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How To Keep Wave Petunias Blooming – 4 Simple Secrets To Big Blooms!

When it comes to keeping amazing beauty and interest in your landscape, it’s hard to beat the incredible sight of a mass of Wave petunias blooming strong all summer long!

With bright, trumpet-shaped flowers that bloom in near staggering numbers on long vines, Wave petunias are the perfect choice for adding big color to pots, planters and hanging baskets. They can also work incredibly well as a bedding plant for flowerbeds too.

Wave petunias were developed in the mid-1990’s as a hybrid of the standard petunia plant. Up until that time, petunias rarely grew beyond ten to twelve inches in length. But that all changed with the introduction of the Wave petunia, and it became an instant sensation!

wave petunias blooming
Wave petunias are known for their long growing lengths and massive bloom count. The annual can reach stunning lengths of four feet or more.

The 3 Types of Wave Petunias – How To Keep Wave Petunias Blooming

One thing is for certain, Wave petunias can grow big and flower big! Vining varieties of Waves can often grow to lengths of three to four feet with ease. And more varieties have been developed since, in fact, Wave petunias can now be found in 3 distinct varieties – spreading, trailing, or mounding.

As for colors, depending on the variety, they can flower in vibrant shades of violet, purple, white, red, blue, pink – and a whole host of accompanying shades in between.

Although all three Wave varieties can fill a space a bit differently, they are all perfect for growing in containers, hanging baskets or open bed spaces. But perhaps even better than their stunning growing habits, Waves are truly one of the easiest, low-maintenance annual flowers you can grow.

Unlike traditional petunias, they don’t require constant deadheading or pinching back of their spent blooms to keep on producing. And they also happen to be extremely resistant to pests and disease as well.

deadheading annual flowers
Traditional petunia plants need to be deadheaded to keep the plant blooming strong. Wave petunias can still produce new blooms, even without deadheading.

Best of all, with just the few key care tips found below, you can keep your Wave petunias blooming strong from early spring – right up until the first hard frost!

How To Keep Wave Petunias Blooming Strong! 4 Simple Steps To Success

When it comes to Wave petunia care, there are four simple keys that can make all the difference to keep your Wave’s flowering all season long. The first of which starts with making sure your plants are getting enough sunlight to bloom big.

#1) Sunlight

Although Wave petunias will tolerate a bit of shade, they prefer full sun. In fact, the more sun they get, the more your petunias will bloom.

For maximizing bloom potential, Wave petunias need to get at least 8 hours of full sun each day. This allows the plant to use the process of photosynthesis, turning sunlight into instant energy.

The good news is that Wave petunias can handle the heat. With that in mind, they are perfect for placing in wide open areas that get bright, hot mid-day sun. For many plants, mid-day sun can spell disaster. But with the Wave’s high tolerance for both heat and humidity, it’s a great fit.

how to keep wave petunias blooming - sunlight
The more light your petunias can receive, the more they will bloom.

Although morning and evening sun are good too, make sure your plants are in a location where they at least receive a portion of the mid-day sunlight. Again, the more light the better for bigger blooms! If you have them hanging down from a porch, have them low enough that they get the sun’s rays.

#2) Fertilizing – A Big Key To Keeping Wave Petunias Blooming

If there is one specific task that can really keep your plants blooming strong, it is fertilizing. In fact, it is a must when it comes to keeping Waves flowering late into summer and early fall.

No matter how rich your potting soil or garden soil is, Wave petunias, (or any annual flower for that matter) require a constant supply of nutrients to produce the massive amount of blooms and flowers that make them so spectacular.

Unfortunately, especially when it comes to container and hanging basket plants, even the best soil runs out of nutrients during the growing season. And that is exactly where fertilizing can pick up the slack.

Listen in below to our Podcast on Fertilizing Hanging Baskets for more great tips!

To keep Wave petunias blooming strong, you should be fertilizing them lightly every 10 to 14 days. But take notice that the key word here is lightly! Smaller but more frequent doses are better at keeping a slow and steady supply of nutrients coming to the plant. And to keep Wave petunias blooming constantly, slow and steady works wonders.

Too much at once causes excessive growth above and below ground. That leads to root-bound plants that will produce tons of foliage, but very few blooms.

The Best Choices For Fertilizing – How To Keep Petunias Blooming Strong

So what are the best choices when it comes to powering your Wave petunias?

For best results, liquid fertilizing is the best option when it comes to annual plants. Liquid fertilizers feed plants in two unique ways – through their roots and through their foliage. This fast acting dual fertilizing is perfect when it comes to supplying the nutrients for powering blooms.

Compost tea, worm casting tea and water soluble fertilizers all are excellent options. The key again is to use your fertilizer at half strength to provide a slower, steady diet than a large single dose. See : How To Make Homemade Compost Tea

liquid fertilizer
Liquid soluble fertilizers are best for annual flowers like Wave petunias. The nutrients can absorb both through the roots and foliage, powering the plant quickly.

In addition to supplying the liquid fertilizer every 10 to 14 days, applying a half cup of worm castings to the top of the plant each month will help deliver slow nutrients as well. Every time you water, the worm castings leach trace minerals to the plants roots.

#3) Proper Watering – How To Keep Wave Petunias Blooming Strong

Watering is another important part of keeping your petunias healthy and blooming. The true secret to success for watering is keeping your plants hydrated, but not saturated.

Petunias, especially those in containers and baskets, require frequent water to both survive and thrive. But the key is only watering plants when the moisture level is just beginning to fade. Too much water for a wave petunia can lead to soggy roots and a weak plant.

If your plant’s foliage begins to turn yellow, it is usually a sure sign that the plant’s roots are most likely waterlogged and you are watering too often. On the other hand, if the foliage is dry and curling, it most likely needs hydrated.

Before watering, place your finger down into the soil to a depth of at least an inch. If dirt is still sticking to your finger, then moisture is still present and watering is not needed.

soil moisture meter
Moisture meters are a great way to tell if plants need water or not in an instant.

One of the best and easiest ways to test soil moisture is with an inexpensive soil probe. It can tell you in an instant if plants require watering at the root level. Product link : Long Probe Deep Use Soil Moisture Meter

#4) Give Your Plants Room To Grow – How To Keep Wave Petunias Blooming

Last but not least, wave petunias need space to thrive. Above ground, and even more importantly, below! The minute a wave petunia’s roots run out of space and become root-bound, the plant will start to show signs of distress.

If potted waves start to outgrow their containers by mid-summer, re-plant them into larger containers to keep them going. Use a good quality, well draining potting soil mix, and select a container that is at least 25% larger than the current pot.

This will allow enough space for the plant to finish out the year strong, and give you big blooms right up until the first frost of fall.

One final note, if your plants become too large for replanting into a container, don’t toss them away – just take them out of their pot and plant them directly into the flowerbeds in your landscape.

It is amazing how quickly it can rejuvenate the entire plant – and add an instant splash of massive color to your flowerbeds. Here’s to keeping your wave petunias blooming all summer long!

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