trailing petunia

fultonMarch 16, 2010

Every year I put 4 or 5 trailing petunias in Miracle Grow potting mix in a 9 inch basket and by the end of the year it's all roots. As I switch to more locally accessable 8 inch pots I was gonna go with 3 but am wondering if 2 would actually give me more foliage and blooms due to less crowding.

Also, my petunias are fabulous till after the fourth of July and then they go downhill, starting to brown in the center and spreading outward. By that time of the year I'm watering daily with quarter strength fert every other day. 24 hours later( without rain) the basket is very light. Full, all day sun. Help? Thanks.


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I would use 1-2 trailing petunias per 8" pot. Three will look better early on but get crowded pretty quick.

My petunias get 'leggy' and the blooms are less impressive during the heat of July/August. I thrash them and they are back in prime condition for fall until the cold kills them.

Is yours a true hanging basket, exposed on all sides? I've always had problems keeping those from drying out. In the past I've used micro-irrigation drippers on a timer with some success. Since then, I don't _need_ to grow my petunias in hanging baskets, so I don't.


    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 7:00PM
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Yes, exposed on all sides. I'l try 2. Should I pinch them
for fuller growth or is that bred into them?
Please define "thrash". Thanks.


    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 7:51PM
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I pinch the tips of my petunias when they are young and I have the free time to dote on them. It definitely helps increase the branching and therefore the blooming. After a few days or weeks, I tend to forget to do this. Before I know it, it is July/August, and the plants are leggy!

By 'leggy' I mean that there are multiple stems that may be 36" long, but only have flowers on the last 6". At this point, I 'thrash' them, to mean cutting 95% back until only a few main stems and leaves remain.

They then have such a root mass they can produce vigorous, floriferous growth until the first frost kills them a few months later.

Please note this is only a description of how I neglect my plants, and then harshly deal with the neglect. :) It would probably be easier to prune regularly. By pruning, I mean removing large sections of stem, not just 'pinching' the buds at the end of the stems.

My experience is mostly with the wave and tidal wave petunias.

Good luck,

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 10:53PM
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Can trailing petunias be planted in the ground?

    Bookmark   May 8, 2011 at 7:18PM
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Can you plant mounding petunias in flower boxes. Will they fall over and trail or do you have to buy a special kind of petunia to have them hang from the flower box

    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 9:35PM
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Have you tried "Surfinia" petunias? IMHO they are MUCH superior to "Wave" petunias and look good all summer long and do not need deadheading. They are a little harder to find but I live in a small town in southern Oregon and have found one plant nursery that carries them. If you can't find them, it's worth asking your local nursery if they can order some for you. Good Luck!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 4:12AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Yes, trailing plants can be planted in the ground - that's where they normally grow. ;o)

Mounding petunias will eventually trail if they spill over the edge of the container, but it may take awhile, and some growers might have trouble with their plants 'petering out' before they get long enough to trail.

My favored petunia is 'carpet' petunia. Very floriferous with extremely tight nodes, so they tend to not get as leggy as others, like 'wave', but they still trail nicely if that's your aim.

I prune as I go - making sure there are trailing stems at intervals & plenty of secondary stems ready to take their place as a result of secondary branching coming on behind the pruning/pinching cuts. The added air-flow and reduced root growth from thinning usually has mine looking good from Jun until the frost takes them in late Sep or Oct. I've posted lots of late season pics of plantings with only petunias, or mixed plantings including petunias, that showed them to be perfectly happy & robust.


    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 7:12PM
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