How To Grow Petunia Sprouts At Home, Care Of Petunia Sprouts

Unbelievably beautiful flowers such as petunias can be a great decoration not only for the garden but also for the house, the terrace, the balcony, etc. This plant is among the longest and most lushly flowering, and it is also characterized by a variety of varieties, colors and forms. Petunia is usually grown as an annual. However, there are some difficulties in growing petunia seedlings. So, in order for this event to be successful, it is necessary to sow such a plant at a certain time.

How to grow petunia seedlings from seeds

Petunia, growing without mistakes. Part1

A suitable potting soil mixture

How to grow petunia sprouts at home, care of petunia sprouts

A mildly acidic or neutral potting soil mixture is suited for growing seedlings. It should be loose, nutrient-dense, able to hold water but not overly soggy. You can buy such a soil mixture, more precisely, a universal soil Stender in a specialized store. However, in this soil, it will be necessary to add additives.

So, for 5 liters of soil, take five hundred grams can of wood ash, 250 grams of perlite, and another 1 big spoon of Kemira or potassium sulfate. Earth mixture can be prepared with your own hands. To do this you need to combine humus, turf, sand, and well-decomposed peat, which should be taken in the ratio 2:2:1:2. It is possible to prepare a suitable earth mixture of sand, garden soil and peat, which are taken in a ratio of 1:1:2. The prepared earth mixture should be sifted 2 times with a sieve.

So, the first time you need to use a coarse sieve, and the second time - a finer sieve. Then water the soil with a solution of Previcur (prepared according to the instructions) or manganese potassium (strong).

Sowing petunia for seedlings

How to grow petunia sprouts at home, care of petunia sprouts

Seeds should only be bought from a trusted producer, otherwise you have to wait quite long for the seedlings, if they show up at all. If you use pelleted seeds for planting you should not have to prepare them before planting. But it is worth remembering that they sprout extremely poorly in dry soil, because the layer covering them cannot dissolve.

When buying simple seeds, you should ask the seller how to store them properly and for how long it is possible. It is recommended to use fresh seeds for planting, since it is low germination that is the main difficulty in growing such plants.

For planting, it is recommended to use a box made of wood or plastic, the height of which should be about 10 centimeters. Make sure that there are holes in the bottom of the box for drainage. Treat the bottom of the box with a solution of manganese potassium, and then rinse it with clean water.

Place a layer of fine expanded clay on the bottom, and on top of it pour the prepared earth mixture. Make sure the soil doesn't reach the upper edge of the container by 2 centimeters. These seeds germinate best if sown on snow, so if you have it outside, put it on top of the soil and lightly compact it. The seeds are sown directly into the snow. Then the box is covered with glass or film.

Once the snow layer melts, the seeds will be pulled into the substrate. If there is no snow, sow on the surface of the damp substrate, and then spray the seeds on top with a fine sprayer. After that, the box should also be covered with glass or film. The seeds should not be buried in the soil or even covered with a thin layer of soil because they will only germinate if light is available. It is recommended to mix the fine seeds with some dry sand for a more even sowing.

Put the container in a well-lit and warm (about 25 degrees) place.

Growing seedlings in pellets

How to grow petunia sprouts at home, care of petunia sprouts

If you have purchased draped seeds, it is best to use special peat pellets for sowing them. Medium size pellets (3.5 or 4.5 centimeters in diameter) are good for this.

To begin with the peat tablet should be immersed in water so that it soaks. After that, the excess liquid is removed, and the prepared tablets should be placed in a tray with high edges. Then, using a toothpick or ordinary match, place 1 seed in each tablet. Then water with a pipette, which will allow the layer of substance covering the seed to soak. After a few minutes, use your fingers to smudge the shells, which should be thawed by then.

This will allow the seeds to germinate faster. The container should then be covered with film or glass and placed in a well-lit, warm (about 25 degrees) place.

This method of cultivation helps increase the germination of petunias. And also flower growers note that it is much easier to care for such seedlings, because they do not need to be seeded, and you can easily understand when the plant needs watering.

Growing petunia seedlings in cassettes

How to grow petunia sprouts at home, care of petunia sprouts

Cassette growing, according to most flower growers, is a very convenient and also relatively economical way.

For example, the cell cassette is designed to be reusable and plants planted in it do not need further picking. You can buy cassettes with a different number of cells if you like. However, it should be taken into account that the more cells are in the cassette, the smaller they are. For sowing petunia, experts advise those cassettes whose cells are large enough, while their height should not be less than 10 centimeters. The cells can be filled with an earth mixture, which is mentioned above, but if desired, peat tablets are also placed in them.

Such seedlings should be cared for in the same way as those grown in simple boxes.

Whether to buy ready-made seedlings?

How to grow petunia sprouts at home, care of petunia sprouts

The purchase of ready-made petunia seedlings is of particular concern to inexperienced flower growers, as not everyone is able to grow it by themselves. If you want to grow petunia yourself, you only need to buy high-quality seeds and stick to the above sowing rules. However, if a florist does not know at all how to grow seedlings and it frightens him, it is quite possible to buy ready-made petunia seedlings, only to do this in such a flower store, which inspires confidence. By the way, in the spring time it is very easy to do this, since this seedling is not in short supply.

But before going to buy petunia seedlings, you must remember a few rules that will help you choose quality and healthy plants:

  • the substrate in which the petunia grows should never be wet;
  • seedlings with withered tops and yellowish leaves are likely to have chlorosis and the plants already have a dying root system;
  • do not get overgrown petunias as these plants in open soil may either start to elongate or stop growing altogether (depending on how badly the roots are affected);
  • examine the underside of the leaves as there may be pests.

Care for petunia seedlings

How to grow petunia sprouts at home, care of petunia sprouts

Optimal growing conditions

The seeds of these flowers germinate best at 24 or 25 degrees. The hybrids are particularly temperature conscious. So if it's colder, they won't germinate, and in warmer conditions the plants start to hurt and their stems become elongated. If you provide the necessary temperature and good lighting, you can see the first sprouts as early as 5-7 days after sowing.

When this happens, it will be necessary to air the sprouts a couple of times a day. To do this, you need to remove the cover, while removing water droplets from it. The first time you need to open for 20 minutes, then for 40 minutes, etc. At the same time you need to reduce the air temperature. So, during the day it should be about 20 degrees, and at night - to 16 degrees.

The first time the plants differ extremely slow growth. The fact is that at this time they actively grow and develop roots. Also remember that seedlings in the last days of February and March need backlighting. If the petunias are very dense, thinning is required and can be done with tweezers.

The cover is not removed completely until the plants start to touch it.

However, it is important to keep the substrate humidity at the same level at this time.

Petunia seedling light

How to grow petunia sprouts at home, care of petunia sprouts

For the newly sprouted petunias to develop and grow normally, they need almost 24-hour light. If the plants are given good light, this will speed up their growth and also bring the start of flowering much closer. Then such flowers need to provide a light day, the duration of which should be equal to 11-12 hours. In this case, the maximum illumination should be equal to 50 thousand lux.

For this purpose, additional lighting should be turned on early in the morning (7-8 h) and turned off late in the evening (21-22 h). When picking is done, the light level should be slightly increased to 55 thousand lux.

LED, fluorescent, discharge lamps, as well as special phytolamps are suitable for illumination. These should be placed above the seedlings at a height of about 20 centimeters.

How to water correctly

How to grow petunia sprouts at home, care of petunia sprouts

The right watering is very important for petunia seedlings.

The fact is that such a plant needs moderate moisture. So, if the soil is too wet, it will lead to rot and fungal diseases, and over-drying the substrate can be fatal for young plants. Such seedlings are recommended drip irrigation. Thus, using a syringe water should be dripped directly under the roots of plants, while trying to make sure that the liquid in no case did not get on the surface of the leaves. You can also pour the liquid during watering along the wall of the container.

You can also water such a plant through a tray.

Use only soft and well settled water for watering (it must be free of chlorine). Both warm and room temperature water can be used. A couple of minutes before watering pour a bit of freshly squeezed lemon juice into a container with water.

If the day is sunny, watering should be arranged in the evening.

And if the sky is covered with clouds, the plants should be watered in the morning hours.

Fertilizer

How to grow petunia sprouts at home, care of petunia sprouts

Young plants need lots of nutrients and therefore they need to be systematically fertilized in their substrate. During the first 14 days after emergence, petunias should be sprayed with a weak solution of manganese potassium or Pervicura as the top layer of the substrate dries up. When the plants begin to grow 3 and 4 true leaves, the soil should be made a solution of yellow Cristalon (5 liters of water, ½ of a large spoon). Feeding is carried out both on the leaves (especially if there are a large number of seedlings), and directly into the soil.

Fertilizers such as Uniflora micro or Cristalon are excellent for foliar feeding. Growing seedlings should be fed three times every 7 days, and it is recommended to use foliar and root methods alternately.

A couple of weeks after picking, the plants should be sprayed with a solution of a product that stimulates the growth of the roots. For this purpose, it is recommended to use a product such as: Solvent, Plantafol, Kemira lux, as well as Aquarine. In this case, the solution should be prepared exactly according to the enclosed instructions.

It should be noted that if a nutrient-rich soil mixture was used for sowing, then it will be possible to do without fertilization. However, when using poor soil, they are obligatory.

Picking up petunia seedlings

How to grow petunia sprouts at home, care of petunia sprouts

When seedlings have been sown in a common box, they will need a picking as they grow. And all because such a petunia grows in the house for 8-12 weeks, and the plants have developed and quite voluminous roots. For picking, it is recommended to use containers (cups), the volume of which is 200-250 mg, and at the bottom they must necessarily have holes for drainage.

Petunia should be pickled after it has 2-3 pairs of true leaves. Plantlets grabbed together with root ball, trying not to disturb the roots, and poured into an individual container. Then poured as much earth mixture, so that the cup did not remain empty. Transplanted plants are watered. After the soil settles, add soil to the container.

To avoid pulling seedlings, 7 days after picking the temperature should be maintained at 3-4 degrees below normal. Also, seedlings should always be protected from direct sunlight at this time. Sometimes it is necessary to pick the plants twice.

When growing in pellets, if necessary, the plant can be planted in an individual container directly with it.

The first feeding after picking is recommended at the earliest after 1-1.

5 weeks.

Pickling petunia seedlings

Pinching petunia seedlings

How to grow petunia sprouts at home, care of petunia sprouts

Brushing the petunia seedlings is required for better branching. Strong-growing and hybrid varieties will be pruned above the 4th or 5th leaf by breaking out the top of the stem along with the growth point. As a result, a young shoot will emerge from each leaf axil and the plant will flower more abundantly. The second pruning should be done about half a month later and to get a very vigorous bush you should do this several times.

Ampelent plants should not be pruned as this will have very little effect on their branching. Such a plant is weakly branched.

Diseases and pests

How to grow petunia sprouts at home, care of petunia sprouts

The blackleg disease develops most often and excessive moisture can be the cause. At the very beginning, a dark-colored spot appears at the base of the shoot, with the plant tissue becoming soft and rotting. Then, in this place overextension is formed, and the shoot falls under its own weight.

Diseased plants should be destroyed. The place where they were growing is drenched with a strong solution of manganese potassium, Maxim or Formalin (40%).

Also such a plant often gets chlorosis (iron deficiency). This can happen due to an alkaline situation caused by over watering. If this happens, you should add special iron chelate to the soil as part of Ferovit.

Spider mites, which like very much the high dryness, can also settle on the leaves. It sucks the plant sap and can also become a carrier of a dangerous viral disease. Acaricide treatments such as Neoron, Actellic, Fytoverm, etc. are recommended.

Rules for preparing seedlings for transplanting into open soil

How to grow petunia sprouts at home, care of petunia sprouts

When picking is behind you, you can begin to prepare your seedlings for transplanting into open soil.

The hardening should be done over a half-month period, and the plants should be introduced to the outdoors gradually. The first time the plants should be outside for 10 to 15 minutes, and then every day the length of their stay should be increased. Just before planting, the seedlings should be outside 24 hours a day. The petunia should be planted in the second half of May and the first half of June.

Any area of soil can be chosen for planting.

However, petunia will grow best in a well-lit area with loamy, nutrient-rich soil. Remove weeds and garbage from the soil and recultivate it. It is recommended to add humus or compost.

Transplanting is done in the evening at sunset or when the weather is overcast. A hole of ten centimetres is made, and the distance between the plants depends directly on their variety.

So, between the plants of ampelic varieties leaves a distance of about 28-30 cm between the small-flowered - 18-20 cm, and between the large-flowered - 23-25 cm. Water the seedlings well and then transfer them together with the soil to the wells.

The planted plants should be watered and the soil surface should be sprinkled with mulch (humus or peat). For the first 24 hours after planting, shade the petunias from direct sunlight by means of cardboard boxes or a special canopy.

The plants should be placed in the ground.

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