How to grow petunias

Petunias: top of the list, most outstanding annuals.

With the advent of spring, every keen gardener starts thinking seriously again about planting out bright and colorful annuals. An old favorite, the trumpet-shaped, beautiful and bountiful petunia, is always an eye-catcher in any spring and summer garden display. Varieties of low-growing petunia available today range from the smaller singles like these shown, to fabulous full-blown doubles. There’s ruffled petunias and those too with deeply veined and multi-colored flowers.

Think of petunia seedlings, for a quick start to a colorful petunia border, or a riot of color trailing over the edges of a tub or hanging basket. Petunias don’t ask for a lot, but give plenty.


Step 1

Three basic needs:

  • No frost
  • Full sun
  • Well-drained soil (or potting mix)
Step 2


Dig well-drained soil over before planting, adding a little complete fertilizer.

Step 3

Planting out:

Dig holes deep enough to accommodate the roots of each petunia, also spacing them apart with allowance for potential growth. Differing varieties can be more vigorous, or wider spreading than others and a spacing measurement is generally noted on an accompanying label.

Water in well after planting, and keep the petunia seedlings moist, until established.

Once established, petunias can be easily maintained with a deep watering; perhaps just twice during the week will generally be sufficient.

Step 4

Keep them flowering!

Petunias will hold up to the hottest weather throughout summer too. As the first flush of flowers diminishes with more lanky growth displaying fewer and smaller flowers, then is the time to trim back lightly. This cutting back will most likely encourage yet another flush of colorful flowers before the colder weather sets in.

How to grow petunias
Step 5

Growing in containers:

Just a single seedling will power away in a container like these have. Try hanging baskets too. Being up off the ground eliminates the threat of slugs and snails eating the young petunia seedlings too.

Feed regularly with a soluble fertilizer to maintain reserves within the potting medium.

Things Needed
• petunia seedlings
• snail-slug bait
• soluble fertilizer

Tips & Warnings
• watch for signs of snails or slugs eating newly planted seedlings
• feed regularly with a soluble fertilizer to promote continued flowering


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