Whether in a flower box or in a flower bed, petunias make balconies and gardens sink into a sea of flowers. The flower provides blooms throughout the summer and pleases the eyes of the amateur gardener. In order for the flowering plant to feel at home, the location also plays a decisive role. Many know it as a true sun worshipper. In fact, nowadays there is a wide range of varieties and some of them are perfect even for the shade garden or the north balcony. So if you’re wondering if petunias can grow and bloom in the shade, the answer is yes. However, it is important to follow some basic rules when planting and caring for them.
Can petunias grow in the shade?
Petunia is an annual plant that is common in the tropical climates of South America. In Germany, it is planted only after the Ice Saints, when the weather becomes warm and the sun shines all day. If it rains, the young plants may not thrive well, so either install rain protection or start planting in late May.
The right location plays a crucial role. Petunias prefer off-sun to sunny locations and need at least 4 to 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. Will petunias grow in shade? Yes, although it depends on the shade. Locations in partial shade, such as an east-facing balcony, are best because the plant gets full sun in the morning and shade in the afternoon. Light shade can also promote growth, but then the petunia forms too long shoots and blooms much less. Full shade the plant can not tolerate.
So for petunias are suitable locations that are sunny for at least 4 hours a day and have protection from rain and wind. The balcony with west, east or south orientation provides the perfect light conditions for the delicate flower.
In the garden, the flower thrives perfectly in flower beds at the edge of the lawn. When planting, make sure that the petunia is not in the shade of a tree. It will also not feel comfortable right next to hedge plants or tall shrubs. Ground covers, ornamental grasses and low flowers prove to be perfect planting partners.
Petunias for shady locations: this is what you should consider when planting.
There are several simple rules that encourage flowering. First of all, you should pay attention to:
1. when planting flower beds and boxes, always leave a minimum distance of 20 cm between flowers.
2. lay a drainage layer of expanded clay, so that excess water can drain away. This is very important, especially in shady locations, because the water can not evaporate and the roots may begin to rot.
3. place the stems outward so that the shoots fall over the edge of the bed or the box.
4. if the young plants form too long shoots at the beginning of summer, be sure to shorten them.
5. if the site is sunny or partial shade, petunias can spend there all summer.
6. after planting fertilize the substrate with slow-release fertilizer.
7. petunias need a lot of water, if you are in the full sun. In the shade, the water requirement is less. It is best to check the soil: if it is still moist, do not water.
8. protect the flowers from wind and rain.
Make petunias bloom
Granted, petunias do not bloom as profusely in partial shade as they do in full sun. However, it is quite possible to extend the blooming period by using simple tricks.
- If they are container plants, you can change the location on the weekend so that the petunia is in full sun.
- If the change of location is too complicated, you can shorten too long shoots and regularly enrich the soil with compost.
- Remove faded flowers and fallen leaves regularly. This stimulates flower formation and prolongs the flowering period.
- Be sure to keep the soil moderately moist to fresh.
- Water the petunias at irregular intervals. If they are in partial shade, water the flowers every 10 days, if the location is off-sun – every 7 days.
Petunias for shade: These varieties thrive best
The wild plant thrives best in full sun. Fortunately, there is now a wide range of different varieties, and some of them are suitable for partial shade and light shade. So if you’re looking for petunias for an east-facing balcony or covered patio, you can ask for the following varieties at the garden center:
“Wave Red,” as its name suggests, has red flowers and long shoots that extend beyond the flower pot. The cultivar thrives in low temperatures and is perfect for east-facing balconies, as well as north-facing balconies to a certain extent. Rain Wave Red can also easily withstand.
The variety “Super Pink” blooms in pink, white or pink. It tolerates partial shade if the soil is well-drained, humus-rich and does not form waterlogging. Plant the flowers 18 to 20 inches apart to ensure good ventilation. By the way, this variety attracts butterflies and bees to the garden or balcony.
The variety “Pink Passion” blooms in bright yellow, pink, white or pink. The flowering period lasts from May to the end of October. It can thrive in partial shade and has rather low water requirements. The proper planting time is mid-May to late June.
The variety “Sunset” forms flowers with a yellow edge and a brick red center.
“Light Blue” is a hybrid that forms purple and pink flowers. The peculiarity of this variety is that it requires pruning.