The Mexican petunia is an ideal flower for the beginning gardener to work with. It is easy to grow, and rewards growers with beautifully colored flowers for relatively little work. These plants are hardy, generally pest- and disease-free, and bloom even during the hottest periods. Since they are inexpensive and widely available, consider growing some of your own.
Things You'll Need
- Shovel or spade
- Hand pruners
Grow your petunias by dividing the root ball of an existing plant, or taking cuttings from one. Divide the root ball by carefully working your fingers into the root ball of the plant and then working your fingers around to loosen the roots from one another. This is very similar to kneading the dough when making bread. Plants will root easily using either method. Alternatively, purchase Mexican petunias at almost any garden store.
Plant the divisions or cuttings in a moist, fertile soil in an area that gets anywhere from full sunlight to partial shade. Plant the petunia so that 2-3 inches of it is buried beneath the soil. Your petunias will have more blossoms in a sunny area and fewer in shady locations.
Water your petunias according to how much spreading you would like them to do. Lots of moisture, such as watering every day, can lead to aggressive spreading. The plants can handle dry spells well, and they are a good choice for those that are xeriscaping. It often works well to water only once or twice a week, or when you notice that the soil has become very dry.
Cut back the stems just below the flower after each of the blooms has withered, and you will encourage more blossoms.
Monitor and control the spread of the flowers to your liking, as the original stem of plants will grow into a colony. Cut back or pruning the plants often will keep them under control, and limiting the amount of moisture that they receive will help in this regard also.