Petunia Balcony Mix in hanging baskets..spacing?

minal(6)June 9, 2011

Hello, I direct sowed seeds of "Petunia Balcony Mix" into 3 hanging baskets (16-20 inches in width). I have thinned the seedlings and have left around 4-5 small seedlings/plants per hanging basket.

I wasnt sure how large petunias grow in a hanging basket. Should I jut leave one plant per basket, or is 4-5 ok per basket. They are growing pretty slow, they are around 2-3 inches in height and I sowed the seeds in early May.

I hope to see flowers at least by July. My baskets kind of look empty, the neighbors just went to the store and bought hanging baskets full of blooms. My husband keeps saying I shouldn't bother with seeds and should buy straight from the store. Anyway, any comments would be appreciated.

Minal

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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

I think 4 or 5 will be OK. In the right conditions, 2 or three could fill the pot by the beginning of July. I plant four small seedlings of petunias and the closely related calibrachoa (million bells) in 16-inch coco lined baskets at the beginning of the season, and they usually fill the pot and spill over nicely in four to six weeks. the pre-planted baskets your neighbors bought are at their peak in the garden center because they've been grown in a green house. They are going to go through a period of adjustment and require more attention to look good. As they become root bound in four to eight weeks, they won't look as good as yours, which will be flourishing.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 4:56PM
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minal(6)

thanks a lot for that response, I do feel better and will leave it to 4-5 per basket and cant wait to see the blooms.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 9:17AM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

Here's one of my 16-inch hanging baskets with two petunias, two million bells and one bacopa. The plants were only 4-6 inches tall in 2-inch pots when I put them in the basket about six weeks before this photo was taken. We had solid rain for the first four weeks. Now it's in the 90s. I love to add bacopa because it is the first to spill over the sides, but it can take over if you don't keep it trimmed.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 12:51PM
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minal(6)

My petunia turned out really well. They grew really tall, but didnt spill over the sides, just kind of stayed upright and grew upwards. Right now though they look a little droopy. They usually look like this when the soil in the basket gets dry, but the basket is well watered. The lower leaves have turned yellow and the whole plant is frail and soft. What could be wrong? does the plant need fertilizer, I did fertilize two months ago. It was really hot here and now its in the low 60s at night, high 80s during the day. All of the petunias in all 3 hanging baskets look the same. Are these short lived plants?

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 9:40PM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

Petunias need a lot of pruning and a lot of fertilizer to keep looking good. An English woman at my favorite garden center told me, "Treat them like little boys and give them a good hair cut and they'll bounce back." I cut mine back to 6-8 inches when they started to look straggly, and they came back in bloom about a week later. I also feed them with complete fertilizer every two weeks. That's on top of putting Osmocote Pluss in the potting soil.

As for not spilling over and hanging down, that's genetic. Some petunias are trailing and others are more upright. The "wave" petunias are supposed to hang down, but I've had some that didn't.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 11:46PM
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minal(6)

ok I see, so it seems like lack of fertilizer, I have fertilized today....hopefully its not too late. So you mentioned that they need a good hair cut. When you cut them back 6-8 inches, do you mean from the top?
I have total 4 plants, and they each has about 4-5 shoots with flowers at the top and yellowing leaves along the stem. I removed all the dead flowers and the yellow leaves, so now all that is left are the long stems with flowers at the top/
Also while cleaning them, I noticed that they have gone to seed and there are dried seed pods with tiny black seeds in them. I have collected those. Does the presence of seed pods mean there life cycle is over. For how long will they bloom if the temps go into low 60's?

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 9:35AM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

Here is a photo of the peunias shown in my earler message taken 10 days ago:

Petunias need to be deadheaded, which means you should remove all flowers before they go to seed. If I were you I would cut your plants back so they are no more than 6-8 inches tall. Then keep them watered and fertilize with a complete fertilizer according to package directions at least every two weeks. Miracle Gro 24-8-16 is a good choice. They'll look bad for a couple weeks, but they should begin blooming and filling out then. Petunias often come back strong when the weather cools down in the fall. Mine can even handle temps down to the mid-thirties.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 11:28AM
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