Petunia (65 photos): growing and care
Due to its extraordinary brilliance, petunia has long become the favorite of most flower growers. Throughout the summer, she decorates flower beds and paths, balconies, verandas and window sills, gardens and parks. Blooming petunia resembles bright fluffy clouds of red-pink, lilac, purple, yellow-orange shades, there are also exotic black, blue, maroon varieties. The variety and richness of colors allows you to create delightful compositions even without combining with other plants. Petunia bushes are a self-sufficient decor for suburban areas, city lawns, terraces and any other areas, which, with such landscaping, instantly acquire an elegant look.
General characteristics of the flower
A visitor from the South American tropics, petunia belongs to the light and heat-loving annual crops. Depending on the variety, it can reach from 10 to 100 cm in height, the diameter of the flowers is 5-10 cm. In bush varieties, the stem is erect, and the adult plant has a spherical shape. There are also ampelous petunias with creeping shoots – they are hung in pots, they decorate vertical structures and high flowerpots.
Abundantly flowering bushes are strewn with bright flowers, which can be either monochromatic or with contrasting veins, center or border. Varieties of mixed shades look very unusual. As a rule, petunias are characterized by a rich purple-violet palette, but there are also pastel pinkish-lilac, peach, white tones..
The habitat of petunias in the wild is the equatorial and subequatorial zones, where the countries of Latin America are located (Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Argentina). It is a region with a warm and humid climate. Throughout the year, the air temperature is 30–33C, and never drops below + 10C. In such conditions, the plant manifests itself as a perennial, adding brightness to the lower tiers of the tropics, but in areas with snowy winters it has to be cultivated anew every season. Taking care of a southern guest is easy – you just need to know the basic rules and give the plants what they need.
Reproduction of petunia flowers is carried out from seeds, which themselves are extremely small. It is not recommended to sow them directly into open ground – in cold ground and without proper care, they almost never sprout, but they develop well on a sunny windowsill in “greenhouse” conditions.
The seeds are thrown into a container on moistened soil, but do not fall asleep on top. Before the appearance of 1-2 leaves, the container with future seedlings should be covered with a film or a plastic lid, but always transparent, so that light remains available. After 20-25 days, the sprouts dive in separate cups, and when a real leaf appears, pinch the top to strengthen the stem.
For feeding young seedlings, a weak solution of potassium humate (3-5 drops per 250 ml of water) is used once a week. After about two months, the plants are ready for transplanting outdoors, but at least a week or two before that, they should be gradually adapted to outdoor conditions, for example, by exposing them to the balcony in the morning and evening..
Petunias need light but moisture-retaining soil. Deciduous-sod land (60%) with an admixture of sand and peat (20% each) is ideal. Sour soils can be balanced by adding a little lime. If the bush will grow in a pot or pots, it is recommended to make a five-centimeter drainage layer, and add a hydrogel to the soil.
Fertilizers are applied when transplanting seedlings outside. It will not be superfluous to add organic matter to the soil mixture – humus, compost or humin, but fresh manure should be discarded. Then, once a week, you can water the flowers twice with a light solution of potassium humate, which contributes to the appearance of more buds.
Moistening the soil should be regular, but moderate. Petunias withstand short-term drought and short waterlogging during summer rains well, but stagnant water, especially in cold weather, can negatively affect the root system and reduce the decorative effect of the plant. In addition to watering, the ground under the flower should be periodically fluffed to provide air access.
For petunias, bright and long-term lighting is necessary, so it is advisable to choose areas on the south, south-west or south-east side, avoiding shady and cold corners. This plant is best suited to an open area away from trees, bushes and fences. However, under the canopy of a veranda or gazebo, petunia will develop as well as in direct sunlight..
Petunia in the flowerbed
The colorful and attractive appearance of the petunia determines her solo part in floral ensembles. Any other plants in such a neighborhood are somewhat lost or seem out of place. The only exception is small ground covers, which should be lower and located at the edges of the composition..
And yet, despite the peculiar egoism of a tropical guest, the flower beds with its flowering bushes look unusually bright and are noticeable from afar. You can choose varieties of contrasting or similar colors in tone, playing with the slightest transitions, or painting the landscape with colorful splashes and strokes.
By the way, it is petunias that are most often chosen for the design of non-standard flower beds. They are planted in a variety of objects that can only be filled with earth, be it an old bathtub, a cart, shoes, or even a bicycle. Also, these colorful and lush bushes wonderfully play the role of framing along the edges of paths or ridges, and they also make delightful wreaths around the bases of trees..
Suspended petunias are widely used for vertical landscaping. In addition to the usual pots attached to balconies, fences, walls, awnings at the entrance to the house, gazebos and summer terraces, there are whole columns and pyramids of flowering bushes. As a base for such structures, special pipes with holes on the sides act, which are filled with earth and through which beautiful plants then grow.
Cascading views look very impressive at a height – falling from window sills, arches or flowerpots, they look like delightful waterfalls made of fresh flowers. Liana-like branches of such plants can reach 1 meter in length, forming a kind of bright curtains or tropical garlands.
Overall, petunia is perfect for the most incredible landscaping projects. With just one look, these colorful clouds of flowers create a festive mood and add even more brightness to the summer. You can not only plant such an interesting plant in a flowerbed or within the facade of a house, but also decorate a city park, a courtyard, a lawn next to an office, a cafe or a restaurant, a shop window with it. Experiment and the world around you will change!
Petunia – photo
Our selection of photos will clearly show you what the different types and varieties of petunias look like. See, compare and choose! Happy viewing!