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Plants Online - Petunia

Plants for sale - Petunia

42

PETUNIA

Family SOLANACEAE
Petunia hybrida
Annual

The half-hardy perennial varieties are often grown as annuals and are hybrids between the Argentine species Petunia nyctaginiflora and Petunia violacea.

The stems are leafy and attain a height of a foot or more, bearing many tubular flowers, three inches or more across at the mouth, of varied colours, mostly purple, violet-blue, rose and crimson.
There are a number of garden varieties with huge frilled flowers attractively veined on a self-coloured ground, usually with a deep purple blotch at the throat.
Seed should be sown under glass in late January to March, care being taken to sow it thinly to avoid damping off.
The seedlings are potted when an inch or so high, and it is important to avoid over-watering.
Planting out-of-doors where the plants are to bloom may be carried out in early June when all risk of frost has passed.

Propagation is from seed, or cuttings taken in August.

The flowering season is from late June to September.

Petunia
Half Hardy Perennial.
Six inches to two feet.
Flowers of several colours (white and shades of purple and crimson), July and August.

Though a perennial under glass, in the open garden the plant should be treated as a half-hardy annual.
Plants in small pots may be obtained from the nurseryman about the end of May, and put out in a sunny open position on soil that is not too rich.
Seed may be sown early in March, in a temperature ranging between 50° and 65°; the seedlings are slow in reaching a manageable size, and may need to be delicately pricked out with the point of a knife or slip of wood.
This should be done as soon as possible, if green mould appears on the surface of the soil in the seed boxes.
The heat should be kept up to an average of 60° until the plants are rooted and begin to grow in their new quarters; then harden them gradually by admitting air, avoiding droughts and blasts of easterly spring winds, and water judiciously.

It is convenient to put the plants at their first pricking-out into thumb-pots; they may remain in these till it is time to plant out in May, and can be turned out of them into the ground with little disturbance.
If pots be thought too troublesome, shallow wooden boxes may be used, or a bed of soil may be made up under the frame.
In any case, the plants should be kept close to the glass.

The best Petunias for out-door culture are singles of good distinct colouring; those described in the catalogue as “Single Bedding”, not the large doubles and fringed flowers which are more suitable for greenhouse decoration.
A good strain of seed will produce “self” flowers in white, crimson, rose and pinkish lilac, and flowers striped and blotched with these colours.

Petunias at all stages of their growth are liable to flag and droop and die without visible reason.
The cause appears to be an attack by some fungoid growth on the stem at the ground-line. There is apparently no remedy.


 

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