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Petunias for part sun? It's not too early to plan!

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

I have 3 hanging baskets that have never yet looked great. In the past DH (before he was DH) bought pumped-up pots that soon pooped out. Then I took over, but so far haven't done much better. One basket faces south and tends to dry out first, the other two face southeast. There are structures and high trees that obstruct sun part of the time, but hard to judge exactly how much. This summer was hot, hot, hot, and I thought the Avalanch petunias would love it. But noooooo! I put in 2 per planter, along with a Morning Glory, some Bacopa, Lobelia and Alyssum, fertilized with Osmocote, and hired a guy to water once a week while we went away. We were gone from early August to mid-September and very little had changed when we got back. Three little skimpy strings with a handful of blooms at best. Last year Shockwave did slightly better, but not much, or I wouldn't have changed. The other plants did fine, so the pots weren't empty, but there was no wow factor, just a million tiny flowers.

The baskets are 17" wire, lined with sphagnum moss, filled with potting mix and a few water crystals at the bottom. The lobelia and alyssum are poked through the sides of the baskets through the moss so they hang, and I stick in a couple of little plugs on top wherever there's room between the 3 petunias, 2 Bacopas and 1 MG per basket.

Is there a petunia that does better with less light? Or should I try something else entirely? Btw, I grew all the plants from seed, and they were all (except the Alyssum and Lobelia) flowering when planted.

Thanks for suggestions!

Pam

This message was edited Oct 30, 2012 2:24 PM

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

Pics 1 & 2 are as first planted, 3 & 4 just before we left. I can't find any from when we got back, guess I was too disgusted to take pictures. But #5 is a different pot, same problem, in Sept.

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Lake Toxaway, NC(Zone 7a)

Most petunias will take some shade. if it was really hot, watering once a week may not be enough.

Everson, WA(Zone 8a)

I have never been a huge fan of the moss lined nor the burlap baskets.I had lousy luck with them I could not keep them wet enough. In desperation I lined the inside of the pot with plastic. Now I use all plastic pots and water every morning unless it is really hot then it's twice. I fertilize every time I water.

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(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

Your baskets are gorgeous. Which petunias are they?

I was thinking I could use plastic pots inside the baskets, they're big enough. Also I'm planning on getting them on our drip system this year. We're not there all the time, so daily watering isn't possible otherwise.

Everson, WA(Zone 8a)

If you put a plastic pot in side you will lose an awful lot of dirt capicty as much as30% and yourplant cap will go from 11 to 5. If you go with the drip system go with the spray nozzel. I found the drip nozzels did not wet well. They had the tendacy to run out the bottom without wetting the sides.Also a fertilizer injector is about 60 bucks for small and 90 for from Charlies gh in Mt Vernon wa.

Those petunias are mostly plain old waves.

Eastlake, OH(Zone 5a)

Shock Wave petunias will tolerate some heat, but I agree that watering once a week will not work. You need to check your plants daily. Sun, wind, and heat will dry them quickly in a few hours.

Morgantown, WV

Hello I have been growing from seed petunias for a few years. My first year and second year they were fine. Last year it got way too hot couldn't keep up with watering I lost quite. Few plants last year. This year I am growing petunia easy wave I am thinking about starting them from seed on feb 18. I live in zine 6a does that sound about right. I will be putting them out around mothers day.

Lake Toxaway, NC(Zone 7a)

February seems a bit early, but if you have a good place to keep them and let them grow out to the beginning of bloom, then I'd go for it.

Morgantown, WV

Just waiting till the 18th is hard I do have lights and I use things they tend to be able to grow for a longtime. Usually they are beginning to bloom when I make up my outdoors pots.

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

I started on Feb 21 last year with heat, lights, etc, and that was about right for me. My frost- free date is in late May, and I had blooms by then. I'd say if you're antsy you could start any time now.

Happy Planting!

Pam

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Morgantown, WV

Oh thanks for replying I will start them soon.

Morgantown, WV

Well I started my petunias on feb 15. Today I am seeing my babies poppin through. So far so good.

Morgantown, WV

Well march 18 I got petunias! Today I repotted 10 so far they are pretty already. I've been growing coleus todayi moved them out from under lights and put them in. Southern window. I still have tll may before I can begin to put outside. A few have gotten quite big. Won't be long I will see blooms. I guess I am a week away from April. This will be along month of tending to my plants. I have plants growing all over place.

Brigham City, UT(Zone 5b)

Isn't this fun! I just potted up 360 petunias, 70 vinca, and a few various other flowers. Also 136 dahlia's, 30 canna and some lillies. I am so excited for spring. I don't have space. I have a little greenhouse but the rest are in a basement bedroom with shop lights. I love to see them grow and beautify my yard and others.
I love the pictures of the planters. I have had some pretty ones, but I don't think they have been that beautiful.

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

Mt babies are still pretty small... And not nearly so many! P Storm White seeds from 2011 didn't germinate, so I re-sowed new ones from this year, and now have 7 babies. Along with the 8 P Easy Waves from a couple of weeks ago, that's plenty for my 3 hanging baskets. I like filling in with Lobelia and Sweet Alyssum as well.

Morgantown, WV

I tried growing lobelia none came up.

Morgantown, WV

Well I now have a room full of blooming petunias and other flowers. Having to wait one more month is going to be tough. Anxious to get outside and work. I feel like im behind but the end of the week looks good.

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

Congratulations, Dottie. I have weeks to go yet, too, and lots of goodies that should be great by planting time. And it finally feels like spring around here, after a cold start to the month.

My Easy Wave Petunias started blooming at 6 weeks, and are bursting out of their pots. The P Storms at 6 weeks are still tiny. That might have been part of my problem, but it doesn't explain why last year's P Avalanche didn't fill out.

Then I recently read on a blog that Bacopa has greedy roots and nearly killed a Clematis! That must be what has been stunting my petunias, I've used Bacopa with them every year. Nothing else makes sense. In our conditions daily watering is not necessary, these baskets are quite large and deep, and we are not that hot and dry. Wind and hot late day sun don't reach my baskets, they are quite sheltered, if anything, maybe too much so. Soil, amendments, etc, have worked for everything else. So this year, I'll stick to Lobelia and Alyssum and hope that works.

Thanks for all the suggestions. I won't bother putting plastic pots inside the baskets, and I have what I need to set up a drip system for the hottest part of the summer. I'll add extra compost (as usual) and a slow release fertilizer (also as usual) and keep my fingers crossed that this year our entrance will be beautiful at last.

Happy Spring!

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Morgantown, WV

Well I took inventory of my flowers I got growing in the house. I have 71 petunias. I have 22 impatiens, 24 gazania, 6 osteospuram, 5 gerbera daisies. Looking forward to planting.

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

Wow!!! I have a total of 14 petunias! You must have a lot of pots! Also, you must be close to being able to plant outside. I'm just working on getting my beds cleaned up we still have night temps close to freezing.

But at least spring is finally here, I'm a happy gardener :)))))

Morgantown, WV

Yes I do have pots plus I have some flower beds in ground also. I have been working outside the whole month of April. We are just now going into a longer warm spell. Temps staying at night in high 40s
We are not looking forward to acclimating the flowers to being outside. There is a lot of plants to carry in and out. I have been buying for years more perrinals andi so enjoy watching things wake up and come up out of the ground. I have been fertilizing and cleaning up. I have like 20 different rose bushes. After 20 years of trying different plants in one area I finally see plants coming up nicely. I have like 50 coleus different kind to throw in among my other plants. So I am itching to get to put them out but I think I am waiting one more week. I have slowly been buying some fruit trees. We got three apple trees one cherry tree and onepeachtree. We had a buck come in and schemed dead are peach tree it died but. Bought it on line and they replaced it. So my sweet husband has built a fence around my little orchid they are all semi dwarf and we might see some fruit this year. We did get. Few cherries last year.

Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

Anyone have pictures of their petunias? I did not grow anything from seed this year, due to illness and hospital. I hope to begin next year, and hopefully if I have time, I want to start some biennials in late summer, early fall. I never seem to do it then, though since there seems to be so many other things to do.

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