can I WS petunias?

Nohren1028(5)January 8, 2012

Last year was my first try at WS'ing. Mainly just a few native perennial seeds I found at a local store. I'd like to try growing some petunias from seed since I spend so much on them at the nursery. Any advice for growing these?

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kqcrna(z6 SW Oh)

Yes, they wintersow very well.

You might want to sow them closer to spring, like March or April, to avoid late frost on seedlings.

Karen

    Bookmark   January 8, 2012 at 4:40PM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

I have also taken to starting my own petunias, since they can be a bit $ at the nursery. I've had petunias volunteer on their own in my garden from the previous year, so don't think they mind early cold at all. The ones that sometimes sprout up in my garden stay small for quite awhile, until until later spring/early summer when temps get warmer here.

I think you would be fine sowing them now if you wanted. I happen to wait until a couple weeks before the last frost date here, but that is only as a matter of convenience to myself ;-)
CMK

    Bookmark   January 8, 2012 at 5:40PM
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paulan70(5)

With my zone 5 I have found out that it is best to start petunias in the beginning of march. But if you get alot of rain protect the jugs with something. A few years ago I lost most of my seedlings because they got drowned out had plenty of drainage holes just too much rain.(I am talking about in early April and so on). This way if you start earlier and lose alot of seedling you still have time to restart a few.

And yes some petunia do reseed themselves nicely in pots and in the ground. Once you start petunias you will have them forever. One can never have too many petunias just not enough space for them all.

Paula

    Bookmark   January 9, 2012 at 7:54AM
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kqcrna(z6 SW Oh)

Reseeding varies a lot with the type of petunia. Hybrids like Wave series never reseed in my yard. But there are "old fashioned reseeding type" petunias that reseed like weeds. Laura Bush is one of those. This was one patch of volunteers

Karen

    Bookmark   January 9, 2012 at 9:02AM
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bookjunky4life(5 Central IL)

I tried WSing petunias in the pot with plastic covering it last winter and had not one sprout. Is there a better container to WS petunias in? I can do them in cups like I do my tomatoes and some annuals if that will work better.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2012 at 11:26AM
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Nohren1028(5)

Oh Karen those are pretty!
Thank you all for the information. It's been so warm here lately I'm afraid to WS anything, for fear that it'll germinate before we have a cold snap. I also have to buy some seeds still lol
Here's another situation I have, I wonder if it would be better for petunias and other annuals. I have a bonus room between the house and garage. It's not technically a sunroom, but has lots of windows. I have my potting station set up in there. I thought about sowing some things, like the petunias in there. The room isn't heated, but it also doesn't freeze. I wonder if this would be better than WSing them, so I can control the water more.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2012 at 7:21PM
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paulan70(5)

I always w/s mine in either half gallon or the full gallon milk jugs.

Paula

    Bookmark   January 10, 2012 at 2:41AM
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bookjunky4life(5 Central IL)

Paula - do they transplant well to pots or the ground? I haven't tried them in my gallon milk jugs yet.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2012 at 10:53AM
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trudi_d

I've done petunias a lot, I just love WSing tunias. I do sow them heavily, standard OPs are often much cheaper than hybrids, so i buy a bulk or large packet. This I surface sow across the soil of a WS container. They usually sprout by very early spring, then I plant out the flat via hunk-o-seedlings. It's a lot of fun and I get a nice showing of tunias for litte money or investment of time.

T

PS, love that photo Karen!

    Bookmark   January 10, 2012 at 5:16PM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

-bookjunkie, if you have slug problems it isn't a good idea to plant the petunia seedlings out directly into the garden. I put a few hunks of seedlings out when they were tiny yet and they were promptly mown down by the slugs. Seriously, checked the day after planting them out and there was only leafy stubble left, lol! Think it might be a better idea to transplant hunks from the jugs into bigger pots to grow up before planting into the garden, or just grow in larger pots, hanging baskets, etc. if you have slug issues ;-)
CMK

    Bookmark   January 10, 2012 at 6:11PM
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paulan70(5)

Yes for me they transplant well to both the ground and into pots. But you do have to watch out for snails and other sprout eating bugs. And since I am a heavy sower I just plant out little plugs which usually mean a few near the edges will wilt and maybe die but the ones in the middle will be just fine. And I have found some of my pots that were stored over the winter to have reseeded them selves and I usually let one of them grow to see what mother nature wanted to plant out. hehe

You can take you time and alot of work of transplanting the tiny seedlings into the flats to get bigger or just leave in the milk jugs and just take care of them still have to watch out for snails (snail bait works great at that time of the year)because the snails and slugs will crawl into the jugs and hunker down for a buffet. So I just watch them and then trandplant them out after mothers day. With the jugs with low gernination you might be able to plant out the single seedlings. Just depends on heavy you sow and weather conditions. I had maybe 3 or so jugs of petunias that had zero gernination last year who knows why one was even a commerical pack of seed. But there was more than enough seedling to "find" places for.

Paula

    Bookmark   January 10, 2012 at 8:33PM
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kqcrna(z6 SW Oh)

I especially like some of the newer 'tunias. And I love the pelleted seed. Some of the cheaper seed companies sell them for not-so-high prices. Check places like Pinetree and Swallowtail.

IMO, some of the newer, spreading petunias just give you a lot more bang for the buck. Just one tidal wave petunia can spread 3 to 4 feet.

Karen

    Bookmark   January 10, 2012 at 9:19PM
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dem_pa

Don't cover seeds. They need light to germinate.

Don

    Bookmark   January 11, 2012 at 7:24PM
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Nohren1028(5)

Don, what are the bottom tunias?
VERY pretty!

    Bookmark   January 13, 2012 at 10:18AM
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ladyrose65

I actually sowed some Petunia seeds. This is my first time. I got Can Can Burgundy and I order some Navy blue one's from Swallowtail.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 9:01PM
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beachgrub(4 northern michigan)

Well, i have a tendency to go overboard so i bought over 300 pelleted seeds this wknd on ebay. Have big plans on supplying my whole family with hanging baskets this year so eek! alot of pressure here! Planning on sowing in milk jugs the end of feb. will post pics whether they turn out or not. Crossing fingers! The a above pics are very encouraging!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 8:32PM
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