Petunias along with geraniums usually dress the balconies and terraces. Fill the exterior with your house with color with this beautiful plant. We explain how to take care of it so that it looks splendid.
Petunia is an outdoor plant whose flower in the shape of a trumpet (or rather a tuba or horn) usually fills balconies, terraces or gardens with color. They are native to South America, specifically Argentina and Brazil, and they love warm climates with temperatures ranging between 16 and 25º C.
The name of petunia comes from the Tupi-Guaraní word pet, which means useless tobacco plants since the flowers of both plants are very similar. And it is that when tobacco was discovered during the Spanish conquest, it was frequent to be wrong. However, petunia is also known as Flower of the Aztecs, Flower of Comanches, Calibrocha, Sioux plants, or even pale faces.
Its flowers usually measure up to 13 cm and usually fill the exterior with color during the warm months (from spring to early autumn). Its aroma and colors (white, pink, purple, striped) will be the joy of your garden.
WHERE TO PLANT A PETUNIA
Petunia is a lover of the sun. You need to grow in very bright places and have between 4 and 5 hours of direct sun daily. And while it can grow in partial shade places, the result will be a plant with far fewer flowers. When planting it, avoid windy areas and remember that the rain doesn’t do well either.
Regarding the substrate, petunias need to have good drainage since their roots are usually not very deep. Furthermore, the soil must be rich in nutrients.
HOW TO PLANT A PETUNIA
If you want to grow your own petunias, you should do it in mid- March (about ten weeks before June). The seeds are very small, so when you plant them, do it carefully (for example with tweezers) so that they do not fall too close together and always several plants in one place . Between seed and seed, leave about 20 centimeters of separation.
Then, wet the seeds with a sprayer. If you do it directly the water can displace the seeds. Once you have moistened them, cover the pot or the seedbed with a transparent film to maintain the humidity and leave it in a bright place for about a week. During flowering, use phosphorus-rich fertilizer twice a month.
WHEN TO WATER A PETUNIA
Petunia needs a lot of water. And you also need it to be frequent. This does not mean that the water remains puddled but the substrate must always be wet. During the hot months, you should water daily. When you do it, avoid that the waterfalls on the flowers so that they do not break and never do it during the hours of the sun. That way, the leaves will not burn.
HOW TO PRUNE IT
If you take good care of your petunia, it will give you a bunch of flowers. Being a very prolific outdoor plant, it is necessary to remove the damaged or withered ones, since they remove the light from the plant. The same with the leaves that are not well.
It must be pruned once a year after its first flowering. In this way, they will grow stronger.
There are two natural enemies of petunias: the aphid and the white fly.
If you see that the leaves turn yellow, it is surely due to the whitefly, which usually deposits its eggs on them. You can use potassium soap or Neem oil and if it does not work you can choose a specific insecticide that is authorized by an official body.
In contrast, aphids are easier to identify because being black (also green or yellow) they are more visible. Pay attention because this little insect feeds on the sap of your plant until it kills it. If you do not have a lot of aphids and you have the petunias in a pot, you can arm yourself with patience and remove them manually, although as with the whitefly, you can use potassium soap, which is the least harmful to you and the environment, even if it is not the pesticide more effective. You can also use Neem oil.