Pretty Pretty Petunias
PRETTY PRETTY PETUNIAS
Petunias are one of the most popular annual garden flowers for use in borders and containers. In fact, the Proven Winners® list of its ‘Top 50 Best Selling Annuals’ awards the top three slots to a petunia variety. And it’s not hard to see why…
- Petunias are prolific bloomers;
- They come in a variety of colors;
- They can be striped, veined, spotted or solid;
- Some have single blooms while others have double blooms;
- Some have smooth petals while others are more ruffled;
- Some cascade while others mound beautifully in the landscape.
In other words, there is a petunia for every gardener!
Petunias are some of the earliest annuals available at Marcum’s Nursery. In Oklahoma, petunias provide spring blooms that last into summer. Extreme summer heat can temporarily cause blooming to stop, but – if cared for properly – petunias will often bloom again in the fall.
Here are the keys to having success with petunias this season!
Generally petunias prefer full sun, meaning at least six hours of direct sunlight most days, to bloom abundantly. However, as summer temperatures rise, moving petunia baskets or pots to a spot with partial shade (especially shade from the strong afternoon sun) is a welcome reprieve.
Older petunia varieties require deadheading for continuous bloom while many modern, hybrid varieties are self-cleaning. Pinching back the tips will promote more branching, and you can always prune plants that become lanky and pull off spent blooms.
Like most annuals, petunias don’t like to be dry for too long; they also don’t like to sit in soggy soil potentially rotting their roots. Consistent watering is crucial to getting maximum blooms for most annuals, and petunias are certainly no exception.
The amount of water needed varies based on multiple factors: temperature, wind, humidity, soil composition and whether planted in landscape beds, pots or hanging baskets. Set a schedule to check on and care for your flowers, and don’t allow the top couple inches of soil get dry.
Here are a few Pro Tips around watering:
- Some of our most successful clients report setting a daily reminder on their phone helps them stay on top of checking in on and caring for their hanging baskets and pots.
- Soil Moist™ granules absorb water and gradually release it into drying soil. This can help your potted petunias better survive a period of neglect.
- If you have an area you want to look really nice but that you don’t access each day, like a front porch for example, consider investing in an AquaPots® planter. AquaPots® are high-quality and durable, they come in timeless colors and designs, and they practically water and fertilize plants for you!
Fertilizer is food! If you want petunias bursting with blooms, you have to feed them.
Petunias planted in landscape beds don’t have to be fed as often because their roots can spread out to find the nutrients they need in the soil. To get petunias in beds off to a good start at the time of planting, use Marcum’s Nursery Redbud Compost and a slow release fertilizer, such as Marcum’s Nursery Flower Food (14-14-14) or ferti-lome® Premium Bedding Plant Food (7-22-8), then feed them on 30 day intervals.
Petunias in pots and hanging baskets require more food to bloom repeatedly. For example, the hanging baskets in our greenhouses get a low dose of balanced fertilizer each day; however, you don’t have to fertilize daily to produce beautiful blooms. Many fertilizers only need to be used on 7-14 day intervals. Some water soluble fertilizer options include ferti-lome® All Purpose Water Soluble Plant Food (20-20-20), ferti-lome® Blooming & Rooting Soluble Plant Food (9-58-8) and Marcum’s Nursery Bloom Max™ (10-55-10). A couple of liquid organic options are ferti-lome® Fish Emulsion Fertilizer (5-1-1) and Fox Farm® Big Bloom® Liquid Plant Food (0-0.5-0.7). Be sure to check your fertilizer label for application instructions.
CURRENTLY BLOOMING AT MARCUM’S
Varieties vary by location. While supplies last!
Evening Safari Petunia
Bee’s Knees Petunia
Crazytunia® Blackberry Cheesecake
Crazytunia® Mandeville Petunia
Easy Wave® Burgundy Star
Crazytunia® Moonstruck Petunia
Petunia Capella™ Indigo
Petunia Capella™ Salmon
Petunia Headliner™ Pink Sky
Headliner™ Starry Sky Burgundy
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