General Discussion: do I tell?

Messages posted to thread:

Carrie13-Jun-02 06:05 PM EST 3   
Northern Gardener 14-Jun-02 02:34 AM EST 3   

Subject: do I tell?
From: Carrie
Zone: 3
Date: 13-Jun-02 06:05 PM EST


Maybe someone could help me. My son is getting married in the middle of July. They wanted bright purple supertunias for the decorations. I purchased 8 large baskets of them in April. I have a fairly large greenhouse and I feed them (as instructed) full strength every time I water with plant prod 20-20-20. Shortly after I got them they went into clorosis and I gave them some chelated iron, they looked good for quite a while, now the leaves are a little blotchy brown/yellow. Am I over fertilizing. Help!! These baskets have to look stunning for July 13th!

Thanks in advance! Carrie

Subject: RE: do I tell?
From: Northern Gardener (
Zone: 3
Date: 14-Jun-02 02:34 AM EST


Yes, it sounds like you arre over fertilizing. FULL strength of any type of feed everytime you water is too much, even for those aggressive petunias.

You need to flush out the excess fertilizers. Try this: for the next 7-14 days, do not use any fertilizer at all when watering. After that, apply 15-30-15 (for a little extra boost in the 'bloom department') ONCE per WEEK at full strength instead for 20-20-20. A single application of 14-14-14 slow release granular fertilizer is also recommended for these vigorous, prolific bloomers.

It is normal for all petunias to stretch & become leggy part-way through the season. As SOON as you notice even a hint of this, either lightly pinch back ends or cut-back, flowers and all, by one third. This will make plants bushier & results in more flowers. You might want to do this about 4 weeks before 'the day'.

Keep a close eye out for powdery mildew, especially the dark purple (blue) colours. For some unknown reason, White Surfinia is most mildew resistant. Also look closely for aphids.

Hope this helps!

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