Sibling Rivalry: Petunia Edition ~ The Secret Was Her Fertilizer Routine

 A woman on TikTok took sibling rivalry to the next level. It was the showdown of the century, at least for hanging baskets. 

Garden grower and TikTok user @the_right_rabbit purchased two hanging baskets full of vibrantly colored petunias. She gave one to her brother and kept one for herself. 

The baskets were exactly the same when the woman purchased them. But the sister’s basket produced big bushy blooms. The brother’s basket looked pretty much the same as when it was first purchased. 

Why the difference? According to the sister, it all comes down to one plant care habit: fertilizer routine.


fertilizer for begonia flowers
Image Credit: TikTok @the_right_rabbit.

Some people refer to fertilizer as plant food, but that’s a bit of a misnomer. If you want to get into the weeds, plants produce their own food through the process of photosynthesis. Fertilizers are substances humans add to the soil to increase nutrient levels. 

According to this TikTok gardener, fertilizer is the secret behind her floral success. But not just any fertilizer will do. 

The brother is using Miracle-Gro every 7-10 days. The sister did not disclose her fertilizer routine in this video, but a little digging on her page revealed the secret formula. 

First, she applies EZ-Wet Soil Penetrant to prep the soil. It essentially makes it easier for roots to absorb nutrients and water. 

Next up is Seedlingers Liquid Fertilizer. This nutrient-rich blend is designed for young plants, but this gardener has found it can help mature blooms as well. Fertilome Plant Food follows, providing a balanced array of nutrients. 

Finally, the sister applies Fertilome Blooming & Rooting Plant Food. 

It’s a pretty extensive beauty routine for your pretty petunias. But this gardener insists it’s much better than an all-purpose fertilizer such as Miracle-Gro. 

Shady Tactics

Commenters on the video were quick to point out a difference in light availability for the competing baskets. The sister’s basket appears to be receiving full sun while the brother’s basket looks at least partially shaded by an overhanging roof. 

All flowers need some amount of sunlight to grow. The exact light requirements will vary depending on the variety. In some cases, too much sun can actually damage or even kill flowers. 

This is certainly not the case with petunias. Despite their somewhat delicate petals, petunias thrive in direct sunlight. In fact, they love full sun all day long. As a general rule of thumb, the more light petunias receive, the more flowers they will produce. 

If the brother’s hanging basket indeed receives less sunlight, it’s no wonder his hanging basket has not grown to its full potential.


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Davin is a jack-of-all-trades but has professional training and experience in various home and garden subjects. He leans on other experts when needed and edits and fact-checks all articles.