200 plants this year for around the top of the stone wall and here and there in the garden for a bit of season-long bloom.

Note: annuals are a perfect plant for carrying gardens through dull spots in perennial bloom times.

Doug Green

This year, I decided not to add too many new perennials to the gardens. I want to focus on finishing the hardscape – the fences, irrigation and other backbone “stuff” a good garden needs. And then I’ll return to seriously collecting perennials for both the gardens and the surrounding rock walls.

I am also adding several Rudbeckia and Echinacea species (they’re germinated and awaiting transplanting as I write) in large clumps in the garden. Yeah, I couldn’t resist big, bright daisies.

Note that having large clumps of one species or variety is an excellent way to create a marvellous show. A single flower – perennial or annual – in the garden looks lost – a clump looks much better.

petunia seedlings

The one tip I’ll pass along to beginners or intermediate gardeners is to never, ever handle a seedling by the stem.

When you are transplanting annual flower seedlings, handle them by the leaves.

  • If you handle them by the stem, you may bruise the stem and these may not heal quickly (or at all)
  • If you handle them by a leaf and you hurt it – oh well, the plant will quickly produce more
  • But however you handle them, do it as gently as you know how.

For more information on flowers here on this site, click here

And if you really need to know how to start and grow your own plants, click here for my ebook, “Free Plants” on plant propagation for home gardeners

Plant List Of Annual Garden Flowers To Feed Bees

Bees are under environmental attack and here’s one small thing you can do to help

Photo by Behzad Ghaffarian on Unsplash

If you’ve been paying attention to environmental news, you know bees are being attacked by a small mite or by environmentally damaging chemical sprays.

If you want to do your small bit to help keep bees around and healthy, you can grow these flowers (without chemicals please.)

Plant These Annual Flowers In Your Garden

  • Ageratum/Ageratum houstonianum
  • Anise-scented sage/Salvia guaranitica
  • Aster/Callistephus chinensis
  • Black-eyed susan or gloriosa daisy/Rudbeckia hirta
  • Blue salvia (mealycup sage)/Salvia farinacea
  • Borage or starflower/Borago officinalis
  • Calendula/Calendula officinalis
  • Clary sage/Salvia sclarea (biennial)
  • Common lantana/Lantana camara
  • Common sunflower/Helianthus annuus
  • Cornflower/Centaurea cyanus
  • Cosmos/Cosmos bipinnatus
  • Dahlia (open types)/Dahlia
  • Garden heliotrope/Heliotrope arborescens
  • Mignonette/Resedaodorata
  • Pentas/Pentas
  • Pineapple sage/Salvia elegans
  • Popcorn plant/Cassia didymobotrya
  • Snapdragon/Antirrhinum majus
  • Spider flower/Cleome spp.
  • Sweet William (biennial in southern parts of north central region) Dianthus barbatus
  • Sweet alyssum/Lobularia maritima
  • Tithonia/Tithonia rotundifolia
  • Vervain/Verbena bonariensis
  • Zinnia/Zinnia elegans

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