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How to Plant & Care for Petunias

Purple petunias are shown against a concrete background.

Growing petunias is easy and gives you a beautiful flower that looks great as ground cover or in containers or baskets. We’ll show you how to start growing your seeds indoors, how to transfer them to their outdoor home and give you some proper petunia care tips in this guide.

Skill Level: Beginner
  1. Step 1 Start by Planting your Petunia Seeds Indoors

    A person prepares petunia seeds on a table indoors.

    You can start germinating your petunia seeds indoors about 10 weeks before you’re looking to plant them outside. Use a seed starting soil that holds moisture well and plant them in starter planting containers. Water them daily and use a grow light. You should see them start to grow in about 4-10 days.

  2. Step 2 Move the Petunias to a Sunny Spot Outdoors

    A person plants petunias into a planter pot outdoors.
    A person plants more petunias into a planter pot outdoors.

    Being a full-sun flower, petunias love the sunlight, so after your last spring frost date, transfer them to a sunny spot outdoors. They usually grow to between 6 and 12 inches tall, so make sure you’ve got adequate space. When planting petunias, plant them 10-15 inches apart to ensure they’ve got enough space to grow.

    If you’re looking to mix your petunias with other flowers, regular petunias are a great choice. If you’re looking to have an all-petunia bed, go with the wave petunia as they spread more easily.

  3. Step 3 How to Care for Petunias

    A hanging basket full of petunias hangs outdoors.

    Petunias are relatively easy to care for. Ensure you water the soil when it gets dry so your petunias sit in damp but not soaked soil. Sunlight is key, so make sure they get between 5-6 hours of full sunlight per day. Pruning, or deadheading, is also important, so we’ll show you how to do it in the next step.

  4. Step 4 How to Deadhead Petunias

    White petunias sit in a planter outdoors.

    Deadheading regular petunias is important to help them grow hardy. Once you see a brown or browning bloom, cut the stem below it, but above the next set of leaves. This will allow the nutrients to get to the growing part of the plant and help it bloom again. Wave petunias don’t need deadheading as much, as they spread and bloom fairly easily, but regular deadheading of any petunia can help it bloom.

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