HOW TO GROW AND SAVE THE SEEDS OF PETUNIA
Latin name Petunia x hybrida is a cold-sensitive tender perennial (hardy in zones 9-11) that is grown as an annual. An excellent container or bedding flower.
Petunias, as we know them today, are descended from two different varieties native to South America. These small-flowered varieties were brought to Europe in the 1800s, where cross-breeding and experimenting began. The two were crossed in a natural manner and have been stabilized, making these antique garden petunias a true heirloom, despite the 'x hybrida' in the Latin name.
- Beds, borders, butterfly garden, containers, cottage garden, hanging baskets, window boxes
- Visited by butterflies, hawkmoths, and hummingbirds
- Seeds germinate in 7-14 days.
- Start seeds 10-12 weeks before last frost and transplant out after frost.
- Surface sow seeds, as light aids germination.
- germination temperature is 70-85 F.
- Requires full sun and rich, well-drained soil.
- Plants are very heat loving and quite drought tolerant, although consistent moisture (water once a week) is preferable.
- Space plants 12 inches apart.
- Deadhead spent flowers to encourage continued blooming.
- Aphids can be a problem; keep this pest at bay with organic insecticidal soap.
- Mites can also be kept under control with neem oil.
- Overwatering or poorly drained soil can cause rot.
- Petunias will readily self seed in mild winter climates.
- To save seed, hand pick the brown seed pods.
- Take care to collect the seed pods before they burst and spread seed across the garden.
- Save seed over winter in a cool, dark, dry place.