Easy methods to Propagate Petunias from Seed

Petunias are in every single place. They tumble out of hanging baskets, flank doorways in pots, and fill flower beds internationally.

They bloom all summer time lengthy, are available in a large vary of colours and flower shapes, and are a cinch to develop, so it’s no surprise individuals love them.

A close up vertical image of colorful petunias growing in the garden pictured in bright sunshine. To the center and bottom of the frame is green and white printed text.

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Positive, you should buy them at almost any nursery and even many grocery shops within the spring and summer time.

However there’s no purpose to not propagate crops by sowing seed your self. It’s low cost, straightforward, and you may typically discover hybrids out there that you may’t monitor down as begins from the nursery.

Earlier than we get our fingers soiled, right here’s the lowdown on what we’ll be discussing:

To grasp tips on how to propagate crops, it helps to know the place petunias develop within the wild.

They’re from heat areas of South America and they are often cultivated as perennials in USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 11.

Most gardeners develop them as annuals as a result of the local weather of their area isn’t proper for petunias year-round.

With that in thoughts, let’s begin our germinating adventures…

Decide When to Begin

In the event you’re going to begin petunias from seed, it’s finest to begin them indoors. They want a very long time, over two months, to germinate and mature sufficient to transplant outdoors.

A close up horizontal image of a calendar pictured on a soft focus background.

Take a look at the final predicted frost date in your space and rely again 10 or 11 weeks. For most individuals in North America, that’s going to be in February or March. That’s when it’s essential to sow your seeds.

It’s also possible to decide to begin the crops outside when you stay in a area with lengthy, gentle springs. As long as there isn’t any likelihood of frost and the soil temperatures are above 60°F, you possibly can sow in place.

Petunia seeds want about 12 hours of sunshine per day to germinate and seedlings want a minimum of six hours of daylight per day to develop.

Meaning you’ll want to attend till about 12 hours of daylight can be found earlier than planting. In most areas, this occurs effectively earlier than the final frost date.

Choose the Proper Pots

I wish to reuse my containers as a result of it reduces waste and it saves me cash. In the event you do the identical, simply make sure you wash the containers with cleaning soap and water or a one-to-nine mixture of bleach and water.

A close up horizontal image of a gardener filling a seed starting tray with potting mix.

Cell trays are the proper dimension. They need to have a number of drainage holes so that you don’t run the chance of drowning the roots.

In the event you aren’t reusing containers, think about shopping for biodegradable ones. CowPots makes containers out of cow poop, which is a brilliant renewable useful resource.

Plus, as they dissolve within the soil, they launch vitamins to nourish the seedlings. On high of that, they cut back transplant shock. There’s lots to like about them.

A close up of CowPots biodegradable seed starting containers.

CowPots Biodegradable Pots

If you wish to give them a attempt, seize a three-, 50-, or 120-pack of six-cell trays at Arbico Organics.

Varieties to Choose

I wish to search for pelleted seeds, that are simpler to deal with and sow. The coating additionally helps the seed retain water.

No matter whether or not you select pelleted seeds, the alternatives on the market are thrilling. You could find hybrids that you just by no means see in shops.

For example, Spellbound® ‘White Blush’ is a stunner that’s solely out there from Burpee.

A close up of Spellbound 'White Blush' petunia flower pictured on a soft focus background.

Spellbound® ‘White Blush’

The flowers are enormous, with ruffly white petals and hanging darkish purple veins on the middle.

Desires™ ‘Appleblossom’ has peachy pink three-inch flowers that resemble enormous apple blossoms.

A close up square image of Dreams 'Appleblossom' petunia flowers.

Desires™ ‘Appleblossom’

You may get a packet of seeds of this beautiful hybrid at Eden Brothers.

Superbissima ‘Big Rose’ is an actual stunner. It has large blossoms that may be seven inches throughout.

The aromatic petals, that are a deep rose coloration with purple veins, odor and style like cherry. Regardless of the big flowers, this plant stays pretty compact and it grows fortunately in containers.

Sow the Seeds

Whether or not you propagate indoors or out, you want a great medium to begin the seeds in.

With pots, it’s a lot simpler to manage the soil than it’s for anybody planting straight within the floor. Simply fill the cell trays with a high-quality seed-starting combine and water it effectively to moisten the medium.

A close up horizontal image of a gardener using a pair of tweezers to sow seeds in small pots.
Editorial credit score: Mira_mira18 / Shutterstock.com

Outside, loosen up the soil to about six inches deep, and work in a lot of well-rotted compost.

It doesn’t matter in case your soil leans sandier or extra clayey – well-rotted compost will assist steadiness it.

And even if in case you have the proper soil, compost will add vitamins. Additionally, if in case you have good soil, when can I transfer in?

Press them into the floor of the soil. It is best to sow one or two seeds per cell. House them in line with mature dimensions outside relying on the variability you’re rising.

Watch the Temperature

Petunia seeds don’t like temperature fluctuations. There are issues you are able to do to assist regulate the temperature when you’re propagating indoors, however outdoors, you’re extra topic to the whims of nature.

When you have a chilly body, you need to use it to begin seeds in pots and higher regulate the temperature.

Nevertheless you do it, attempt to preserve it round 60 to 75°F. You are able to do this by inserting the pots on a warmth mat and inserting plastic or glass over the containers.

Petunia seedlings don’t want excessive humidity, however the glass or plastic will assist keep constant temperatures.

In the event you’re utilizing a chilly body, open it on scorching days and shut it up tight on chilly days.

Present Mild

Petunia seeds want gentle to germinate, and also you in all probability gained’t be capable of give them sufficient simply by inserting the pots in a window.

They want about 12 hours of sunshine per day to encourage germination. Most of us must put the seeds below a develop gentle.

Be sure that the develop gentle isn’t greater than 4 or 5 inches above the soil floor. The seeds gained’t germinate with out vivid gentle.

In the event you’re propagating outdoors, ensure that the seeds are in an space with full solar. Eight hours of daylight is the minimal.

Meaning you may want to begin your seeds indoors even if in case you have gentle temperatures, just because there isn’t sufficient gentle in lots of elements of the Northern Hemisphere through the early spring.

Water, Water, Water

Mature petunias want loads of water and so do the seedlings. Hold the planting medium moist always, whether or not that’s inside or outdoors.

A close up horizontal image of seedlings growing in starter pots.

“Moist” is form of a obscure time period, so let’s make clear a bit – when you think about the moisture stage of a kitchen sponge that you just’ve soaked in water after which wrung out rather well, that’s the extent you’re aiming for.

Clearly, while you first water the medium can be a bit wetter, and because it begins to dry, the soil will really feel drier than that. However your aim must be to try to keep that stage of moisture.

This will imply watering as typically as as soon as a day at occasions, and it is best to proceed to maintain the soil that moist till the seedlings are a number of inches tall.

After that you may calm down slightly, however the soil ought to optimally keep that moist all through the crops’ lives.


In the event you sowed straight within the floor outside, go forward and skip this part and proceed on to having fun with your crops.

A close up horizontal image of a gardener watering a petunia seedling in a raised bed garden.

In any other case, it’s time to harden off your seedlings as soon as the final frost is previous and the crops have a minimum of three true leaves.

At that time, set them outdoors in a spot that is protected against drying wind, however in full solar. Go away the seedlings there for an hour after which take them again inside.

The subsequent day, go away the seedlings out for 2 hours. Add an hour per day till the seedlings could be uncovered to outside circumstances for a full eight hours.

Whereas your crops are present process this course of, you possibly can prep the planting space. Loosen up the soil and blend in well-rotted compost as described above for direct-sown plantings.

After your seedlings have been hardened off, they’re able to transplant. Make holes the dimensions of your containers. Biodegradable containers could be positioned straight within the holes, in any other case you have to to take away the seedling from their containers one after the other.

Spacing relies upon completely on the sort of petunia you’re rising. The bigger grandifloras or floor cowl varieties must be a couple of foot aside. Smaller crops could be as shut as six inches.

Agency up the soil round every plant and water effectively.

You Ought to Plant Extra Petunias

Beginning crops from seed is so satisfying. Positive, you would go to the shop and purchase a flat of the identical petunias that every one your neighbors can be rising.

Or you would plant some seeds that may really stand out – and save a couple of bucks within the course of.

A close up horizontal image of colorful petunias growing in wide plastic pots.

Now, inform me all the main points about what varieties you’ll be rising. Do you may have a selected one in thoughts? Or do you intend to go to your native nursery and see what they’re providing?

Attain out within the feedback under, and be happy to share your pictures as effectively!

Wish to dive even deeper into the delights of rising petunias? We have now some extra guides which might be value testing, together with:

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