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How to Grow Extraordinary Petunias Throughout the Summer

Updated on June 24, 2014

Benefits of Growing Petunias

For those who love to have beautiful and colorful homes and gardens throughout the summer, one of the easiest and most productive ways to do that is to plant petunias.

There is no great amount of knowledge to have to be successful, and the results can be as good as any seasoned gardener.

The other terrific benefit of growing petunias is there is very little maintenance once you put them in the best location possible.

Last, there are so many bright colors, you can have a rainbow in your soil or containers because of the rich variety offered.

There's no better way to introduce your children or loved ones to love gardening then helping them to be successful from the beginning, that's why growing petunias is such a great plant to start with, as their hardiness and great color is quickly seen, and results almost immediate.

Again, the low maintenance feature of the plant is great for children, as they can forget about it as far as having to take care of it, but feel the pride of growing something that adds such beauty to their home and yard.

It's a great way to give them a gift of a life-long love of growing things.

Growing Petunias

Petunias From Seed or Stock?

Having said all this, for those who enjoy starting things from seeds, petunias offer that experience as well, as they can easily be taken from a seed to a full plant.

What you have to do there is plant the petunia seeds about two months before you would normally put them in the ground if you were to buy seedlings; a little after danger of frost is over, depending on the region you live in.

I've done this in my greenhouse business before, and using a salt shaker is great to put these tiny seeds in and sprinkle them on top of the soil in the container.

After that, just softly take your finger and press the seeds down, but don't attempt to cover them.

The best temperature to grow them in is between 70 to 75 degrees F.

How to Grow Common Garden Petunia

How to Plant Petunias - In the Ground or Containers

If you prefer buying petunia plants to transplant, rather than grow them from seed, as far as putting them in the ground, there's no difference, the same steps need to be taken to be successful.

When you think of where you want to place them, there are only two things to keep in mind: sunlight and a well-drained area. That's all petunias need to flourish.

Petunia plants need a minimum of 6 hours in the sunlight, and do better with more. If they get six, they'll do ok though.

If you also have petunias in containers, all you have to do is place them in a spot with at least 6 hours of sunlight too. 

How to Space Petunias

For the best results when you put you petunias in the ground, space them out from around 12 to 18 inches. Petunias will spread out, and so they can have some breathing room and look great at the same time.

In containers, you could put up to 3 plants in one measuring about 10 inches in diameter. Plant them in the center of the pot.

This is a good rule of thumb, although some of it will depend on whether you want to improve them, or simply enjoy letting the grow without doing anything else.

Some individual plants will naturally spread on their own because of the variety, so that's something to be aware of when planning your plantings. 

What can Destroy your Petunias

There's only one thing that can really harm a petunia, and that's putting them in an area of the ground that doesn't drain well. That's the only way you could really lose them, other then if you put them in containers and never water them.

Just be sure the area is suited to allow good drainage, and you'll do fine.


When I mentioned above some of your planting distances can be determined by how involved you are in the plants, I was referring to deadheading, which is when you remove the dead or dying flowers. You can simply pinch them off or cut them with a pruning shear.

Radical Deadheading

For those who have the knowledge, or those who are willing to take some risk, you can also deadhead an entire petunia plant, rather than just pinch or snip off each dying or dead flower.

In this case you deadhead the entire plant, which while temporarily giving it a poor appearance, will come back strongly and far better than before.

This not only generates more flowers, but also helps the plant become fuller, giving an even more healthy and satisfying look.

Many that aren't experienced are afraid to take this step because they're afraid they'll kill their plants.

The best thing to do to give you confidence would be to have a plant or two set aside which you can practice on. Once you do it and get experience, while seeing the results, you'll never be afraid or hesitant to do it again. It really works good!

Putting it all Together

What's really fantastic about petunias isn't only their hardiness and relatively hands-off value, but they're also a very beautiful flower that adds to any home or garden.

The colors, shapes and sizes are enormous, you can find about anything you want will fit in with your overall indoor or outdoor gardening strategy.


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    • profile image

      Carolyn 3 months ago

      Do I deadhead by merely pulling off the dead flower or do I pinch it off under the nub?

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 2 years ago from Germany

      I love Petunias. This is an easy to grow flower. Thanks for sharing the information.

    • profile image

      Raimer Gel 3 years ago

      Another hub about petunias! It is a great guide for I grow petunias right now.

    • Debby Bruck profile image

      Debby Bruck 8 years ago

      Simply lovely. Very inspiring to grow petunia's. I'll have to check whether the conditions in my yard are condusive to growing them. Thanks for joining my fan club.

      Fascinating to learn they are in the tobacco family and related to potato in the nicotinia family. Perhaps I will try potting them.

      On another topic - is that a malamute dog as your profile?