Tips For Producing Petunias

Tips For Producing Petunias

Vigorous vegetatively produced petunias have revolutionized the genus and come in all sizes and colors. How do you ensure you’re growing the highly branched, compact, vegetative petunias the market loves? With a carefully planned and targeted program that accounts for their extreme vigor and heavy feeding needs. Danziger, which is known for its Cascadia, Doubloon, Littletunia and Ray series, shares production advice:


Root for two to three weeks at temperatures of 64-75°F.


For 4-inch pots, use one plant per pot. Plants will be ready for sale from rooted cuttings within six to eight weeks.

For 6-inch pots, use one to two plants per pot. Plants will be ready in eight to 10 weeks.

For 10-inch hanging baskets, use three to four plants, which will be ready in 10 to 12 weeks.


Pinch once two weeks after planting. A second pinch is recommended for baskets. Plants may also be cut instead of pinched.

Growing On

After transplant, during the first two to three weeks, water and fertilize moderately and keep EC between 1.5 and 1.8. Let roots reach the side of the container before increasing water and fertilization.


Plants prefer high light intensities, preferably full sunlight, which is essential for optimum finish. Minimum light levels are 6,000 foot candles or 60,000 lux. If shaded, plants will appear stretched and less blooming. During winter, supplemental lighting is required.


Provide day temperatures of 64-75°F and night temperatures of 55-64°F. Plants can grow in temperatures out of this range, nearly to the freezing point and up to 95°F.


Vegetative petunias require heavy fertilization. Apply a constant feed program with a balanced fertilizer of N:P:K=2:1:2, using 250-300 ppm nitrogen.

Micronutrients should be in average levels with iron slightly higher.


Keep plants well watered, though keep in mind vegetative petunias are sensitive to water surplus. Drip irrigation is recommended. Leach periodically to prevent salt accumulation.

Growing Media

Use a well-drained peat/perlite, disease-free potting mix with a pH of 5.5-6.0 and EC of 0.8-1.2.

Growth Regulators

Growth regulators are optional for vegetative petunias. They aren’t necessary under high light intensities. If you apply them, use one to three sprays of B-Nine, 2 grams per liter, according to required plant size. Bonzi is an effective regulator for 4-inch pot production.

Pest & Disease Control

Apply a standard preventive spray program to control pests and diseases. Potential insect problems include whiteflies, leaf miners and aphids. Watch for diseases, including Botrytis, Pythium and crown rot. Viral diseases can be a serious problem, therefore, it’s essential to start with virus-free material. Plant liners at the soil level, not too deeply. Avoid excessive moisture on foliage.

Leave a Reply

More From Plant Culture...
Gaillardia x grandiflora 'Arizona Apricot'

February 25, 2015

National Garden Bureau Designates 2015 As Year Of The Gaillardia

Gaillardia, also known as the blanket flower, is a member of the sunflower family (Asteraceae) and a long-blooming pollinator plant. It is fitting that the National Garden Bureau has specified 2015 as The Year of the Gaillardia.

Read More
IPPS Sharing Plant Production Knowledge Globally Logo

February 25, 2015

International Plant Propagators Western Region Sets Annual Meeting Date

The annual meet for the International Plant Propagators' Society (IPPS) Western Region has been set for this September. It will take place September 23 to 26 in Modesto, Calif., and will include learning sessions, tours to local nurseries, a research poster display and poster presentations, various networking opportunities and an awards banquet to close the event.

Read More
Evolvulus Blue My Mind

February 24, 2015

Blue Ribbon Bloomers For Greenhouse Production

Grow what consumers want! Surveys show that blue is one of the top preferred colors of today’s consumers. Here are twelve top recommended blue-flowering Proven Winners annuals and perennials to suit your spring production cycle.

Read More
Latest Stories

February 11, 2015

Infusion Technology Boosts Seed Performance, Study Sugg…

Seven-year-old wheat seed germination can increase by as much as 83 percent, according to a Vital Force Technology Study that looks at the effects of energy infusion technology on plant vitality.

Read More

February 3, 2015

American Floral Endowment Accepting Research Pre-Propos…

If you are pursuing a floriculture research project, now is the time to apply for funding through the American Floral Endowment. Research pre-proposal applications for 2015-2016 funding are due to AFE by June 1, 2015.

Read More

January 27, 2015

Marijuana’s Trajectory And Ascent To Horticultural Cr…

Marijuana growing is poised for change as growers and researchers focus on improving production practices.

Read More

December 9, 2014

Greenhouse Production: Two Years Of Basics & Beyond…

Greenhouse Grower's Basics & Beyond articles cover some of the latest news and research going on in greenhouse production. Here are article links for the last two years.

Read More
GrowIt! App Wins Gold At Design100 2014 US Mobile & App Design Awards

November 24, 2014

GrowIt! App Wins Gold At Design100 2014 US Mobile &…

The social garden app GrowIt! takes the Gold Winner award at the design100 2014 Mobile & App Design Awards.

Read More

November 10, 2014

The Perennial Farm Joins HGTV HOME Plant Collection

The Perennial Farm joins the HGTV HOME Plant Collection growers' network for 2015.

Read More

November 4, 2014

AmericanHort Publishes Revised American Standard For Nu…

AmericanHort announces the revised American Standard for Nursery Stock (ANSI Z60.1) is now available for industry use. The Standard reflects the consensus of the industry regarding how nursery stock — living plants other than annuals — should be specified and sold within the trade.

Read More

September 26, 2014

Master The Art Of Watering

Watering is elemental to healthy plants, but one of the hardest concepts for new employees to master in the greenhouse. Recommend these tips to start them off right.

Read More

September 16, 2014

Ball FloraPlant’s Las Limas Facility Provides Gro…

Ball FloraPlant’s Las Limas farm in Esteli, Nicaragua, is one year away from full production, but sales and quality from the two-year-old facility are right on track.

Read More
Erysimum 'Cheers' from Darwin Perennials

September 15, 2014

Darwin Perennials Takes Production Offshore In Bogota, …

With its recent purchase of a farm in Colombia, Darwin Perennials is ready to amp up supply of its perennial genetics, to provide growers with tried-and-true varieties and comprehensive production specifications.

Read More

July 23, 2014

Plan Now To Prevent Bract Edge Burn On Poinsettias

Reduce fertilizer and water, and allow your poinsettias to develop slowly during the final four weeks of production to avoid bract edge burn.

Read More

July 11, 2014

Growing Your Crops Above Their Base Temperature

Lowering temperature set points in the greenhouse may help you combat rising heating costs.

Read More

May 1, 2014

Growers Report Nutritional Problems On Geraniums

In recent weeks, several growers have contacted Michigan State University Specialists about leaf discoloration on geraniums, especially the purpling of lower leaves.

Read More

April 22, 2014

How Two Postharvest Care Products Worked On Potted Plan…

What your potted plants look like at retail translates to sales or fails. North Carolina State University researchers report on how two postharvest care products performed.

Read More
Dianthus 'Passion' from Emerald Coast Growers

March 27, 2014

Growing Dianthus Successfully

Here's some advice on transplanting and producing this classic perennial favorite.

Read More
Aquilegia canadensis

March 10, 2014

Tips For Producing Aquilegia

Advice on planting, temperature, vernalization, lighting and more on columbine from Emerald Coast Growers' head grower Josiah Raymer.

Read More
Perennials in hoop house

February 21, 2014

Overwintering Perennials: Plan Ahead To Fungicide Drenc…

Demand for perennials has increased as consumers educate themselves and seek out new and improved varieties. Overwintering perennials can become an important profit center. Here's some advice on how to overwinter successfully.

Read More
Cold damage to ipomoea

February 11, 2014

Chilling Injury On Cuttings: What To Look For

During this young plant production season when many growers receive unrooted cuttings, liners and plugs for spring production. Cuttings shippers are delaying deliveries because the tender cuttings cannot withstand the frigid temperatures.

Read More