How many hours of light is best for petunia seed germination? How close to the seeds do you put the light before the seeds sprout? Do you use the grow light before the seeds sporut or after and for how long?
Sow seeds on the surface of the soil.Put the seeds about 2 inches from the light.I have always used 16 hours of light.8 hours of darkness with great results.Use a cheap appliance timer on the lights.Never had a heat mat.But my set up is in the basement very close to the boiler(furnance).Be patient they grow somewhat slower than other seedlings.Drink an adult beverage while your waiting for your seeds to sprout.Relax
I am growing some Wave petunias from Park seed Co. The package had 10 pelletted seeds, and only 2 have germinated. I called and talked with their horticulturist (they are sending me another pack of seeds) and he told me that I should pinch the seeds between my thumb and finger to crack the clay coating that is on the seed, before pressing the seed on top of the potting medium-- sounds like a very delicate operation, but I will try it when the seeds arrive. The 2 seeds that sprouted look happy so far!
Petunia seeds will germinate in 6 to 10 days, depending on type & color. Pink & White 1st, red last. Combine "damp-off" with water & let sit for a day to get to room temperature. Fill your seeding tray with damp soil mix. Water with warm water & let sit for a bit. I don't crush the pellets, but if you press them into moist soil mix the clay will immediately soak up the moisture & turn darker. Put a dome on top. They will germinate quicker if you have bottom heat ie heat mat or on top your fridge. Be sure to put them under lights as soon as they germinate. Lights should me no less than 4 inches from the tray for 16 hours/day. Always water with warm, room temperature water. I have a big watering can that I fill each time after watering & it is ready for the next watering. Also, I spray the seed tray with a mix of the damp-off & water instead of watering with a can until they form the 1st set of leaves. I leave the spray bottle on top my light fixture, which ensures it is nice & warm. Do don't want the soil mix to be too wet, so top spraying works well at first. Don't throw out your seed plug if you didn't get germination. You never know, you may be surprised with a late germinator. I call those hitchhikers, because I usually had seeded something else. Run a fan once they get a few leaves.
I've been told that with pelleted seeds it's important that you use enough water to break down the pelletteing material. Like many folks, I prefer to bottom water but I'm careful to give pelletted seeds a through soaking with warm water from my spray bottle.
I've have Linaria Enchantment and Tidal Wave Silver Petunias, both pelletted seed, germinating now without problems.
I put it on during the day for about an hour in the morning & also in the evening for a while. I don't think it needs to be on all the time. My shelves & lights are in my basement and it is quite cool temperatures
I am growing double cascade hybrid petunias, and have been doing it for several years. Petunias require lightr for germination. I don't cover the seeds, I moisten thme well, and cover them with plastic wrap. I than put them on a heat mat and set the temperature for 75. I put them under a grow light 24 hours a day until most are geminated. Than I cut the time back. I planted my petunias on January 31st, and I had 90 percent germination on Feb. 4th.
onewish1, I love seeing the chipmunk along with your petunias. It's a great shot. I'm in the northeast area of the U.S. and am itching for some flowers. I know I'm very late in starting. I've just ordered some cascade petunias (haven't received yet) that are self cleaning. Thought I would take a couple of seeds out of the packets and try for some now before the frost hits (mid November, or so). Any advice?
Also, the supplier told me to put the remaining seeds in their packets in a zip-loc bag and keep in the refrigerator for 2012. Seems to me that it would be too cold plus too much humidity in the fridge. ???