Cascade petunia is a great way to decorate a flower bed, terrace or balcony. It combines well with other plants, and its flowering continues throughout the summer, from early June to late September. However, it is so easy to grow petunia from seed, and many novice gardeners suffered offensive failures with growing seedlings. From this article you will learn how to succeed and what rules you need to follow in order for a petunia to appear on your site.
Growing petunia seedlings at home
Petunia seeds are very small, but in order for them to germinate, you need to make great efforts. The plant is very capricious and requires compliance with a lot of conditions.
Petunia sprouts are very fragile, so sowing seeds immediately in open ground means to doom them to certain death. So in any case, you need to fuss with the seedlings, and even some! From the moment of sowing the seeds and up to the time of planting on a permanent place, no less than 3 months should pass, only then the seedlings of petunias become strong enough, able to withstand environmental tests. Therefore, if you want to plant a petunia in May, you must sow the seeds in early February.
Petunia seeds germinate only with sufficient light. This dictates the characteristics of sowing: in no case can you sprinkle the seeds with earth, just enough to slightly push them into the soil. Sometimes this method is practiced - a layer of snow is laid on the ground prepared for sowing, and the seeds are placed on top of the snow. The containers with snow and seeds are placed in a warm place, the snow melts, moistening the soil, and the seeds after melting fall exactly into their intended place.
Since sowing is done in the winter when the nights are long, the seeds need additional lighting with a fluorescent lamp or phytolamp.
Special requirements for petunia and irrigation. Water should not contain any salt impurities, so it is best to water the seedlings with thawed or boiled water. In addition, you can not pour water on top - no watering cans. The maximum that can be allowed is a fine spray that needs to be sprayed with the soil (but not the leaves). The best option for petunia - watering through the pan. Make sure that the soil is not too dry, but not too wet.
Air temperature and humidity for seed germination are also of great importance. Before the first sprouts appear, the seeds must be kept warm (22-25 degrees). After germination, the temperature gradually decreases. By the end of the first month, the shoots are aged at 18–20 degrees during the daytime, and at night they need coolness (15–16 degrees).
To ensure optimal humidity, you can cover the box with seedlings with a light cloth, then it will be quite wet and light. Some gardeners prefer to place seeds in transparent, closed plastic or glass containers. This option is also not bad, but the containers need to be ventilated and removed excess moisture from the walls and lids once a day, otherwise the plant may suffocate.
Finally, cascade petunia, which grows at home for about 3 months, is very sensitive to transplantation. A transplant will have to do for these three months more than once.
The first picking is performed when 2-3 true leaves appear on shoots. They dive into separate containers, best in transparent plastic cups - and fit to size, and you can track how moist the soil is. After another month, you will notice that the root system has greatly grown, so you have to transplant petunia into larger pots. Finally, the last transplant - in open ground - is performed three months after sowing. And every time the seedlings are seriously stressed.
However, it is possible to partially facilitate the life of a petunia, if you use peat tablets for sowing seeds.
As you can see, growing petunias in peat tablets greatly simplifies the sowing process, and later the picking process. After all, the root system of the plant will not be injured by the fact that you put a pill with a sprout in a separate pot. This method is worth to adopt!