Forum home Plants

Petunia plug help please

James7682James7682 Posts: 12
Hello. I recently bought some Night Sky Petunia plugs and I'm getting conflicting advice on the best way to proceed so any help would be much appreciated.

I took them out of the packaging and placed them in individual small pots with multi-purpose compost, watered well and then placed inside on a sunny windowsill. I've been told I have to acclimatise them to the outside by taking them outside during the day and inside during the night, doing this for about 7-10 days. Then they're ready to be planted outside in the container I have ready. Is this all correct?

Also, how long do I keep them inside before I start to acclimatise them to the outside. They're not small and a couple even have new flowers on? ( pics attached )

Many thanks in advance,



  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,314
    Hi James - I'd start putting them outside now, and in at night. Keep them somewhere sheltered, out of direct sun,  so that if it's wet and windy, they won't be affected. That kind of weather is more of a hazard for small plants than anything. They look nice and healthy, so the aim is to keep them that way.
    If you have a table or chair/bench, or similar, that they can go under, that would be ideal. It offers enough protection from all the elements. I do that with my sweet peas. Gradually have them in more open conditions until the end of the month, when we should be clear of frosts too, and they'll be fine to plant in the baskets/containers you have. They should be filling those pots well by then too, so will be a good size.

     You  just have to judge the weather a bit yourself, which can be tricky. Some days will be easier than others  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • B3B3 Posts: 24,485
    A lot depends on where you live. Living in London, I'd probably get away with leaving them outside. 
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • James7682James7682 Posts: 12
    Thank you Fairygirl and B3, I very much appreciate you taking the time to reply!
  • LynLyn Posts: 21,383
    James, the plants will do much better if you pick the first flowers/buds off,  cut the stalks right back to the bunching leaves, when they have made a good size plant, let them flower and they’ll go on and on. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • James7682James7682 Posts: 12
    Hi Lyn, thanks very much for that. I hope you don't mind me asking but can you explain the benefits of pinching the first flowers off. I'm kinda new to gardening and am keen to learn about the reasons for doing certain things if that makes sense?
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,314
    In case Lyn isn't around - pinching encourages more shoots on annuals, and therefore more flowers in future. It also encourages a stronger root system, so that the plants will establish and grow on better once planted out  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Guernsey Donkey2Guernsey Donkey2 Posts: 6,713
    Yes, do pick the longest stalks - usually with a bud or flower at the end off now, so the plants can give all their growth to growing bigger - i.e. grow stronger before they produce flowers.  If/when you do put them outside to harden them off, it may be useful to raise them off the ground say on a tray on bricks or blocks or other container so that the slugs/snails are kept away.  I don't use slug pellets and wouldn't recommend them but I find that raising the plants usually keeps them safe from pests - that is until the plants are strong and established.
  • James7682James7682 Posts: 12
    Thanks again Fairygirl and thanks to you too Guernsey Donkey2 ( awesome name ) I will do all that now and will hopefully have larger, healthier plants later. Cheers!
Sign In or Register to comment.