Petunia Hedgiflora (Tidal Wave Cherry)

Hi all! Since buying a house about 6 months ago after living in apartments for 10+ years, I've suddenly taken an interest in all things green. I've planted some petunias of the Tidal Wave Cherry kind beside the house and am having mixed results.
Probably within 2 days of first planting them, the flowers up and died. Knowing next to nothing about how plants work, I considered pulling the whole bit up but I'm glad I didn't. It turns out that the leafy part was still alive, but the flowers had basically closed up and shrivelled away as far as I can tell. About a week later, the flowers were coming back and I thought great, maybe they'll start to spread like I want 'em to. But no, about half a week later, those flowers died, too.
This cycle has been repeating itself over and over since I first planted the petunias about 2 months ago. What gives? Are they rain sensitive? I've noticed the flowers tend to disappear after a rain. Are they not getting enough sun? I planted them beside the house next to the fence, they probably only see about 2-3 hours of sun per day at most, the rest is shade. I don't think bugs are a culprit, there was nothing growing in that plot of land for a good while before I put the petunias and heather there. The soil is kind of 'clay-ish' but not clay itself. I'm giving it some Miracle Gro plant food every 2 weeks, one capful to the soil.
Or is this all normal and I'm not being patient enough?
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On 15 Sep 2003 04:04:40 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (-- pelirojaroja) wrote:

Thanks for the info, I kind of suspected it had something to do with the rain and not enough sun. The MG I'm using now is the "Pour & Feed" with the blue cap, it comes pre-diluted. You just pour one capful directly on the base of the flower. It's a bit more trouble doing it that way, and no doubt more expensive, but the other flowers seem to respond well to it.
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Me Again wrote:

Wave (r) Petunias don't go to seed, and do not need to be pinched. They will close-up in rain or overhead watering. They also should be planted in full sun. Planting them where they only get 2-3 hours of sun a day you'd be lucky to get a flush of flowers at all, let alone have those flushes come close enough to look like continuous blooming. You also won't get the growth and spreading that's bragged about in the ads. Toss in less than ideal soil conditions, and I'd say you're doing darn well considering everything!
As for the pre-diluted Miracle Gro, you're darn right it's more expensive. That bottle is primarily water. You're likely paying even more than if you diluted the concentrate with the most expensive bottled water you can find.
BTW-- When you do find a sunny spot to grow petunias, don't waste your money on the Wave (r) Petunias. There are other low-maintenance varieties out there that don't need to be pinched, and they may be less expensive than the heavily marketed Wave (r). And if you've got the time to pinch, you may find that the cheapest flat of petunias will do just fine, and probably cost 1/4 (or less) the price of the Wave (r).
Just remember that petunias need more sun than 2-3 hours a day, and they will do better in a loamy soil (as just about anything will) than a very "clay-ish" soil. If you can do what you did with shade and bad soil, you'll have amazing results with better conditions even without buying the brand named petunias.
--
Warren H.

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