How to grow petunia from seeds at home: sowing seedlings, care, transplanting into open ground
Petunia is one of the most popular flowers among gardeners. Low-growing ornamental plants bloom for a long time and abundantly and look harmoniously as a frame and decoration for a flower garden.
Adult plants are easy to care for. But seedlings require patience and meticulousness, so many gardeners prefer to buy them in nurseries and markets. However, such planting material is expensive and does not always turn out to be healthy and of high quality. It is much safer and cheaper to grow seedlings yourself from seeds. This is the most difficult stage of plant cultivation, but knowing the basic principles and nuances, even a beginner can handle it. How to plant and when to sow seeds, read on.
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Planting petunias for seedlings from seeds at home
It is necessary to choose a suitable planting material. Petunia seeds are sold in specialized and online stores. They are sometimes found in regular supermarkets.
It is not worth buying seed from the markets. Self-harvested seeds often produce unpredictable results. This plant is easily pollinated, so flowers grown from seeds are often different from the mother plant.
Note! Exist varieties and petunia hybrids that do not produce seeds and reproduce only vegetatively.
There are two types of planting material sold in stores - granular and loose. The first is covered with a special shell that makes it larger. These seeds are easy to sow by spreading them out at the right distance from each other. They have already been processed at the factory, so you don't have to waste time at this stage.
The disadvantage of granular planting material is that sometimes the shell does not allow it to germinate... Such seeds are more expensive than loose seeds, and there are fewer of them in the package.
Loose planting material is cheaper. Such seeds are often not processed in the factory. The gardener has to spend time preparing them. They are small, which makes them difficult to plant. Despite this, they are also in demand.
From sowing seeds to flowering a plant, on average, it takes 10 to 12 weeks. When growing petunias from seeds, planting dates depend on when exactly the gardener wants to see flowering bushes in his garden, as well as on the temperature outside.
In the southern and central regions, petunia is grown from mid-January to the end of February. To get healthy and strong seedlings, you will need special lighting (fluorescent lamps or phytolamps). If there is no additional illumination, seeds are sown from early March to early April.
In Siberia and the Urals, sowing occurs in mid-spring (April). In this case, the matured seedlings will be ready for planting for warming.
Experienced gardeners recommend taking into account the indicators of the lunar calendar when choosing the timing for planting petunias. Plants are believed to be stronger and healthier when planted at the right time.
When to plant petunia according to the lunar calendar in 2020:
|Month||Suitable days||Unsuitable days|
|January||10-11, 15-20||5-9, 22|
|February||1-4, 6, 10-11, 16-18, 25||9, 21-23, 26-27|
|March||3-5, 27-28||1-2, 7-8, 10, 12, 14-16, 19-24, 31|
|April||1-2, 7-8, 14, 24, 28||3-5, 9, 11-13,15-22|
On unfavorable days, sowing flowers for seedlings is not recommended. Seed germination at this time will be low, and the plants will be weak.
Days that are not listed in the table are considered neutral. They are not considered favorable, but during this period, planting material can also be sown.
Granular and loose seeds that have been processed at the factory do not need to be further processed. Information about this is indicated on the packaging.
If the seeds have not been processed in the factory, they must be prepared for planting. For this, the seeds are disinfected by soaking for 30 minutes. in a light pink solution of potassium permanganate, hydrogen peroxide or "Fitosporin". Then they stimulate their growth by soaking for a day with a solution of "Epin" or "Solution".
The seeds are then ready for planting. Some growers prefer to germinate planting material in advance. To do this, cover the saucer or plate with several layers of gauze, which is moistened with warm water. Seeds are poured on top in one layer and covered with gauze, which is also moistened with water. Cover the saucer with foil and put it away in a warm place. As it dries, the gauze is moistened. The seeds are kept that way until they germinate.
The choice of capacity and soil
Petunia seeds are sown in a common box. It is better if it is a wide container with a height of 10-15 cm, but plastic cups, cut bottles and cake packaging will also work.
Containers must be disinfected by pouring boiling water or soaking in a dark pink solution of potassium permanganate.
It is convenient to use peat tablets. They are prepared as follows:
- The tablets are put into a deep container with the hole down and poured with boiling water. The water must completely cover the workpiece.
- When the liquid is absorbed, more boiling water is added. This is done until the tablets are completely swollen and turn into bags.
- Swollen tablets are removed and turned upside down. The excess liquid is drained. The bags are placed on a pallet.
For petunias, slightly acidic or neutral is suitable. priming... There are several options for suitable formulations:
- Purchased soil mixture - universal soil for seedlings or special for flowers.
- A mixture of garden soil and hydrogel in a 1: 1 ratio.
- Fertile mixture: 2 parts of garden soil, peat and humus and 1 part of sand.
The soil is disinfected. It is calcined in the oven, poured over with a hot solution of copper sulfate or potassium permanganate.
In addition to the soil, drainage will be needed (shell rock, small expanded clay, crushed ceramics, etc.). It is also disinfected.
Seed sowing methods
Before planting petunia, you need to properly fill the container with soil. A 1-2 cm layer of drainage is placed on the bottom of the box. The soil is poured from above so that 3-5 cm remain free to the upper boundaries of the container. The soil is moistened with warm water from a spray bottle.
Granular seeds are laid out in rows at a distance of 2-4 cm from each other and pressed a little into the ground, but not sprinkled with earth.
It is more difficult to work with loose planting material. There are three seeding methods:
- Toothpicks. The seeds are poured onto a sheet of paper. The tip of a toothpick is moistened with water and touched with it to 1 seed. The adhered planting material is transferred to a pot and lowered onto the ground using a second toothpick. Seeds are laid out in rows at a distance of 2-3 cm from each other, without burying them in the ground. The soil is sprayed with warm water from a spray bottle.
- With sand. The planting material is mixed in a separate container with sand. The resulting mixture is distributed in an even layer over the ground, and then sprinkled with warm water from a spray bottle.
- On the snow. A layer of snow is placed in a container for seedlings on top of the soil. Seeds are sown on it in rows at a distance of 2-3 cm from each other.
The container with crops is covered with foil or glass. Then they are removed to a warm, bright place.
To grow petunias from seeds and get store-bought and even better seedlings, it is important to provide the plants with optimal growth conditions and proper care. Otherwise, the petunia will turn out to be elongated, weak and will not take root when transplanted into the ground.
How to grow petunia at home:
- Temperature. Before the seeds germinate, the room temperature should vary between + 24 ... + 26 ° C.After the first shoots appear, the temperature is reduced to + 20 ... + 22 ° C.
- Lighting. Seedling boxes are placed on the south or southeast windowsill. They should be there even if the seeds haven't sprouted yet. If possible, provide additional lighting for 12 hours. When sowing seeds in winter, lighting is necessary.
- Watering. Before the seeds germinate, the soil is sprayed with warm water from a spray bottle. You cannot water it from a watering can or bottle, since in this case the seeds will go deep into the ground and will not germinate. After the first shoots appear, the seedlings are watered from a syringe or a special watering can for indoor plants with a narrow nozzle. The liquid should not come into contact with plant leaves. The soil is moistened as it dries with warm water. Do this in the morning or evening when the sun is inactive.
- Greenhouse. Before the first shoots appear, the seedlings should be under glass or plastic. Every day the greenhouse is removed, the condensate is wiped off and the container is left to ventilate for 10-20 minutes. When the seeds germinate, the ventilation time is increased. Then the greenhouse is completely dismantled.
- Picking. It is carried out when the petunia has 2 true leaves. Use containers with a volume of 250-300 ml. Drainage is poured at the bottom. The rest of the volume is covered with soil. Seedlings are carefully removed from the common container, trying not to damage the roots, and transplanted into individual pots. Plants are watered under the root with warm, settled water. The plants are transplanted a second time when the root system fills the container (1.5 months after sowing the seeds).
- Formation. In order for the bush to branch well and form correctly, it is pinched when 3-4 pairs of leaves are formed on the plant. This stimulates the development of side shoots.
- Hardening. 2 weeks before planting in open ground, the seedlings begin to harden. It is taken out into the street or on the balcony for 3 minutes, then for 1 hour. Gradually increasing the time, it is left in such conditions for a day.
- Top dressing. You don't need to feed the seedlings before picking, but some gardeners add a few drops of Epin to the water for irrigation once a week. After transplanting into individual containers, petunias are fed every 2 weeks, alternating mineral and organic fertilizers.
When to plant petunia in open ground
In the southern regions, this is done in the first half of May, in the Moscow region and other central regions - in late spring, and in the northern regions - in the second half of June.
For planting petunias, choose a well-lit area of the garden with fertile soil. Previously, humus is introduced into the soil (6 kg per 1 sq. M) and watered with a hot solution prepared from 1 tbsp. l. copper sulfate and 10 liters of water.
Council. Low-growing petunia looks great as a flower bed frame.
The planting scheme for petunias depends on its variety:
- With small flowers. Bushes are planted at a distance of 8-20 cm from each other.
- With large inflorescences. The distance between plants is 23 to 25 cm.
- Ampel petunias. The free space between petunias should be at least 28-30 cm.
The depth of the hole is on average 10 cm. 1 tbsp is poured into the recesses. l. ash and pour water. After that, the petunia is planted.
Experienced gardeners know a few secrets of how to grow petunia from seeds at home. They will help accelerate the growth of plants, improve their quality and avoid various problems:
- To accelerate the growth of petunia, when preparing a soil mixture from garden soil and hydrogel, the latter is soaked not in water, but in a solution of a growth stimulator. The hydrogel is used to keep the soil moist longer.
- When choosing a soil for petunia, it is important to pay attention to the type of peat. Red peat has high acidity, which is harmful to the plant. Low-lying black peat is optimal for growing petunia seedlings.
- The sand for the petunia should be white or gray. Its river variety is best suited. Yellow sand contains a lot of iron, which is harmful to the plant.
- It is not recommended to place the petunia near the included battery. Dry hot air is detrimental to seedlings.
- Some growers recommend pruning the central root by a third during the second transplant in order to stimulate the growth of the root system to the sides. However, this is not necessary, since during transplantation, the root system is damaged in any case.
Growing petunia seedlings is a long process that requires constant attention from the grower. Young plants are demanding on temperature conditions, soil composition, watering and formation.
However, if you know the basic rules and nuances, even a beginner can cope with growing petunias. The main thing is to choose high-quality planting material and follow the step-by-step instructions for planting exactly.