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These are highly branched herbaceous plants. All parts are covered with a thick and dense down (which in recent years some breeders have tried to limit because some people find it annoying to the touch). The leaves run, alternately, along the stem. The flowers have a funnel shape and are available in a vast range of colors and in simple or double form. They can also be veined, striped, with a different color edge and also wavy.
It must be emphasized that it is a plant that has received much attention from hybridisers: we will therefore be able to find all sizes, with large and sparse or small and numerous flowers, compact or hanging. There really is plenty to choose from.

General characteristics

Family and gender

Solanaceae family, gen. Jasminum (more than 200 species)
Type of plantPerennials but cultivated by us as annuals
GroundLoose, neutral, well drained
colorsWhite, red, yellow, purple, pink
CultureModerately easy
FloweringFrom spring to October-November
HeightFrom 15 cm to over 2 meters of waterfall
PropagationSeed, cutting

The surfinie they are nothing more than a variety of petunias introduced on the market in the 1980s.
Created in Japan, they are a cross between small flower climbing species and traditional petunias.
We can say that what characterizes them is a particular force that leads them to grow much more: even up to 2 meters.
It also seems that they can better withstand the partial shade and can therefore flourish profusely even in the absence of optimal conditions for them. Their inflorescences resist even better to the rains. Generally speaking, however, their general characteristics are similar to those of petunias.

Flowering period

The petunias and the surfinie, if well treated, have a very long flowering period. Small flowering plants can be found on the market in March. With the right precautions we will be able to keep them beautiful and decorative (also depending on the area in which we live) until November.


The genus is composed of about 25-26 species native to Latin America and in particular the rainforests of Brazil. In Europe two species were imported: P. phoenicea and P. nyctaginiflora.
The types that we can find on the market today are all hybrids of these two species.
The name derives from the Brazilian and means tobacco. In fact, both Nicotiana and Petunia belong to the Solanaceae family and have very similar leaves.


Unfortunately they are really not very rustic plants and this is why in our latitudes they are considered annual plants. They generally do not tolerate that temperatures go below zero and therefore, if you decide to try to preserve them, it is better to withdraw them in time.


It should be pointed out that surfinie and petunias tend to be cultivated as pot plants, but they can also be placed in the open ground: in that case it is good to choose plants with a lower growth or at most creeping and that can be enhanced in the flower beds.
For the planting in this case we advise to dig a hole at least twice the width of the jar of origin and place a good handful of slow-release fertilizer on the bottom. Once the ground bread is taken, it is necessary to note if at the base there is a lattice too often made of roots. In that case it is good to try to open it or, if impossible, make a cross incision with a cutter.
After placing the plant in the hole, cover it with earth and compact well.
If we decide to grow them in boxes it is good to orient ourselves towards a light and possibly acid soil.
Absolutely avoid that the substrate gets too compact: this would cause water stagnation and therefore rotting at the base of the plant.
In order to obtain excellent results, it is good to include expanded clay or agriperlite pearls in the topsoil as well as creating an abundant draining layer on the bottom of the container.
A few weeks after planting it is good to check that the level of the soil has not fallen too much, thus revealing the collar and the roots: in case of strong winds the plants in those conditions could suffer serious damage. In that case it is necessary to add soil so that the base of the plants is well covered.
In any case, the choice of the vessel is very important: we must not use small containers and above all too low. The surfinie needs a deep soil because it keeps the nutrients and humidity better, and because it helps the plants to anchor well and this protects them from their biggest enemy: the wind.


Particular attention should be paid to irrigation because in this case it is very common to exceed one or the other.
It is not recommended to water the plants abundantly every day and above all leave plenty of water in the saucer. This behavior can lead to one of the most common problems in the Surfinie: the rot of the collar.
It is therefore good to limit yourself to watering the plants until the soil is moist, but not soaked with water. It is also important to remember that they benefit particularly from the regularity of the administration. If it is scarce you will soon see unsightly yellow leaves appear all along the stem.


The fertilizations for the surfinie are very important in how much they treat of devouring plants of nourishment.
However it is important to carefully choose the product to be administered. Those that contain too much nitrogen should be avoided. This would stimulate the vegetative growth of the plant, but it would hinder a good flowering.
Generally speaking, it is better at the time of planting to mix a slow release granular fertilizer to the soil for flowering plants or for demanding vegetables (such as products for tomatoes).
It is good then to administer a product in liquid formulation (with a high potassium content) at least every two weeks (or very diluted, daily). The ideal would be to imitate fertigation as much as possible.


It may happen that in mid-summer the plants are a little tired and weakened and maybe the stems begin to turn yellow.
In this case it is good to intervene by pruning the individuals and reducing the size of the stems by 1 or 2/3. It is then necessary to leave the plant time to recover by reducing watering and fertilizing.
It is extremely important to intervene regularly to clean the branches of dried leaves and flowers. Only in this way will we avoid an unsightly appearance and stimulate the production of new inflorescences.

Other tricks

The worst enemies of the Surfinie are wind and rain. Special attention must be paid to the area in which we decide to cultivate them. It is better to choose a place sheltered from the most violent winds. These can strongly shake the whole plant and cause the branches to detach from the base seriously damaging it. In this respect they are very fragile and therefore special care must also be taken when transporting from the nursery to our home. It is better to choose the specimens protected by the green retina and not to remove it until it is planted. Another important adversity is the rain: it can cause the rotting of flowers and buds. It is therefore important to regularly clean the plants so that they always look neat and stimulate the production of new inflorescences.

Diseases of the surfinie

The surfinie are generally very healthy plants and for this reason in the last years they have supplanted the geranium, victim of the cycareus marshalli.
They can also be affected by parasites.
The most common are
- Red spider mite: it is a mite that feeds on the sap of the plant. Note its presence by analyzing the back of the leaves. If we notice the appearance of tiny red or brown dots it is better to intervene as soon as possible with a specific acaricide. It usually affects when the temperatures are very high. It may also be useful to vaporize the leaves to increase the moisture present.
- Aphids: they are small green or brown animals. Usually they stick to the stem of the plant and can make it very weak. They must be fought with insecticides with an action.
- Oidium: we notice it when the leaves, stems or buds are covered with a white patina. It usually appears in spring or autumn after the rains. It must be fought with a specific fungicide.


Surfinie can be reproduced mainly by sowing or cutting.
Cutting: should be done around September or in the spring on plants preserved from the previous year ... We need to take a section of branch without flowers about 8 centimeters long, then insert it in a vase with very light soil (composed of peat, sand and perlite) and keep it wet. It is important that it is placed in the shade. They should root in a month.
If done in the fall, it must then be kept for the entire cold season in a warm and fairly bright room.
Sowing: proceed at the beginning of spring.
The seeds are very small and to avoid spreading them unevenly it is good to mix them first with fine sand.
The mixture must then be distributed evenly on a cassette filled with very light or better vermiculite soil. It is necessary to vaporize with water (an operation that must be repeated often, even twice a day) and store it at a temperature of at least 16 ° C, possibly covered by a transparent plastic film to maintain humidity. As soon as the seedlings appear they move to a bright room. They must be transplanted into individual jars about a month later.

Questions: Advice on surfinia

I would like to have advice on how to cure surfinia: when to water it, when and how to fertilize it, if it is bad for the leaves to get wet, if it is a plant that must be exposed in full sun and what do the yellow leaves depend on and how does it reproduce?

Surfinia: Advice on surfinia

It is a plant that can be grown in full sun, but is also well suited to semi-shaded positions (in this case the watering must be reduced). Since a few years, in consideration of the success that this new essence is enjoying, there are fertilizers on the market for surfinia. Ina the alternative can be used a
liquid fertilizer for geraniums. It is good to avoid stagnation of water (since it is a plant that is easily attacked by fungal parasites). As far as reproduction is concerned, surfinia is a plant that is easily reproducible by cutting. You can get other plants by cutting parts of semi-woody branch (approximately 5 cm long) by planting them outdoors in a mixture of peat and sand in equal parts. The mixture should be wet every day and the leaves should also be sprayed several times a day.
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