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Petunia facts for kids

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Petunia x atkinsiana flower
Scientific classification

Petunia is a genus of plants. All of them bear flowers. They are in the Nightshade family, and are related to tobacco. Many people grow them in the garden. Petunias are usually used as annual plants, because they die when the weather becomes cold. They grow best when they are planted in the sun.


Petunias can tolerate relatively harsh conditions and hot climates, but not frost. They need at least five hours of sunlight every day and flourish in moist soil and conditions of low atmospheric humidity. They are best grown from seed. Watering once a week should be sufficient in most regions. Hanging baskets and other containers need more frequent watering. Maximum growth occurs in late spring. Applying fertilizer monthly or weekly, depending on the variety, will help the plant grow quickly. Petunias can be cultivated in hanging baskets.

In horticulture many terms are used to denote different types of cultivated petunias. These include Grandiflora, Multiflora, Wave (Spreading), Supertunia, Cascadia, and Surfinia.


Many species other than Petunia × atkinsiana are also gaining popularity in the home garden. A wide range of flower colours, sizes, and plant architectures are available in both Petunia × atkinsiana and other species, listed below:

Symbolism and folklore

The Maya and Inca believed that the scent of petunias had the power to ward off underworld monsters and spirits. Their flower-buds were bunched together for magical drinks. According to New Age folklore, Petunias will only thrive where there is "positive energy" and will not grow in places where there is "negativity".

When given as a gift, Petunias have ( in the language of flowers ) two mutually exclusive meanings, symbolising on the one hand being comfortable with someone, and on the other anger and resentment.

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See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Petunia para niños

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