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This post was originally published on 7 May 2015
Petunia is genus of 35 species of flowering plants of South American origin, closely related to tobacco, cape gooseberries, tomatoes, deadly nightshades, potatoes and chili peppers; in the family Solanaceae.
The popular flower of the same name derived its epithet from the French, which took the word petun, meaning “tobacco,” from a Tupi–Guarani language.
An annual, most of the varieties seen in gardens are hybrids (P. × atkinsiana, also known as P. hybrida).
You can grow petunias from seeds, but it is easier to grow them from transplants. If you are going to grow from seeds, start them indoors 10 to 12 weeks before you want to set them outside.
Petunia seeds are very small and needs lots of light in order to germinate. Remember to water them. When the plants have three leaves, you can plant them.
- Petunias are tolerant of heat so you don’t have to water them regularly. A thorough watering once a week should be sufficient (unless there are prolonged periods of drought in your area). The spreading types and those in containers require more frequent watering though.
- Fertilize your plants monthly to ensure good growth. Double-flowered cultivars like a biweekly dose of fertilizer.
- Remove faded/dead flowers to prolong blooming.