Petunia hanging baskets at Stockslagers Greenhouse near Dayton

Plant Spotlight: Petunias

Petunias are sun-loving flowers that grow well in Zone 6 Ohio

Petunias are very beautiful and vibrantly colored flowers, making them very popular ornamental plants. They come in different colors, shapes, and sizes and make a breathtaking sight when planted in gardens. Gardeners love petunias because of their long flowering period and how easy it is to groom them. Petunias give off a warm and cozy feeling and they bloom from spring to winter.

Some species of petunia can grow as tall as 18 inches and spread as wide as 4 feet. They also have varying flower sizes. There are multifloras, grandifloras, floribundas, and milifloras.

Origin of Petunias

Petunias is a genus of about 30 species of flowery plants and it belongs to the nightshade family. The name Petunia comes from the French word ‘petun’, which means tobacco. (We bet you didn’t know that petunias are in the same plant family as potatoes, tomatoes, and tobacco!) 

This ornamental beauty is of South American origin.

How to Care for Petunias

Petunias are easy-growing, and can work well even even for the least confident gardener. But here are some things you should keep in mind: 

Petunias prefer full, direct sunlight

The most important requirement for petunias to grow well is full and direct sunlight. Petunias will barely flower without sunlight, and if they do, their flowers will be spindly and lean-looking. The vibrant colors characteristic of this ornamental plant will also be reduced to a dull hue if it is tended under a shade or away from direct sunlight.

Water Your Petunias At Least Once Per Week

Petunias need a consistent water cycle to grow well. Water your petunias at least once a week. Ensure to water them more frequently if you live in a dry climate, where the plants are less likely to suck moisture from the air. You should also avoid shallow watering to prevent shallow roots from developing. Give your plants a nice long gulp!

Fertilize Petunias Monthly 

For the best blooms, fertilize your petunias monthly with water-soluble balanced fertilizers. Different species of petunias may have different fertilizer requirements. For example, the spreading type requires weekly fertilization and while double-flowered cultivars may be bi-weekly.

To determine the perfect fertilizer to suit your garden conditions, you could run a soil test in any soil testing laboratory in your area.

Prune Petunias Often to Avoid “Legginess” 

Petunias get leggy by midsummer and can begin to look a bit messy. You should prune the shoots back to at least half their lengths to make them look tidy. They may not look so nice after you prune them, but with time you will have more flowers blooming. You should prune your petunias often to encourage flowering and to keep them looking healthy.

Things to Remember 

  • Petunias are heat tolerant so they don’t require too much watering. Over-watered petunias will turn yellow and eventually die.
  • Petunias do better in well-draining soils
  • Get rid of faded or dead blossoms to encourage larger, healthier, and more vibrant blooms.
  • Spreading petunias and those in containers need more water to grow well.

Ways to Decorate with Petunias

Now that its petunia season, there’s no shortage of ways to make these flowers shine in your home and garden. 

Hanging Baskets full of Petunias

Petunia hanging baskets at Stockslagers Greenhouse near Dayton
Petunia hanging baskets at Stockslagers Greenhouse near Dayton

Stop by Stockslagers Greenhouse and Garden Center near Dayton to pick up hanging baskets bursting with colorful petunias! Arrange these vibrantly colored plants into a hanging basket and hang them at your balcony or anywhere in your home where they will have access to sunlight. They will certainly brighten up any room you place them in. 

Bedding Flowers in Landscaping

Petunias flower so prettily along the entire length of each stem, so they will make a beautiful sight bedded in landscaping. This way they will have access to direct sunlight, so you can be assured that they will continue to retain their vibrant colors. A mixture of different species of petunia will make a spectacular view.

Make sure to properly arrange the petunias so that they thrive well. Space the plants about one feet apart to avoid overcrowding.

Window Boxes Add Some Charm

Window boxes are also a great way to decorate your home with petunias. Not only do flowers by your window look aesthetically pleasing, but it is also a great location for your petunias to thrive as they have access to light. Make sure that there is no shade blocking their access to sunlight. 

Beautiful, Healthy Petunias near Dayton, Ohio

The Annual Sun & Shade Sale at Stockslager’s Greenhouse and Garden Center runs from May 13th through Sunday, May 16th. Be sure to buy some petunias for the sun, and impatiens for the shade, Buy 1 pack get 1 free, while supplies last.

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