I discovered Flower Friday last year while visiting Lorilin@Bugbugbooks and have been having a blast sharing some flower pictures and information. Please check out Lorilin’s blog if you haven’t already for book reviews and more!
Today’s Flower is:
Tidal Wave & Shock Wave Petunias
I ended up choosing deep purple shock wave and red velour tidal wave petunias this season. These red velour petunias can spread up to 5 feet!
Tidal wave and shock wave petunias are easy to grow and start from seed. You can buy pelleted seed online which makes for easy sowing. I start mine in trays in mid to late February so the baskets are full by early June. It usually only takes three to four plants per basket and you’ll save money by growing your own as they cost around $17 to 20 dollars or more. You can also reuse your baskets two or three times as long as you put them up in winter.
The only bad thing about growing petunias is that you have to deadhead them in order to keep them blooming all summer. I have no idea how some of the garden centers are stating that you don’t need to do this, but for me I’ve learned to do it or lose the blooms early in the season. At first, I used to think you only needed to pull the flower off, but noticed mine were going to seed to soon. I finally learned to deadhead them properly. I’m no flower expert, but I know the only way to keep mine blooming is with this method.
As soon as I see a bloom shriveling and looking bad, I cut it off completely including the stem as far back as possible.
If you don’t cut it in time, a seed pod will form behind the flower.
If you’re too late, just cut the seed head off behind the stem.
If you leave these on, the plant will eventually stop blooming. The seed pod will dry on the plant and drop little black seeds everywhere. I’ve even had new petunias bloom on the ground same season! Here’s a close up. Hundreds of seeds in one little pod.
These are annuals, but the nice thing is that later on in the season you can collect some seed and save them for next year. I usually just buy pelleted seed because it’s cheap and easier to sow, but saving works too. If you grow these in the ground, they’ll reseed themselves and you’ll have beautiful petunia beds every year.
They are heavy feeders so I fertilize mine with compost tea at least once every week or two. They also need full sun. For the most part, they are easy to care for and just take a little patience.
Thanks for checking out Flower Friday! What are some of your favorite flowers to grow? Feel free to share comments below.