Petunia is considered a very bright and beautiful flower that will delight you from early summer to late autumn. Petunia is most often propagated by seeds. But, unfortunately, it is useless to propagate hybrid varieties in this way, since new plants usually lose the properties of the mother bush, therefore this method is considered the least successful. However, few people know that petunia can be propagated not only by seeds, but also by cuttings. Moreover, you can get healthy seedlings both in spring and autumn and, of course, in summer. In order to properly perform cuttings of petunias, you need to follow the basic agrotechnical rules. But before introducing you to them, we will share with you the advantages and disadvantages of this method of plant propagation.
Cutting petunias: pros and cons
Plants are usually grown through seedlings. Petunia is planted at the end of winter. However, due to the fact that seeds germinate poorly in this culture, many gardeners refuse this method. In addition, it will be problematic to buy seeds of this plant every year, since they are quite expensive.
In addition, it is not so easy to grow seedlings, the plants very often stretch out and suffer from fungal infections. But the method of reproduction of petunias by cuttings has much more advantages:
- despite the dreadful name, this method is very simple. Therefore, even novice gardeners can cope with it.
- new petunias fully retain all the varietal characteristics of the mother bushes.
- the survival rate of cuttings is almost one hundred percent. Such flowers bloom much earlier, and their roots develop very quickly.
- you can cut petunia almost throughout the season.
So, I hope we have convinced you that cuttings are considered a great method of plant propagation. Now we will introduce you to the rules of this simple method.
Cutting petunias at home: seasonality
First you need to decide on the season for growing petunias. This crop has many varieties. Plants differ in bush shapes, flowering types, and the structure of the flowers themselves. Of course, plants also vary in size. Petunias are tall or short.
The most basic varieties of these plants: bush, cascade and ampel petunia. It should be noted that it is ampelous varieties that can be bred all year round. Therefore, it is best to cut these plants in August. They manage to get stronger before winter, and the root system is developing well. The shoots should be cut from the tops of the shoots.
If we talk about bush petunias, then it is best to cut them in the spring, this also applies to double flowers. An interesting fact, from the moment of cutting the cutting, to flowering, it usually takes two months.
Imagine how many new plants you can grow with this vegetative method. Cuttings usually take 2 weeks to root. Therefore, you should take this indicator into account when conducting this event. However, in winter it is necessary to provide additional lighting, since there is not enough natural light for young flowers.
How to propagate petunia by cuttings? Plant selection
In order to properly perform petunia cuttings at home, you must first choose the right plants. Be sure to select shrubs that are free from pests, not affected by diseases. Plants must be strong and healthy.As you remember, you can take both hybrids and varietal plants. For grafting, this does not matter.
All signs of the mother plant will certainly remain. Therefore, the vegetative breeding method is so loved by gardeners. Petunias are usually dug up in mid-fall. The stems are cut, leaving only small branches. The flower should be transplanted into a pot that will be filled with fertile soil, do not forget about the drainage layer.
Petunia doesn't like moisture. In order to prevent petunias in the house from getting sick, it is recommended to pre-treat the bushes with solutions of insecticides and fungicides. You can simply spray the plants with a weak solution of potassium permanganate. The pot should be placed on a windowsill with moderate natural light.
At first, the flowers are recommended to be kept cool in order for them to adapt normally. Petunia should be cared for in winter. However, the basic recommendations are the same as for growing petunias outdoors. It is advisable to put the pot on the east window. And on dark winter days, it is advisable to provide additional illumination.
Avoid waterlogging of the soil. Watering should be regular, but not too intense. The room temperature should be approximately + 18 ... + 20 degrees. The water used to water the plants should also be warm. Sometimes gardeners recommend using melted water for these purposes.
In order to prevent rot on the plants, growers often treat petunias with a weak solution of potassium permanganate. Do not forget that once every 2 weeks you should feed the plants with mineral fertilizers. However, this should only be done if the petunia is in bloom.
Non-flowering bushes do not need to be fed at all. If we talk about the types of fertilizers, give preference to potash-phosphorus mixtures.
Cutting petunias at home: instructions
Petunia cuttings can be carried out throughout the season. However, the uterine bushes should be prepared in time for this event. First of all, they should be treated with a special remedy for diseases. Before cutting off the shoots, the bush must also be well fed. Magnesium, potassium humate, and urea are often used for this.
Powerful and strong shoots are suitable for cutting petunias at home. It is not necessary to cut off the processes longer than 6-8 cm, since voluminous cuttings will take root more slowly. On such a shoot, there should also be 4-6 full-fledged healthy leaves. Choose the sturdiest and most powerful twigs.
Then the cuttings should be placed in a container so that they do not wither and take root. And only after that it will be possible to root the shoots. Do not cut your plants later than September. Since in late autumn, the main processes of plant development slow down significantly. Therefore, the cuttings will not root, and the young seedlings will die, since the root system will develop and grow extremely slowly.
You can also cut petunia in different ways: in a glass of water, in the ground, and also in peat tablets. We will tell you about each method, and you already choose the one that suits you.
Cut petunia cuttings, 5-6 cm long, should be placed in a glass with phytohormones. You can purchase them at a specialized agricultural store. But you can also simply dip the lower part of the shoot in Kornevin's solution to stimulate the growth of the root system.
In order for the petunia cuttings to take root well, you need to prepare a loose and light soil. For this, sand, ash, humus are usually added to the ground. Cuttings should be placed in separate cups filled with nutrient mixture. From above, it is advisable to cover them with a film or a cut off part of a transparent bottle.
The holes should not be deep, about 3-4 centimeters each. And the distance between the cuttings should be at least 3 centimeters.You will not need a drainage layer, since these plants will soon need to be transplanted into separate larger containers.
Cuttings also do not need to be buried too deep. Sometimes gardeners will immediately place the shoots in separate containers so that later you can easily transplant them. Also, such plants will form a higher immunity. And the black leg practically does not develop in such conditions.
During this period, it should not be actively moistened into the ground, and the plant should be sprayed. After you water the petunias, you should cover the soil surface with dry ash or sand. Boxes with cuttings are recommended to be placed in a warm and bright place. However, do not forget to ventilate the room and remove excess moisture.
Usually, in such plants, the root system begins to appear after a week. When the first pair of leaves is formed on the cuttings, they can be replanted. This means that the plant has adapted to a new location.
It is recommended to use supplementary lighting at this time, as these petunias need a lot of light. When the roots of young plants appear, they can be transplanted into new pots. However, if you immediately rooted the cuttings in separate containers, then you do not need to do this.
Usually within 2-3 weeks the plants grow roots intensively. Therefore, if you plant petunias in tight boxes, development may be slowed down. Seedlings are planted in open ground when the root system is well developed and the first buds appear on the shoots.
Vermiculite and hydrogel
Very often vermiculite is used for grafting petunias. This is a kind of additive that has high water absorption and does not give up moisture well. That is why plants practically do not get sick with fungal infections. Especially such a disease as black leg.
Sometimes a hydrogel is used instead of a primer. These granules also perfectly absorb moisture, and practically do not give it away. In addition, the hydrogel is very soft, so petunia takes root wonderfully.
There are gaps in the granules that allow air to circulate inside the hydrogel. Therefore, the roots of plants are fed normally. When these same granules swell a lot, they sometimes become too dense, so they do not allow air to pass through well.
In this case, it is desirable to use a hydrogel with large granules, not less than 5 mm. Sometimes they are mixed with nutrient soil.
Cutting petunias in water
Gardeners are often engaged in cuttings of petunias using plain water. All varieties of petunias can be propagated in this way both in summer and in spring. However, this should not be done with terry plants.
In order to cut petunia, you will need to prepare an opaque glass of water. The stalk should be about 7-9 cm long, the leaves should preferably be torn off. This shoot is placed in a container with water. However, you don't need to put too many cuttings in one container. Since a living system needs free space for growth and development.
For about 200 milliliters of water, there are three cuttings of petunia, no more. The containers should then be placed in a warm and dark place. Add water in time. Do not allow containers to dry out. Otherwise, the cuttings will die.
In order to prevent the processes from decaying, gardeners recommend placing one tablet of ordinary activated carbon in each container. The first roots usually appear after 7 days. It will be possible to plant shoots in about two weeks.
Very often, petunias are propagated in peat tablets. This is a very convenient way. Since this substrate already contains all the necessary nutrients and trace elements, as well as antibacterial mixtures that prevent the development of diseases. Peat tablets have a very long shelf life, so they don't have an expiration date.
It is best to use coated tablets for grafting petunias so that the nutritional mixture does not crumble in the future.Consider the acidity of the material. Since petunias do not like acidic soils. Tablets are recommended to be poured with water, having previously placed in a large container.
When the material swells and stops absorbing moisture, the cuttings can be planted. A hole should be made in each tablet and a process should be placed there. Before planting work, the tablet needs to be squeezed a little, so we get rid of excess moisture.
Don't forgete water the plants. Cuttings still need moisture. When you see that the root system has finally encircled the pill, the plants can be transplanted into boxes or sent out into the open ground.
But do not forget to cut the shell so that the petunias' root system grows well in their new habitat. The main convenience is that, as a result of such reproduction, the roots of plants are not injured, which means that petunias bloom even earlier.
As you understand, grafting petunias at home is not difficult at all. Therefore, if you show dexterity and ingenuity, you can get many new plants from one mother bush. And your garden will be filled with bright flowers and an unprecedented aroma. So be sure to try the method of propagating petunias by cuttings, rest assured, everything is complicated - simple.