Q&A: Growing Petunias in Windy Places
Despite getting ample sunlight, too much wind can hurt your plants.
E-mail This Page to Your Friendsx
A link to %this page% was e-mailed
Q: Last summer I hung two pots of petunias on a south-facing raised deck. By August they looked terrible. This spot gets a lot of sun and wind. What would be a good flowering annual for this location?
—T.V., Proctor, Minn.
A: Like other sun-loving annuals, petunias should do fine, but wind can quickly dry them out. Unless you can devise a windbreak, you might do better with portulaca or sedum, but they wouldn't provide the same kind of effect.
If you can't block the wind but still want to try petunias, make sure the container is extra large, use a top-quality potting mix, and water as needed to keep the soil evenly moist but not sopping wet. You may even need to water twice a day — or you could experiment with a self-watering pot. Feed the plants regularly with a water-soluble fertilizer for blooming annuals; read and follow label instructions (too much fertilizer isn't better than not enough).
Finally, many varieties of petunia need to be cut back by about half when they get leggy. Cutting back will force a flush of new vigorous growth and lots more blooms, even into the fall. Also, regularly remove faded flowers to encourage more bloom and to prevent the plant from using any energy on producing seeds. Or you might try one of the newer varieties that are developed to be self-cleaning and naturally large and full.
— National Gardening Association
In an effort to preserve flowers, Ivetta Moore started pressing them in books. Today her pressed flower art pieces encompass...
Having a small living space is no reason to skimp on style. Creative homeowners show that good things often come in small spaces.(10 photos)
See how one family's small kitchen goes from impractical to well designed and kid-friendly.(5 photos)