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Petunia is characterized by colorful flowers in the shape of a funnel. It belongs to the nightshade family and has the botanical name Petunia. The petunia, which comes from South America, has a large variety of species. Its flowering period extends from July to the first cold days. Despite its hardiness and adaptability, the Petunia is not hardy. We will show you how to overwinter petunias properly and how to enjoy them for a long time.
You have these options for wintering
If you don't want to dispose of your beloved petunia after it has bloomed and simply want to buy new plants next year, you can get it through the cold season easily and well with the right tips. There are two ways you can best do this. The first option is to bring the petunia indoors from outside as a whole plant for overwintering. Alternatively, you can win the precious seeds of the petunia and sow them again in the spring.
Petunias hibernate - in the flower box
If you want to keep the colorful Petunia as a whole plant, you can keep it indoors in a planter throughout the winter. Here the flower can rest wonderfully and prepare for spring. Find a place that is as bright as possible, where the box can stand safely and protected. You should bring the petunias to this winter quarters before the first frosts occur at night. The location should be cool and completely dry.
- before the first frost
- bright, cool, dry location
It makes sense to check carefully beforehand whether the plants have pests. You should definitely remove these completely before the dormant period, otherwise they would multiply strongly in the winter months and damage the petunia.
- Examine all plants carefully
- carefully remove all pests
It is also necessary to cut back the plant before hibernation. To do this, it is best to shorten the shoots to 15 to 20 centimeters so that the plant does not lose too much strength on the shoots. This also applies to the flowering shoots. Pruning before the dormant period has another benefit for you. Since the petunia with shortened shoots is smaller, you no longer need to give it as much space in your home for overwintering.
- also cut back flowering shoots
- Leave 15 to 20 cm
The petunia needs very little water during the dormant period. The soil must not be too moist, otherwise the roots can easily rot. However, the winter bed made of earth should not be too dry. You can get the right dose if you water the plant as soon as the soil separates slightly from the edge of the flower box. The petunia does not need fertilizer at all in winter. Fertilizing during the winter months would encourage the plant to grow - but this should be avoided during the dormant period.
- water very little
- Avoid waterlogging
- don't let it dry out
- don't fertilize at all
Obtaining the Seed
Wintering the petunia - with the seed
Another way you can enjoy your colorful petunias again next spring is by seeding them. You should take care of this before the first frost sets in. The ideal time is when the flower has already turned brown and has dried up slightly. Carefully remove the cover and take out the small capsules with the seeds. You can now carefully crumble them with your fingers until the seeds fall out by themselves.
- win seeds
- when flower turns brown and dry
- remove cover
- take out seeds
Dry the seeds over the winter. If the weather conditions are good and stable, you can sow the seeds of the petunia as early as February. However, if it is still unstable at this time of the year and some days are too cold, it is better to wait until March to sow. In order to germinate healthily and thrive, petunia seeds ideally need a temperature of around 20 °C.
- Let seeds dry in winter
- sow in February or March
- ideal temperature for germination: 20 °C
Let the seeds thrive until the seedlings are an appropriate size. Then you can plant them in the window boxes. It usually takes until May for the petunias to bloom in their most beautiful colors.
- grow seedlings
- plant in balcony boxes
- Beginning of flowering: in May
Sort petunias by color
Preparing for hibernation is a great opportunity to sort petunias by color and keep their seeds separate. This makes it easier for you to arrange the pretty flowers in the garden by color in spring. However, if you love a sea of colorful flowers and want to be surprised by the splendor of color next spring, you can mix the seeds and store them together.