One of the varieties of petunias popular with gardeners is surfiniya. However, quite often unscrupulous sellers sell many other climbing plants under this name. Let us dwell in more detail on the features of surfinia, its differences from the usual petunia and other ampelous representatives of the garden flora.
Surfinia was the product of a selection of scientists from Japan. It was presented in the 70s of the last century as the result of effective cell hybridization of large-flowered petunia in order to adapt it to unfavorable natural and climatic factors. The new flower has literally won worldwide fame in a short period of time and has won the hearts of gardeners all over the world. The secret of surfinia's popularity is simple - beauty, unpretentiousness and resistance to environmental factors.
Surfinia is far from being a simpleton in the world of ornamental garden plants. Large gramophone flowers up to 9 cm in size are characterized by rich bright shades, against which a much darker pharynx stands out especially clearly. The delicate petals with white edging clearly show contrasting texture streaks. Such a refined and noble appearance hides high stamina and strength.
In the central zone of Russia, with good warm weather and normal moisture, literally in a month and a half, surfiniya forms weaving - real garlands up to 2 m in size, while shoots develop from all internodes, so the vegetative mass can form in the form of a cascade, a pillow and even a ball - it all depends from the method of planting and forming the plant.
The root system of surfinia is very powerful, therefore , about 6-8 m3 of soil is required to fully provide one seedling with nutrients and water .
If you have only small flowerpots at your disposal, it is better to give preference to compact hybrid ampelous petunias.
Differences from petunia
The main advantage of surfinia over other petunias is that the latter are extremely unstable to adverse weather factors. This plant has such delicate and delicate petals that under the drops of heavy rain they turn into a shapeless mass, and a gust of wind simply tears them off, flower growers even advise bringing flowerpots with petunias into the house during showers, thunderstorms and strong winds. Agree, this is very inconvenient.
Ampel surfacing does not have such a drawback, it does not need to be hidden, the only thing that can be done is to remove flowers slightly spoiled by water, but do not worry - the plant will quickly replace them with new ones without the slightest damage to its appearance and decorativeness.
It can be safely argued that surfinia is a truly ideal ampelous culture, therefore, seedling buyers often fall prey to deceivers who, under the guise of surfinia, sell simple petunias . In order not to be mistaken, consider the main differences between these related cultures.
Seedlings of garden petunia and surfinia differ in their ability to branch shoots and growth vigor. The seedlings of the latter are larger, surfiniya grows like a "spider" - it gives a large number of lateral shoots, which at first spread horizontally, and as they grow, they fall down. In petunias, lateral shoots are not so numerous, while at the initial stage of development they grow upwards, and descend much later.
But finding the difference between these close relatives in flower size, shade and shape is unlikely to come out, for example, the ampelous variety of supertunia petunia visually does not differ in any way from surfinia, so buying seedlings in any case is better from a trusted seller, whose reliability is beyond doubt ...
It should be noted that both annuals can form a young bush in different ways. In order to achieve the splendor of the bush, the flower should periodically pinch the lashes on the sides in order to stimulate increased branching, so first you need to grow all the necessary green mass, and only then "allow" it to bloom. Surfinia does not require such intervention - you can simply direct its branches in the direction you need, but without additional help it will be able to quickly and effectively braid all the space allotted for it.
Surfinia and petunia differ in breeding method. The point here is that after flowering, petunia gives seeds suitable for germination, which are used to propagate this plant in the next period. Surfinia was bred artificially, and the seed method is not possible, you can get new planting material for this flower only vegetatively - that is, by cuttings.
Among florists, the most popular are many varieties of surfinia.
- "Tabl White" - is especially loved by landscape designers due to long flowering and rather delicate, attractive white flowers, similar in appearance to a bell.
- "Elo" is a hybrid variety, which won the hearts of domestic summer residents and gardeners as one of the very first, has spectacular, white-yellow flowers.
- "Giant Parple" - is characterized by rather powerful stems reaching 1 m in length. The bloom is quite bright, brown-purple.
- "Velvet Blue" is a popular surfiniya, the flowers are small, but quite interesting in shape - with velvety wavy petals. The gramophone is purple, the pharynx is small, green.
- "Burgundy" - as the name suggests, this representative of hybrid petunias has a bright rich wine shade. The bush is rather compact, but at the same time massive and strongly branching, even fluffy. The flowering is quite large, each phono reaches 8 cm in diameter.
A similar plant looks great on terraces in a hanging planter, but no less impressive as a carpet of a flower bed.
- "Deep Red" is one of the most titled varieties, it has won more than one award at all kinds of flower exhibitions. It is distinguished by a rich, perfectly pure scarlet color - such a shade is a great rarity among all petunias familiar to everyone. Propagated exclusively by cuttings. In favorable conditions, it can form seeds, but the surfinii grown from them are not very similar to the parent ones.
- "Hot Pink" - has rich pink flowers with noticeable wavy veins, due to which it looks very impressive. Medium-sized variety with rather large flowers, burgundy throat. From the middle of the gramophone, pronounced streaks of a dark crimson hue diverge, making the petals look textured and voluminous.
- "White" is a branchy, actively growing surfiniya, the lashes reach 1.5 m, the flowers are located in a large cap, which makes the variety in demand in landscape design for creating a cascading club. The flowers are white, the throat is yellow, the dimensions are average.
- "Tumbelina Suzanne" is the closest relative of ampelous surfinia, although it belongs to a slightly different varietal group - tumbelina. This is a very exquisite plant, its distinctive feature is considered to be large velvet petals of a light beige shade. Propagated only by cuttings.
- Green Edge Pink is a relatively young variety, quite beautiful and decorative. The flowers are pink, slightly corrugated, the edging is light green. The bush is small, dense, relatively evenly developed. The flowers are arranged so often that the foliage behind them is almost invisible. Does not require pinching of the lashes.
- "Hyacinth Purpl" is a powerful strong plant, flowers up to 10 cm in size, raspberry calyx, almost black throat. Such varieties look very elegant and noble in flower arrangements.
Of the varieties popular in landscape gardening, it can also be noted:
- Salmon Shades Corduroy;
- Sweetunia baby pink;
- Sweetunia burgundy gem;
- Sweetunia rose gem;
- "Purple Diamond";
- "Double Blue Star";
- "Purple Velvet";
- Miss marvelous, as well as Rose Wayne, Ruby Scattering, Salmon Ball, Lime and Pearl.
Surfinia prefer neutral or slightly acidic soils, light, with high water and air permeability. The optimal substrate can be purchased ready-made, or you can make it yourself, for this, peat and vermiculite are combined in equal proportions, then sod soil is introduced in a 1: 2 ratio, and to give the soil mixture the necessary looseness, a little vermiculite is added to it. In order to bring the pH to the required parameter of 6.5, you need to add a little crushed coal or lime to the substrate.
Surfinia seeds should be sown at the end of February, after which the sprouts are moved into small containers with a diameter of 10-12 cm. However, the seedlings obtained in this way are quite sensitive to external factors and therefore become susceptible to fungal infections. As a rule, in amateur conditions it will not work to grow surfinia in this way, therefore the easiest way is to purchase ready-made seedlings for growing in open ground, pots and garden boxes.
When planting surfinia, the florist can fully realize his fantasies and make interesting landscape compositions, combining surfinia with other plants, varying the size and shape of the bush, creating interesting and rich ensembles.
Given the exclusively decorative properties of surfinia, its growing at home is becoming more and more popular, but in order for it to bring the expected results, some subtleties of caring for this flower should be taken into account.
Surfinia is the brightest representative of exotic flora, therefore it requires well-lit places and warm air. That is why when choosing a site for planting seedlings or hanging pots, you should give preference to the most illuminated places.
The soil should be loose and very light; it will be useful to add compost or humus to it shortly before planting. Special attention should be paid to the arrangement of drainage , since the stagnation of water in the flowerpot has the most destructive effect on surfinia, most often expanded clay or large pebbles are used, covered with a layer, the size of which is about a quarter of the total volume of the pot.
Irrigation of plants must be treated with maximum responsibility, especially when the plant is grown in flowerpots and pots. It is important not to allow the upper layers of the substrate to dry out, but stagnant water should also be excluded. Surfinia roots are rather thin and long, therefore prolonged drought leads to their withering away and the rapid withering of the entire bush.
On hot days, watering can be done 3 times a day.
Surfinia does not need to be molded , but if desired, you can pinch its apical shoots, after such a procedure, the plant stops flowering for about a month, but then blooms with the same strength. To maintain the decorative effect of the bush, you should promptly remove dried leaves and gramophone flowers.
Weekly surfinia requires fertilizers, ready-made complex preparations with a minimum nitrogen content are used for feeding - if there is too much, then the plant will use all its strength to build up green mass. Flowering in this case will be rare. In addition to root dressing, it will be useful to carry out external spraying.
Surfinia can be propagated by seeds and cuttings. The first method is simple and highly germinating, but it also has its drawbacks. After all, not all varieties of surfinia give seeds, besides, this is a hybrid culture, so the daughter plant may be completely different from the parent plant.
Seed material can be collected from home bushes, or can be purchased in stores - where they can be simple and coated. The former are not of high quality, their germination is extremely low, with the latter there is no such problem, but they require moderate but frequent watering from the very moment of planting, otherwise their shell simply will not open.
A substrate is prepared for planting seeds; it is best to use peat mixed with river sand or peat tablets. Surfinia seeds are very small, so they are simply scattered over the surface, without sprinkling anything.
Watering is carried out using a drip method using a spray bottle. To increase germination, you need to create greenhouse conditions - the container is covered with plastic wrap or glass. Remember to ventilate your greenhouse daily to prevent condensation from forming. Please note that the bottom of the container must have holes to remove excess moisture, otherwise waterlogging of the soil will lead to rotting of seeds and young shoots.
The container with seedlings should be placed in a warm place with good lighting, but contact with direct sunlight should be avoided.
If all conditions are met, then after a couple of weeks the first shoots appear. After that, you need to add a little sand - this will save the roots from rotting, and create conditions for good stimulation of seedlings. When the seedlings grow slightly, the procedure is repeated.
Cuttings are considered to be the preferred method of propagation of all types of surfinia at home. For the rooting of the shoots, it is best to take food containers made of plastic with a volume of about 1.5 liters without holes for moisture removal. Some growers argue that rooting goes much better in an opaque container, but it is more convenient to use transparent ones - you can observe the root formation of the flower and determine when the seedling needs to be transplanted. As a compromise, you can simply cover the walls with a strip of paper, if necessary, inspect the underground part of the surfinium, remove it, and then return it.
Moisture-intensive soil is used, it is best to take peat, river sand and garden soil in equal proportions. First, the soil mixture must be disinfected, for this it can be treated with a weak solution of potassium permanganate or calcined in a pan, freezing the earth for 1-3 days gives a good effect.
The top with 5-7 leaves 6-10 cm long is cut off from the parent plant, the bottom pair of leaves is removed, the cut site is dipped in Kornevin powder and buried into the substrate by about 2/3 of the entire length. The cuttings are placed with a step of 2-2.5 cm relative to each other. After the entire container is completely filled, the containers are placed in a warm place, artificial lighting must be installed, light watering is carried out, and from time to time they are sprayed from a spray bottle.
Keep in mind that cut shoots should be planted in the ground as soon as possible, after an hour their propensity for rooting is significantly reduced, even if the cuttings are kept in water all this time.
Bottom heating is of fundamental importance for good rooting , usually the containers are heated by the heat coming from the lamps on the lower ceilings. Roots appear quite quickly, usually on the 10-12th day you can see good roots. As soon as their length reaches 1.5-3 cm, you can safely transplant the seedlings into small cups - peat and plastic ones will do. The planted cuttings are again moved to the shelves with phytolamps for growing.
When buds appear, they must be removed, the heating reduced to +18.22 degrees - this will slow down the excessive stretching of the stems until they are moved to a permanent greenhouse under natural light.
To make the seedlings as bushy as possible, pinch the top above the 5th leaf.
By the way, the shoots obtained after pinching can be planted again in the ground for grafting, if the seedlings grow too quickly, then pinching can be repeated after 10-14 days.
After 1-1.5 months, the surfinia is transplanted into hanging pots , 2-3 pieces each .
Among lovers of ampel petunias, the idea often arises to leave surfinia for the winter. The fact is that the seedlings of this culture are quite expensive, therefore many flower growers strive by any means to save the plant for planting next spring.
This is possible if the flower is kept in a room with a temperature of about +10 degrees, at this time the watering is sharply reduced, so that the roots simply do not dry out. If the temperature is higher, the plant begins to wither and dies quickly.
Only in the first ten days of March, in the room where surfiniya winters, it is possible to increase the temperature to +15.16 degrees, and start abundant watering. If possible, you should cut off old shoots, after a while new ones appear, when they reach 4-5 cm in length, you will need to apply fertilizer, always with a high iron content - it is best to use ready-made preparations for petunias.
Obviously, there is an opportunity to preserve surfini in winter, but it is rather difficult to implement this in practice, since it is difficult to ensure a constant temperature background at a level of +10 degrees in a residential building during one of the visits.
Thus, the chances of overwintering with this ornamental bush are minimal, and even if it works out, the flowering in the second year of life will not be as abundant as in the first.
Pests and diseases
Speaking of surfinia, it should be noted that it is practically not susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections, however, non-observance of the basic rules of care and uncomfortable conditions of detention often lead to the formation of a black leg or gray rot. Unfortunately, today there are no effective ways to deal with such problems, because the bush dies. If you notice the appearance of symptoms of the disease, you need to remove it from the garden to prevent infection of the rest of the seedlings.
Among insect pests, whiteflies and thrips are the most dangerous for surfinia . To combat these parasites, it is necessary to treat the leaves and green shoots twice with a concentrated solution of laundry soap with an interval of 4-5 days, if the procedure does not give a positive effect, it is worth using an insecticide.
A spider mite also often attacks surfinia, while it is almost impossible to remove it with a soapy solution - when a whitish thin web appears on the leaves, it is better to immediately treat them with Nero or Apollo preparations, all other broad-spectrum insecticides in this case will be simply powerless ...
For information on how to grow surfinia from cuttings, see the next video.