Petunia: planting and care, seed cultivation, types and varieties with photos
Petunia, also called petunia, is a genus represented by shrubs and herbaceous perennials. In the wild, such a plant can be found in the tropics of Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay. The name of this genus comes from the Brazilian word "petun" which translates as "tobacco". The fact is that tobacco and petunia are related plants. Even in North America, you can meet 1 type of petunia. This genus unites approximately 25 species. In some cases, these species are very different from each other. In culture, such a plant since the 18th century. Breeders more than a century ago created hybrids, which today are grown as garden or balcony annual plants. Petunia is attractive in that its lush flowering lasts all season, while the flowers are relatively large, bright and very beautiful. Also, this plant goes well with other flowers grown in the garden, for example, begonia or pelargonium. Ampelic petunia in suspended compositions looks very impressive, especially consisting of varieties of various colors. Also, this plant is very popular, because even an inexperienced gardener can grow it.
Features of Petunia
The shape of the petunia is bushy. In height, such a flower can reach 0.15-0.7 m, its densely branched shoots can be erect or creeping. Regularly located whole oval leaf plates reach a length of 5-12 centimeters, they have a dark green or green color. On the surface of foliage and shoots there is pubescence. Single funnel-shaped flowers are located on short peduncles, they can be irregular or regular, finite or axillary, double or simple, fringe also occur. Flowers can be colored in purple, pink, blue, pale red, white and purple, with a border, a whitish star, a halo or dark veins. The fruit is a bivalve box with seeds inside it.
Varieties of garden petunia (hybrid) cultivated on the balconies and garden plots, which were bred using wild-growing species of axillary petunia and violet petunia. Flowering begins in July, and ends with the onset of frost. Perennial petunia is always grown as an annual plant.
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Growing petunia from seeds
If you sow petunia seeds for seedlings in February, then they will need light. Most gardeners prefer to sow seeds from mid to late March, while it should be noted that because of the insufficiently long daylight hours, seed germination is extremely low, so they must be sown with a margin. The substrate for sowing should be taken light, loose and saturated with nutrients. Recommended substrate composition: rotted humus, peat, sand and soddy or leafy soil (2: 2: 1: 2).
Fill the container with soil mixture, while the top layer with a thickness of 10 mm should consist of a sifted substrate. 24 hours before sowing, the soil mixture must be properly watered, in this case, the seeds on its surface can be distributed evenly. Seeds before sowing must be combined with dry sand. Then they are evenly distributed over the surface of the substrate and moistened from the spray gun. The container on top must be covered with a film or glass. Crops are harvested in a warm (from 20 to 23 degrees) place.
After about 7 days, the first seedlings should appear. They will need to be ventilated and moistened daily from the sprayer 2 times a day.It is very important during this period to maintain a high level of humidity in the mini-greenhouse, however, because of this, a “black leg” may develop on the plants. To prevent this, it is necessary to daily remove condensate from the film immediately after its appearance, and the glass must be turned over on the other side. In addition, seedlings must be systematically sprayed with a weak solution of potassium permanganate. When the first real leaf plate is formed on the plants, the shelter should be removed from the container, the surface of the substrate should be covered with a thin layer of sand, and watering should be reduced.
When the seedlings form 3 or 4 real leaf plates, they should be picked, before that, thoroughly moistening the substrate in the container. Take the stick and gently pry it on the plant. Pull it out of the soil, grasping the leaves, while trying not to shake off the substrate from the roots. For a dive, use individual pots made of plastic or peat, which must be filled with the same substrate. After the plants are peaked, they need to be well watered and covered with paper sheets or lutrasil for 2-3 days.
In this period, care must be taken of the seedlings correctly and this should be taken seriously. During this period, the substrate should be moderately moist all the time. At this time, a variety of factors affect the frequency of irrigation, so in one case the seedlings will need to be moistened 1 or 2 times in 7 days, and in the other twice a day. It is very important to systematically loosen the surface of the substrate around the plants. 7 days after the pick, the plant will need to be systematically fed 1 time per week, while the root and extra-root method of feeding should be alternated. For top dressing, you can take Kemira, Nitrofosku, Mortar or other water-soluble complex fertilizers, with 25 to 35 grams taken per 1 bucket of water.
Varieties of grandiflora begin to bloom 3 months after sowing seeds, and varieties of multiflora - after 2.5 months. Before embarking on planting seedlings in open soil, it must be hardened. To do this, in the daytime, seedlings are taken out to the street or seedlings are transferred to a cool room for several days.
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Planting petunias in open ground
What time to land
Loamy or sandy loamy fertile soil is suitable for growing petunias, and it will be very good if humus or compost is added to it before planting the plants. Fertilizing the soil with manure is not recommended, because it can cause fungal diseases. For planting, you should choose a well-lit outdoor area. It is necessary to plant seedlings in the spring when there is no threat of return frosts (usually from mid to late May). Landing should be done in the evening or on a rainy day.
When planting flowering seedlings, the flowering of such a petunia will last until November. Since these flowers are often low, they are planted along the edge of the flower bed. Flowers in pots need to be watered very abundantly, then they are pulled out along with a lump of earth and planted in a pre-prepared hole. Leave between 0.3 to 0.4 m of free space between the plants. Planted flowers need to be watered. After a day, the surface of the site is covered with a layer of mulch.
Planting petunias in a vertical flower bed
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Care for the petunia in the garden
It is not too difficult to grow petunia, but before proceeding to its planting, you need to study all the rules and features of caring for such a plant. Petunia is resistant to drought, but at the same time in hot summer it must be watered. It should be noted that small-flowered varieties are less demanding on watering, compared with large-flowered. During irrigation, water must be poured under the root, since otherwise very delicate flowers of the plant can be injured.After the petunia has been watered, the next day it is necessary to loosen the surface of the site, while removing all weed grass.
If you want the flowering to be long and as spectacular as possible, systematically feed this plant. The first feeding of petunias is carried out 7 days after planting in open soil. Then top dressing is carried out every one and a half weeks until August, using complex fertilizer for this, which contains a large amount of potassium. Occasionally, petunia can be fed with organic fertilizers, for example, humic fertilizers or mullein infusion.
Propagation of petunias by cuttings
Propagation by cuttings is suitable only for terry and ampelous petunias, and also for all sortogroups of mini-petunias (caliberhoa). Terry cuttings can be propagated by cuttings in the last weeks of winter, the first - in the spring, while mini-petunias and ampelous - all year round, but for this they will need additional illumination with fluorescent lamps, and also heat (from 21 to 24 degrees).
Cut off the apical cuttings, on which there should be from 4 to 6 leaf plates. Tear off all the leaves except the top two. The remaining leaves should be shortened by ½ part. Cuttings need to be planted to root in the exact same soil mixture, which is used for seedlings. However, in this case, the surface of the substrate should be covered with a layer of perlite or sand 20–25 mm thick, which must be shed with a fungicide solution. Between the cuttings, a distance of 15–20 mm must be observed, and from above the container is covered with glass. It is unnecessary to use growth stimulants (for example, Heteroauxin), because freshly cut cuttings are rooted well, but you should not delay their planting. The substrate in the greenhouse should be slightly moist all the time, for this you need to moisten the petunia twice a day from the spray gun. However, it should be noted that excessive dampness contributes to the development of the "black leg" or mold. Terry and ampelous petunia will completely take root after about 7 days, and mini-petunia - after 14 days.
After the length of the roots reaches 10-15 mm in length, the plant should be planted in individual pots, the diameter of which should be equal to 50 mm. In order for the plant to grow stronger, they must be nipped over 4 or 5 leaf plates. The tips of the stems remaining after pinching can be used as cuttings. After a fortnight, if necessary, re-pinch the stems. After 6 weeks, such plants are transplanted into pots, the diameter of which reaches 11-13 centimeters. Care for growing cuttings should be almost the same as for seedlings. However, it should be borne in mind that ampelous petunias and mini-petunias require a lot of free space, therefore it is recommended to suspend containers with them.
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Diseases and pests
If, when growing petunias, all the rules of agricultural technology of such a culture are observed, then it will never get sick, and harmful insects will not settle on it. If the plant is not properly looked after, it sometimes becomes ill with late blight, chlorosis, black leg and gray rot. To combat these diseases, you need to use tools specially designed for this. However, it is better to prevent the development of diseases, for this you just need to properly care for the bushes. Also, this plant can infect viral diseases, which today are considered incurable.
Aphids, thrips, spider mites and slugs can live on petunias. In order to get rid of them, you should also use specially designed drugs for this.
Seed collection should be carried out only after they are fully ripe on the bush. During the flowering period, it should be noted the bushes of those varieties from which you will need to collect seeds.It should be noted that the lower buds are used to collect seeds, because in them the seeds form and mature faster. After the bud is fully formed, it should be detected for 8 weeks, after this time the seeds in them will fully ripen. The seeds of such a plant are small (diameter about half a millimeter), in one box there are about 100 pieces.
Shake out the ripened seeds from the boxes and distribute them into bags, do not forget to sign the year of collection, grade and color of the flower. You can also just cut the boxes and store them in the house. Seeds need to be ripened, for this they are stored for 3-4 months at room temperature. If the seeds are stored correctly, then they remain viable for up to four years.
If you want to save the petunia, then it should be removed from the soil in October, then all shoots are removed from the bush. The bush is planted in a pot and cleaned in a cool room. Here the flower will rest, but it needs to be watered occasionally so that the earth is moderately moist. On a well-lit warm window sill, the pot with the plant must be moved in February, and systematic watering must be resumed. After the young stems form 2 or 3 pairs of leaf plates, they must be cut off with a “heel”, which is planted in flowerpots filled with nutrient soil, its surface should be covered with a layer of sand. The container must be covered using glass or film, then it is transferred to a small shadow. Provide plantlets with regular watering, spraying and airing for 20 days until rooting of the shoots is observed. Then the plant is transplanted into separate cups. They are planted in open soil at the same time as petunia seedlings.
Unnecessary faded petunia bushes in the autumn should be dug up and burned, and the site is dug up.
Types and varieties of petunias with photos and names
All varieties of garden petunias are divided into 2 groups: large-flowered and multi-flowered.
Multi-flowered petunias (multiflora)
Compared with large-flowered varieties, multi-flowered (multiflora) begin to bloom earlier, while many flowers with a five-centimeter diameter grow on the bush, they bloom for a relatively long time. Such flowers are not picky, they can be grown in any soil, they are not afraid of rain and like sunlight. In this regard, such a petunia can be called a real garden flower. It looks less impressive than plants of large-flowered varieties, but compact bushes covered with flowers of various shades are able to please their beauty before severe frosts occur. The most popular are the following varieties of multiflorous petunia:
- Fantasy. This series consists of 9 hybrids. The height and also the diameter of the plants are about 0.2 m, the flowers reach 40 mm across, they can be colored: red with veins and a whitish throat, salmon, raspberry red, pale salmon with dark veins, raspberry pink, blue - violet, white, pale pink with a cream pharynx color, etc.
- Mirage. This series consists of 13 compact hybrids. The diameter of terry flowers is from 60 to 90 mm, they can be painted: pink with dark pink veins, red with burgundy veins, raspberry-burgundy, lilac pink with purple veins, pink with raspberry red veins, white, etc.
- Plumcrystals. The bush reaches a height of approximately 0.3 m, and 0.25 m across. The diameter of its flowers is about 70 mm. Gradually, the color of the flowers fades: first a lilac-pink color, then a pale lilac, and in the end only a little lilac. Veins, painted in burgundy-violet, stand out clearly against the background of a flower.
Large-flowered petunia (grandiflora)
The most common group of hybrids, which includes hundreds of varieties, is large-flowered petunia (grandiflora).In such plants, the flowers are very large and spectacular, but they are much smaller than on bushes of small-flowered varieties. Such a group has one drawback, the fact is that wind and rain can injure flowers, which lose their attractiveness because of this. In this regard, large-flowered petunia is usually used for growing in containers or pots indoors, on the terrace or balcony. This group is divided into subgroups:
- large-flowered - a bush reaches a height of about 0.6 m, smooth flowers have a diameter of 8 to 10 centimeters;
- large-flowered low - bush height from 0.25 to 0.3 m, other characteristics are similar to the previous subgroup;
- large-flowered fringed low and large-flowered fringed - bushes in height reach 0.25–0.3 m and 0.65–0.7 m, respectively, fringed flowers, their diameter is about 12 centimeters;
- large-flowered superior low and large-flowered superior - the height of the bushes is 0.3–0.4 m and 0.5–0.75 m, respectively, smooth flowers have a wide pharynx, their diameter is about 10–12 centimeters, there are darker veins on the surface compared to the main background;
- large-flowered terry - the height of the bush is from 0.5 to 0.6 m, large double flowers in diameter reach from 10 to 12 centimeters, their edge is fringed or smooth.
The following series of large-flowered petunia are very popular:
- Hit parade. These hybrids are rapidly blooming. The height of the bush is about 0.25 m. Flowers can be painted in a variety of colors, for example: raspberry, blue with a white star, violet-blue, pink, white, salmon, etc.
- Picoti. The composition of this series includes 4 hybrids, which differ in that they have highly corrugated edges of the petals, which are surrounded by a white border, reaching a width of 15 mm. The bush reaches a height of 0.25 m. The flowers are painted in purple, violet-blue, red, pink and raspberry color.
- Perple Pirouette. This terry hybrid of purple-violet color, along the fringed edge of the corrugated petals of which passes a white border. The bush reaches a height of 0.25 m.
In addition to the data of the most popular petunia groups, the petunia floribunda is still quite in demand. She occupies an intermediate position between these groups. To the flowers of this group, the rains are almost not terrible almost the same as the flowers of the multiflora petunia. However, in order for such plants to look very beautiful, they must be grown in bulk, for this they are planted in large flower beds. Varieties:
- Sonia. This series is very popular among gardeners, it includes 11 hybrids. Shrubs reach a height of 0.25 m. The flowers can be painted raspberry, burgundy and raspberry with a whitish star, white, pale violet with purple veins, pink, pink and raspberry with a whitish star, red with a whitish border, red color, etc. .
- Celebrity. This variety includes hybrids that are resistant to heat and rain. Such a variety has thirteen different colors, the flowers are two-tone, plain or tri-color.
Garden group of petunias
There is also a garden group called ampelous or balcony petunias. The plants included in it have flexible and long shoots that tend to grow down. Such flowers are fast-growing and resistant to adverse weather conditions. Popular varieties:
- Surfinia. In diameter, the flowers of these plants reach 60–90 mm. However, the miniature varieties included (Mini Pearl and Pink Mini) have flowers with a diameter of only 5 mm. Flowers can be painted in all possible color shades, except for rich yellow and orange.
- Tumbelin. This series is the result of the work of the Japanese company Santori. Terry flowers.
- Conchita. The flowers of these hybrids are more similar in size and shape to the flowers of mini-petunias (caliberhoa).Small flowers in diameter reach 50 mm, they have different colors, and can be painted in a variety of color shades.
Varieties and the best varieties of PETUNIA
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