Do Petunias Need Full Sun? (See How Much)


You may ask yourself “Do petunias need full sun to bloom?” and how many hours of sun should they get daily?

Answer: Petunias need at least 5 to 6 hours of daily sunlight.

Petunias will not flower well in shade and if they don’t get full sun, they will become spindly.

There are so many different varieties of petunias. Some petunias will be more suitable for container growing, while other flowers better in a regular garden.

Whether you prefer the old-fashioned types of petunias such as Grandiflora or whether you prefer the newer varieties such as Tea Indigo Vein, there will be something for everyone when it comes to petunias and their beautiful colors.

Different types of Petunias


Petunias are divided based on flower size into different groups:

  • Multiflora: Petunias are definitely the most prolific and durable variety of them all. They tend to have smaller flowers but are ideal for summer bedding because the variety is more tolerant to wet weather, which can occur in the summer months as well.
  • Grandiflora: Petunias have very colorful and large flowers, which makes them the variety that is best grown in hanging baskets or containers. This is because the variant tends to be more susceptible to rain damage than others. Grandiflora petunias should preferably not be grown in warm temperate areas as they tend to rot or very hot and humid conditions. This also applies in the summer months.
  • Floribundas: Are a cross between the grandiflora and multiflora varieties. Floribundas produce medium-sized flowers and are free-flowering like the multiflora variety.
  • Milliflora: Petunias are one of the smallest types available. The flowers are not much more than 1 to 1½ inches wide, but once established they grow vigorously and last an entire season.
  • Trailing or Spreading Petunias: Lastly, these types of Petunias are low-growing and can spread as quickly as 3 to 5 feet. These Petunias will be able to form a beautiful and colorful ground cover in your garden. They can preferably be planted in either hanging baskets or window boxes.

How much water do petunias need?

Proper watering will keep your petunia plants healthy and help them grow and produce blooms, which will last from spring until fall, depending on the variety.

Young newly planted petunias need to be watered once a week. Older petunias that are established can be content with being watered every 10 days.

Petunias need regular irrigation but on the other hand, the maintenance is minimal. Regular irrigation will keep the flowers in constant bloom – typically from spring to autumn, depending on the type of petunias

Overall, petunias are mildly drought-tolerant and don’t require a lot of water. Therefore, if you are in doubt, it’s recommended to be careful and not overwater petunias, because they tolerate dry soil better than wet soggy soil.

However, petunia container plants may dry out more quickly than petunias planted in a bed during hot weather in the summer periods.

During hot weather, container plants require two daily waterings to give them the best conditions to flourish and be healthy.

Bedded plants need deep watering once per week to not dry out in hot weather. Deep watering helps petunias grow long and healthy roots in the bed.

How much water will always depend on the local weather conditions in your area. We recommend installing an automized drip water system for example GARDENA, if you may want to automize the irrigation work.

Can petunias be grown in shade?

petunias grow in shade

Petunias prefer full sun but can grow in partial shade conditions. Petunias require at least half of the day in full sun to bloom.

Since Petunias prefer sunlight try planting them in an area in your garden where they will get at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily.

Apart from the fact that they grow the best in the sun well-drained soil is preferable for petunias. If Petunias don’t get enough sunlight their leaves will get yellow and they will have a poor bloom.

Petunias are among some of the easiest plants to grow, but as mentioned before they really need sunlight to bloom and not too much shade during the day.

Their colorful flowers are available in a lot of different colors such as yellow, red, and purple. They bloom from spring until late fall.

Do Petunias Spread?

Do Petunias spread?” – that may be some of the most common questions.

Petunias are one of the most popular flowering perennials today and will come alive every spring with their bright colorful flowers and refreshing scent.

However, Petunias do spread, such as the “wave” variety. Since this variety is only about six inches tall, they will spread very quickly and be able to cover a large area in your garden through just a single growing season.

Other types of Petunias like Grandiflora, which have large blooms, often up to five inches across, will not be able to spread like “wave” Petunias. They still need to be fertilized but do not require a large space to spread and grow in.

If the Petunias get regular fertilizing and abundant watering will get the Petunias to spread even more and that’s why it’s recommended to frequently prune your plant in order to avoid this in the best way.

Many other Petunias types will often only spread slightly, especially if you tend to grow your plants in window boxes, pots, or hanging baskets.

Do Petunias need to be deadheaded?

deadheading petunias purple flowers

It’s not required to deadhead Petunias, however, it’s one of the plants that actually benefit from deadheading.

By deadheading your Petunias, they will keep producing blooms all summer long, and expect it to last until the fall.

When deadhead your plants it involves removing spent flowers to give space to create more blooms during the season. If the spent flowers are not removed, the plant’s energy will go toward seeds rather than creating more flowers.

It’s recommended to do research before you deadhead your Petunias since it’s not all plants that require deadheading.

It’s not required to deadhead Petunias, however, it’s one of the plants that actually benefit from deadheading.

Petunia plants will have a healthier appearance if you deadhead the plant, but it’s time-consuming for everyone.

When deadheading your Petunias, they will keep producing blooms all summer long, and expect it to last until the fall.

Do Petunias Attract Bees, Butterflies, and Hummingbirds?

do petunias attract bees

Petunias and their beautiful flowers do attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds to your garden since petunias provide nectar for these wildlife creatures.

Butterflies are attracted to the beautiful blooms of the petunia. Red, pink, and yellow petunias will attract butterflies. Butterflies will be attracted to plants and flowers that grow in full sun and produce nectar and a light scent, which attract the butterflies. However, hummingbirds may also be attracted to petunias’ beautiful and colorful flowers.

Unlike butterflies, bees are attracted to scents, colors, and different types of flowers. Petunias come in many different colors, but their leaves will not be wide enough to be a good landing area for bees

The flowers that produce nectar and pollen attract bees, as the bees store nectar and pollen in their hive. However, petunias don’t contain that much nectar or pollen, meaning they do not have that value for bees.

Therefore bees may be flying around petunias flowers and their bright colors, but will often not stay long, because of the low value of nectar and pollen. Especially if the petunias are planted alone in a bed or container without any other types of flowers.

A great idea during the summer is to plant bee balm near a window or in an area in your garden, where there is easy access to see the activity the bees will create.

Bee balm will reach its peak flower production during summer. If you are able to plant them in a spot that get’s afternoon shade, this is recommended to help keep their flowers for a longer amount of time.

Final thoughts

Petunias need at least 5-6 hours of sun daily sunlight.

It’s great to do some research on which types of Petunias you want to plant in your garden, hanging baskets, or bed since there are a lot of different types of petunias.

Some petunias may be able to grow in shade, but most petunias type need some kind of daily sunlight to grow.

Petunias is one of the plants that actually benefit from deadheading. However, it’s not required but your plants will get healthier and bloom all summer long.

We hope you have learned something about Petunias by reading this article. Feel free to check out some of our other articles on our site and find inspiration for your garden.