Pretty petunias

2017-08-30 06:02

WHEN planting petunias, whether in containers, window boxes or beds, placing them along a north-facing wall is preferable, as it will trap a lot of heat and light. This is  a prime growing position for petunias and will encourage them to flower throughout winter and spring - for up to five months.

While your soil need not be particularly rich to grow petunias, it must drain well. After planting, water regularly until the seedlings are established. Once settled, the secret behind successful petunias is to allow the soil to dry slightly out before watering again. This is important as the drying out cycle encourages them to flower more profusely and keeps pathogens at bay.

Chrysanthemum paludosum, also known as Creeping Daisy or Madelifies, produce masses of flowers from spring all the way through to late autumn. Their creeping nature make them excellent specimens for hanging baskets, containers and window boxes, but they’re also just as comfortable growing over an empty bed as capably as dedicated ground covers do.

This fast-growing plant grows easily to about 25cm tall and 30cm wide, so give your seedlings enough room to spread when planting.

Being moderately frost-hardy they can be planted all year round in slightly warmer areas, but their one nemesis is strong winds, so be sure to place them in a protected space if living in one of our windier provinces.

They should get a deep heavy watering once a week so not a good choice for drought stricken areas. Plant in full sun, pinch back growing tips to encourage a more compact and floriferous plant and don’t be shy to prune them right back once they’ve finished blooming.

Information supplied by the Bedding Plant Growers Association. For more, go to www.lifeisagarden.co.za

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