Growing cascading and super cascading petunias
For a long time already, a great many varieties and hybrids of cascading petunias have appeared on the shelves of specialized stores – a liana-like, covered with an incredible amount of bright, juicy, mesmerizing flowers, a beauty that amazes the imagination of flora lovers with a combination of simplicity and splendor.
However, getting the desired result is actually not so easy – often, the shoots do not reach the promised length, the size and brightness of the flowers are far from what the manufacturer announced, and the number of them on the plant is not as much as we would like to see.
In order to get the flowers that any gardener dreams of, it is necessary to follow the rules for growing petunias, create all the necessary conditions for the growth and development of the plant, and simply – love floriculture, appreciate flowers, be ready to give them your energy, your time and energy.
Agrotechnics for growing cascade petunias
Sowing petunia seeds is best in light, well-aerated potting mix, the main component of which is peat. Sowing is carried out from mid-February to April, on the surface, the seeds are not sprinkled with soil, they are watered (it is best to do this using a spray bottle), then the containers are covered with foil or glass.
To get friendly, strong shoots, it is necessary to provide crops with a high level of humidity and good lighting, the temperature of the environment at this stage should be within the range from 18 to 21 ° C.
With early sowing of seeds, the seedlings need additional lighting (on average, the backlight should be turned on for 15 – 19 hours), otherwise, their growth will be less active, the plants will acquire a sickly frail appearance, and the whole point of early sowing will be nullified.
If we compare the growth rates of ordinary and cascade petunias, then it should be noted that the latter develops more intensively. After the formation of the basal shoot, the lateral, horizontally growing ones immediately begin to actively develop, so the picking should be done in time so that the lack of space for growth does not inhibit the overall development of the plant..
The pick is carried out in the phase of the first true leaf, during this period the plant is quite fragile, so special care is needed, you can use tweezers so as not to damage the seedlings. The transplant is carried out in separate cups or pots (peat pots can be used) – this is a necessary condition for the free and rapid growth of the root system.
You can do without picking if you use granular seeds – they are quite the right size for spot sowing. Such seed material, of course, has a higher cost, but the work is greatly simplified and the seedlings suffer less from your manipulations..
An important factor when growing cascading petunias is the level of humidity. It is for its maintenance that it is necessary to cover the seedlings, but, as they grow, the plants must get used to natural conditions. For this, after the appearance of the first leaf, it is recommended to start hardening: open the film (or move the glass) daily, gradually increasing the airing time (from 5-7 minutes to several hours), each time opening the boxes with seedlings more and more.
After the appearance of 3-4 leaves, the seedlings of the super-cascading petunia become less whimsical, the plants quickly gain strength, actively grow and develop. Accordingly, require more nutrients for development.
It is wiser to start top dressing about 20 – 25 days after picking, it is best with complex water-soluble mineral fertilizers, however, it should be borne in mind that the concentration of the nutrient solution for irrigation should be made weaker than indicated on the package so as not to damage the delicate root system with excess nitrogen. The next feeding is done in two weeks with mineral or organo-mineral compositions..
Transplanting into open ground or into hanging pots is carried out in the third decade of May, when the threat of frost has passed, the soil warms up enough, but the hot weather has not yet settled and the sun is not yet able to burn your flowers.
To prevent a stressful state after planting petunias in a permanent place, you can conduct a course of spraying with growth stimulants, such as “Epin”, “Zircon”.
To get a beautiful, neat and powerful bush of cascading petunia, the photo of which is presented below, you need to remember one important rule:
Cascading and super-cascading varieties and hybrids of petunias are not pinched! This negatively affects the rate of growth and development, and also weakens and depresses the plant..
It is best to plant petunias in sunny areas, which will allow it to bloom profusely, pleasing the eye with bright, healthy, large flowers that densely cover the shoots.
During the flowering period, top dressing is carried out once a week, watering – as the soil dries up, the timely loosening of the upper soil layer will create good air exchange and water permeability, which is the key to the health and active development of the root system, and therefore its aboveground part.
Popular varieties of cascading petunias
Among the great variety of hybrids and varieties of cascading petunias, the following have won the greatest favor with flower growers:
- Petunia Double Cascade;
- Petunia Gioconda;
- Petunia Ramblin;
Petunia Double Cascade, distinguished by huge double flowers of bright attractive colors with a pleasant aroma, a neat bush covered with emerald green leaves, is one of the most beautiful representatives of annual flowers.
But, of course, one of the most attractive species can be called the Gioconda petunia – many-flowered, creeping, cascading. A gorgeous low bush with strongly branching shoots, densely covered with flowers, the diameter of which reaches 5-6 cm, will become a real pearl of the garden. Looks great in hanging pots, provided that its capacity is at least 10 liters. A huge plus is the ability of this plant to adapt to the widest temperature range, which allows not only growing this variety in different climatic zones, but also preserving it in the winter.
A hybrid of petunias cascading Ramblin, related to surfinias (blooms two weeks earlier than others) is not in vain the most desirable in the garden – the height of the bush does not exceed 40 cm, but the creeping shoots can reach a whole meter in length, which allows you to create magnificent vertical compositions in suspended pots. An abundance of flowers, early flowering, unpretentious care and a long flowering period are the main characteristics of this type of petunias..
Looking at all this beauty and splendor, multicolor and brightness, the question will surely arise in the head of a novice florist: which variety to give preference to? There are no advisers here, it is difficult to find an unambiguous answer here … although no. There is. Choose one of each type!
Tips for when to plant petunias for seedlings – read in this article!