Having trouble growing petunia from seed

gatormn(4)April 25, 2013

I have bought some petunia from online place but could only find the wave petunia at $3.00 for only 15 seeds
Sounds like such a rip off and when I planted them only have germinated and the rest just grew a bit and fell over.
Now I waisted money on trying to grow from seeds instead of paying the big price of $5.00 per plant in the local nursery.
Has anyone had any luck growing petunias from seed?
If so can you give me some tips on how to grow them?
My other flowers are doing ok but the Petnuias are such a tiny seedlings and I do not know if they need special temp to grow.

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I have always had pretty good luck with Tidal Wave petunias from seed. They are pricey, so I start them early, and then as they grow I take cutting from them and start more from them.

Petunias grow pretty slowly at first, and seem like they are just sitting there doing nothing for a few weeks. Then they take off and grow pretty fast.

You dont say anything about what you are doing - growing medium, lighting, watering schedule etc., which makes it difficult to tell you what to change.

They need warmish 75 degrees temps to germinate well, but once started prefer it cooler 60-65 is fine. Its easy to over water them when they are tiny, so a well draining mix and a light hand with the water is important.

I dont understand when you say they " grew a bit and fell over". Petunias dont get any height for a long time so how do they fall over?

Tell us what you are doing, and we may be able to offer concrete advice.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 6:55AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

"Grew a bit and fell over" always sounds like the fungus disease damp-off to me. That is caused by excess moisture such over-watering or growing under a cover and too warm growing temps. But that is just a guess at this point.

Otherwise we need all the info mandolls requested to know what the problem is.


    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 11:27AM
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runswithscissors(MT 4/5)

To tell the truth, I've not had great success with the fancy hybrid petunias. Waves, cascades, velvets, but I'm convinced that perhaps it's not so much error on my part as it is that fewer of these seeds are viable. I have had great luck sprouting regular petunias and in fact they re-seed themselves all over the place. I think it is quite adorable to see a teeny, tiny sprout poking up between the pavers in the walkway with a huge petunia blossom on the end! Anyway, I concur with Dave about the stretching sprout that keels over. Too little light, and too little water. I've killed tons of them with this recipe. The hybrids seem especially prone.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 11:13PM
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Here are some of mine from this year. This is their first day out from under the lights, getting a taste of the real world.

These are from front to back - Celebrity Niagra mix, Dolce Flambe, and Yellow Horizon.

Here are Blue and SIlver Tidal Waves - I usually get 80-85% germination with them.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 7:07PM
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lelia(Northern Cal)

I sow petunia seeds in 9-oz plastic cups in potting soil, not seed starting soil. I water thoroughly before sowing, and then water with a gentle mist after sowing, until they're large enough to be watered without floating away or getting flattened. I don't cover them with anything.

I put them in a very sunny window, and when daytime temperatures are in the mid 50's or higher I leave them outside and bring them in at night. They seem to tolerate fairly cold temperatures pretty well. Not long ago, for example, I left all my seedlings outside at night, thinking it would be warm, but it went down to 45 degrees. The cukes wilted, but the petunias looked very spry. I even had one overwinter after some surrounding plants that I hadn't cleaned up provided cover, and we get freezes here. That two-year old petunia was AWESOME.

So I guess what works for my petunias amounts to:

Plenty of light
Good air circulation
Soil checked every day and misted until moist, not soggy

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 10:31PM
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I too have trouble with petunias from seed. I can get about a 50% germination, but beyond that they seem stunted and just don't want to grow. I've just started watering about once a week with a mild solution af miracle grow to see if that will jump start them.
Nobody seems to talk about getting them growing after germination.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 12:14AM
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If you are using fresh seed and have the warmth needed to germinate them, you should be getting better than 50%. I did have one type last year that had poor gemination, but I attributed it to the seed. They do need 70-75 degrees for good germination, and I continue to keep them warm for the early stages of the growth. After they are established they prefer it cooler. Petunias do seem slow at first. They get to 4-6 true leaves and then sit there for a while developing roots. Be patient, they should kick into gear after a while and grow like crazy. I use 1/4 strength 10-10-10 fert every time I water for all of my seedlings. I find it much easier than trying to remember to keep them on a schedule.

I am starting later than I did last year, but I finally ordered my petunia seed yesterday and plan on getting them going as soon as they arrive.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 9:05AM
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Thanks Mandolls
The slow growing is one of the big things I experienced. I've started a lot of veg seeds as well as flower seeds and have never seen a plant grow as slow as these petunias.
May just buy plugs in the future.
Pansies are much easier in my opinion.
Not good at petunias.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 1:29AM
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Hi, just wondering if any of you experts can advise me. I live in southern UK and after reading about the problems some have experienced with sowing petunias I am now not sure if I'm wise to attempt winter sowing them. What do you all think, thanks

    Bookmark   January 18, 2015 at 5:20AM
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ontheteam(5a-6 (S.Eastern, MA))

I am a winter sower and an under light grower.... Some people have good luck WS the petunias.. I did not.. i do t hem under lights. Ask around at the WS forum

    Bookmark   January 18, 2015 at 9:55AM
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Thanks, will do

    Bookmark   January 18, 2015 at 5:57PM
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Hi! I am apologist for organic gardening. I know a process that is revolutionary like this, because with it your plants grow 100% to 50% faster, and you can grow up to TEN times the plants in the same amount of space. The University of the Virgin Islands have discovered and experimented this.

Here is a link that might be useful: Aquaponics

    Bookmark   January 19, 2015 at 5:58AM
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