- Calibrachoa — have you tried them yet?
- Colors of Petunias
- Types Of Petunia Plants – What Are The Different Petunia Flowers
- Types of Petunia Plants
- Landscaping With Petunias
- PETUNIA x HYBRIDA
- A Quartet of Types
- Ride the Wave or Pick a Winner – Where to Buy
- Seeds or Starts?
- Water, Food, and Neem Oil
- A Popular Plant with Punch
- Outdoor Home Decorating with Petunias Waves of Color
- New Types of Perfect Petunias
Calibrachoa — have you tried them yet?
Well, they may look like miniature petunias, and even be marketed that way, but calibrachoa are no longer in the same botanical genus as petunias. It’s lucky for me that I was wrong, because if they weren’t petunias then maybe I had another chance. After all, gardening is all about second chances and makeovers, right?
To get back to the calibrachoa (kal-ih-bruh-KOE-a), these attractive flowering sun-loving plants were discovered in South America in the 19th century, around the same time as petunias were discovered. Unlike petunias though, which were an instant hit with breeders and gardeners in Europe and the U.S., calibrachoa sort of just hung around. But they fixed calibrachoas to make them easier to grow and they taught me how to grow them better. And I’m here to teach you what I learned.
Calibrachoa are a terrific choice for containers, my favorite way to garden, as you know. One big problem with containers is keeping plants adequately hydrated, and as calibrachoa prefer to be slightly dry, they do well in containers. Calibrachoa tumble happily from hanging baskets and window boxes; they are now produced in many colors, from pinks, reds and oranges, to white, blue, purple, and nearly black.
Like petunias, calibrachoa have veining and color variation across the blossom, and flower color changes as the blooms age, producing a multi-colored effect. New hybrids are bred to take advantage of these traits, with latest hybrids displaying yummy colors like chocolate, wine or blueberry, and traits like double flowers or plants that are more compact or more trailing. “Superbells Tangerine Punch,” pictured in the top photo right, for instance, a Proven Winner™ selection, is a vibrant orange-yellow with a darker eye in the center of each 1″ flower. Some other selections are pictured below.
Calibrachoa Can-can orange
C. Cabaret white improved
C. Superbells blue
C. Callie rosestar
Calibrachoa should be trimmed when they look tired, maybe at the end of the hottest part of summer. They prefer to be on in the dry side side rather than soggy; that, I think, was one of my mistakes. They are prone to root rot in damp climates or if over-watered, so do be sure to plant in well-drained soil or a freely draining container. Like other herbaceous plants, trimming tired or leggy branches can encourage bushier growth. Do not trim more than a quarter to a third of the plant at one time.
Also called ‘Million Bells,’ calibrachoa are heavy feeders–they should be fertilized weekly with a well-balanced fertilizer. (I NEVER fertilized mine, clearly another fatal mistake.) They are good candidates for container plants because they do not mind occasional dryness. One of my sources advises to let the top layer of soil get dry before watering, while another admonished to keep evenly moist. Bearing in mind the plant’s susceptibility to root-rot, don’t let it dry out TOO much! Calibrachoa do not require dead-heading, although any time you like, feel free to trim a wayward stem with a sharp scissors and, of course, you may groom it by removing dead flowers but such grooming is not necessary for flower production. You may enjoy caressing the fuzzy, faintly aromatic foliage, which, unlike petunia’s foliage, is not sticky.
In temperate zones, where it freezes in the winter, calibrachoa is grown as an annual. In fact, however, it is an evergreen perennial where the winters are mild. This may be why they are so beloved by California gardeners in PlantFiles. They are usually propagated from cuttings, which accounts for the slightly higher-than-average prices. (Seed-grown-plants would be much cheaper to produce.) However, these colorful, bright plants will deliver more-than-average sizzle!
Originally, calibrachoa were classified in the same genus as petunias, and while the two plants are close cousins in the Solanaceae family, they were given their own genus. To we who are interested in growing them, this is important because calibrachoa and petunias are closely enough related that the two can be crossed. The resulting hybrid plant is called “PETCHOA” or “CALITUNIA”. These crosses are marketed as having flowers as big as petunias but being as easy-care as calibrachoas. The jury is still out, but stay tuned to Dave’s Garden for the latest news in flower gardening!
PETCHOA? (PHOTO Kell)
Colors of Petunias
Five basic types of petunias are readily available to the home gardener. Grandiflora petunias have large flowers and may have an upright or trailing habit. The blossoms are single or double and may sport fringed petals. The flowers, which are less abundant on grandifloras than other types of petunias, are as large as 5 inches across. Multiflora petunias produce smaller flowers than grandiflora, but what they lack in size they make up for in quantity and quality. Multifloras produce single and double blooms, depending upon variety. Floribundas fall somewhere between grandiflora and multiflora, with abundant, medium-sized blooms. If you like miniatures, consider milliflora petunias. These small plants with 1- to 1 ½-inch profuse blooms have a neat, compact habit and are unlikely to grow leggy or spindly late in the flowering season. Spreading petunias, as the name implies, sprawl outward as much as 2 to 4 feet from the base of the plant. A group of petunias trademarked as the Wave series was introduced in 1995 and includes Shock Wave, Easy Wave, Tidal Wave and Double Wave. A series is a group of closely related plants that usually have identical characteristics and generally differ only in flower color. Tidal Wave grows up to 22 inches tall, but other Wave petunias only grow about 6 inches tall.
Types Of Petunia Plants – What Are The Different Petunia Flowers
There’s a lot to appreciate about petunias, cheerful annuals that bloom dependably from early summer until the first frost in autumn. These cheery garden favorites are available in an amazing range of colors, sizes and forms. Read on to learn about a few of the different types of petunias.
Types of Petunia Plants
There are four main types of petunia plants: Grandiflora, Multiflora, Milliflora and Spreading (Wave). All four are readily available in series, which are groups of plants with uniform size and flowering habit. The only varying characteristic is the range of colors of different petunia flowers within each series.
Varieties of Petunias
The oldest types are Grandiflora petunias, which were developed in the 1950s. Grandiflora petunia varieties boast blooms measuring up to 5 inches across on bouquet-shaped plants. Although the flowers are spectacular, they tend to get tired and spindly in midsummer. Grandiflora petunias perform best in moderate summers without excess humidity or moisture.
Grandiflora petunias series include:
Multiflora petunias are smaller plants with more numerous but smaller blooms. The stems are strong, which makes multiflora petunia varieties suitable for windy climates. The blooms tend to hold up a bit longer than Grandiflora petunia varieties, especially during rainy weather. Multiflora petunias are available in both single and double varieties.
Popular Multiflora petunias include:
Milliflora petunia varieties produce masses of 1- to 1 ½-inch blooms on miniature plants. Mature size of the plants is generally about 8 inches tall and wide. Milliflora petunias bloom early and are often grown in containers or hanging baskets. They are low-maintenance plants that require no deadheading.
Milliflora petunias include Picobella and Fantasy.
Spreading, or Wave petunias, are a recent addition with blooms typically measuring about 2 inches across. The plants, which typically spread 2 to 4 feet by the end of the season, look great in containers and work well as ground covers. They tolerate heat and drought fairly well and generally require no deadheading.
Wave petunias include:
- Easy Wave
- Shock Wave
Their second project, known as “Petunia Circadia,” is more ambitious still. It’s a flower that changes color throughout the day according to its circadian rhythm.
“There are natural timing switches within a plant, the best example of which is photosynthesis, where a plant gets energy from light,” Braun says. “It’s only necessary to have that machinery on during daylight hours . At night, the plant shuts all of that down. We can use that mechanism to change the color of the flower.”
That specimen doesn’t exist yet. But Braun says the science is well established, though he needs to find funding first. He hopes the first project will lead to the second.
Is manipulating flower colors a, well, useful invention? We have our doubts, though Braun makes a decent case. The flowers are advertising the wider possibilities of synthetic biology in the home, he says. Braun sees opportunities to produce alternative air fresheners where plants are engineered to produce certain popular smells, like, say, vanilla. (Ironically, other startups are working on the opposite problem: reproducing the scent of natural flowers using genetically engineered yeast.) Floral technologies could also be applied to commodity plants like cotton and cannabis.
“The horticultural industry is driven by novelty. Every year, they’ve got to come up with something new that knocks your socks off,” he says. “I appreciate flowers as much as anyone. But there’s always that need for improvement: more vigorousness, brighter colors, prettier flowers, and different forms we can appreciate.”
Petunias are such great flowers for landscaping! Brimming with brilliant colors and a delicate smell, petunia flowers are great for adding a splash of color to your gardens. Landscaping with petunias is as easy as it gets, as long as you plant them in a sunny spot and give them water and a well fertilized soil.
Petunias spread easily and the show of color they present is breathtaking. They come in so many colors! From pink to red, white, blue and purple, some are pink tinged with a white border and others dark purple with spots. And of course, the candy striped petunias and even yellow ones.
Here are just a few ideas to help you incorporate petunias into your yard’s landscape.
Landscaping With Petunias
Grow petunias in containers
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One of the easiest ways to add color with petunias is to create gorgeous containers filled with a mix cascading petunia flowers. You can mix contrasting colors, or add a selection of similar shades: it all depends on the effect you’re looking for.
Pair your petunias with geraniums, periwinkle, lobelia and bright yellow African daisies for some dramatic looks.
Place these potted petunias in places you’ll enjoy them daily: by your front door, back porch or even your mailbox 😉
Wave petunias window boxes are beautiful
Have you ever seen those gorgeous explosions of color in window boxes? They are mostly wave petunias: so pretty! A real show stopper!
What an amazing show of beauty! These red and white petunias will make your day, every day!
A beautiful combination of pink petunias and pink geraniums:WOW!
Add petunias to your night garden
Are you familiar with night gardens? I remember when visiting my grandparents in my early years, and being greeted by these small white flowers that smelled amazing! They were Nicotiana, also known as tobacco plants.
Many petunias have this same property: their smell accentuates in the evening. You can create a night garden by your window or door and enjoy the amazing fragrance in the evening. One of the most fragrant petunias is the Tumbelina: they create double blooms and come in many colors.
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Create a petunia lined border
Create a garden edge to your backyard filled with petunias. They’ll keep blooming without much intervention from you: a very low maintenance landscaping idea for busy people who love a well maintained landscape without too much work.
Related: how to prune perennials.
Of course, it helps if you take an hour or so every week to deadhead: this will boost production and will pay dividends for you.
Other ideas for landscaping with petunias
I love this splash of hot pink petunias on the front yard landscape. Makes for a very inviting front lawn.
What a nice way to add a show of color to your yard! This cart is filled with a combination of petunias and geranium.
Someone was very creative here: a cute donkey pulling a cart filled with gorgeous yellow and pink petunias.
I hope you’ve been inspired to landscape with petunias: they are absolutely gorgeous and don’t require too much work.
Main image credit: JR P on Flickr.
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PETUNIA x HYBRIDA
If you held a flower popularity contest, petunias would certainly come away with a prize. Beloved for their masses of colorful blooms and their easy-care nature, these plants are a South American native that has definitely found a home in North America.
Gardeners appreciate the petunia’s multi-hued utility — it’s lovely as a specimen plant, in mass bedding plantings, or particularly in containers, with bloom-laden stems trailing over the sides of pots.
With single or double trumpet-shaped blooms in pink, purple, red, yellow, or white, this flower is often called upon to add vibrancy to the garden from spring until fall.
Let’s learn more about this classic, fragrant beauty!
A Quartet of Types
Part of the Solanaceae family, which includes tomatoes and tomatillos, petunias are divided into four categories.
The grandiflora types have large flowers — 3 to 5 inches across — and can grow to 10 to 12 inches tall.
Multiflora petunias have more abundant, smaller, 1- to 2-inch, flowers. This type will grow to be about 8 inches tall.
The compact milliflora types produce generous quantities of small flowers 1 to 1 1/2 inch in diameter. Millifloras are often used as edging plants or mixed with other annuals in containers.
Groundcover petunias only reach about six inches tall, and quickly spread to cover a large area in one growing season. They are often covered in so many flowers that you can barely see the foliage.
Grown as annuals in most of the United States, these plants may overwinter in zones 9-11. In fact, according to the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, the best time to plant petunias in the Sunshine State is in October and November.
Ride the Wave or Pick a Winner – Where to Buy
If you’re brave and want to try growing these from seeds (more on this in a minute), the grandiflora ‘Daddy’ series is very popular, and you can find pelleted seeds from True Leaf Market.
This package contains 1000 seeds that produce 12- to 15-inch plants with 4-inch ruffled blooms in a variety of colors with an attractive veined pattern. Available in blue (which looks to us like more of a purple than a true blue), orchid, pink and white “peppermint,” multicolored “sugar,” pink, red, and a mix of several colors.
Pelleted P. x hybrida Seeds
In 1995 the Ball Seed Company introduced its ‘Wave’ series of cultivars, and these are among the most popular varieties available. The company has since broadened its line to include Tidal Waves, Double Waves, Easy Waves, and Shock Waves.
Get your own wave started with seeds for the Double Wave ‘Blue Velvet’ cultivar, available from JDR Seeds via Amazon.
100 ‘Double Wave’ Blue Velvet Petunia Seeds
You’ll get 100 seeds for spreading plants that produce gorgeous, deep purple, frilly flowers.
If you’re looking for live seedlings, Proven Winners will ship a four-pack of live ‘Supertunia Vista Silverberry’ plants, available via Amazon.
Supertunia Vista Silverberry
This award-winning, vigorous plant has white flowers with bright pink veins.
Seeds or Starts?
Like the wax begonia, petunias can be tricky to grow from seed. The tiny seeds have a very long germination period and quite specific requirements.
Fortunately, it’s generally very easy to find starts at garden stores. You’ll want to wait until the soil is at least 60°F and all danger of frost has passed before you transplant seedlings outdoors.
Situate these plants so they’ll get five or six hours of full sun. They’re not particularly choosy about soil, as long as it drains well.
Water, Food, and Neem Oil
In general, water petunias deeply about once a week. The plants may require more frequent waterings in drought conditions, of course. And remember to water the spreading varieties and those in containers more often.
It’s not necessary to deadhead ground-planted petunias, but you’ll certainly want to cut off faded blooms from container plants.
Apply a balanced fertilizer, such as 10-10-10, once a month throughout the growing season. Double-flowered cultivars may require additional feedings.
If your plants stop flowering or become leggy, prune the shoots back to about half their length, feed with a liquid fertilizer, and water well.
These flowers don’t have many insect enemies. Keep an eye out for aphids and caterpillars, which can been controlled with neem oil such as this one from Garden Safe, available via Amazon.
Garden Safe Neem Oil Extract Concentrate
At one ounce per gallon of water, this 16-ounce concentrated product will yield 16 gallons of treatment.
Liquid Bt can also be used to control caterpillars. If you spot them munching leaves and leaving black dots of frass scattered around, mix up a solution of Bacillus thuringiensis and water in a spray bottle according to package directions, shake, and spray onto the plants.
Safer Brand Caterpillar Killer Concentrate, 16 oz.
We like Safer Brand Caterpillar Killer Concentrate, and it is also available on Amazon.
A Popular Plant with Punch
Exciting new cultivars bring the popular petunia into the realm of modern landscape additions.
Mix and match eye-popping colors to create a carpet of floral beauty in your garden. Water thoroughly once a week, give them a little food once a month, and you’ll be rewarded with beauty all summer long.
Have you grown petunias? Which are your favorites? Tell us in the comments section below. And if you’re looking for other popular annuals, consider painted daisy.
Product photos via True Leaf Market, JDR Seeds, Proven Winners, Garden Safe, and Safer Brand. Uncredited photos: .
About Gretchen Heber
A former garden editor for a daily newspaper in Austin, Texas, Gretchen Heber goes through entirely too many pruners and garden gloves in a year’s time. She’s never met a succulent she didn’t like and gets really irritated every 3-4 years when Austin actually has a freeze cold enough to kill them. To Gretchen, nothing is more rewarding than a quick dash to the garden to pluck herbs to season the evening meal. And it’s definitely time for a happy dance when she’s able to beat the squirrels to the peaches, figs, or loquats.
Color, and our perception of it, has been making more headlines than usual. Everyone, it seems, developed a passionate stance on what color scheme, exactly, “the dress” was (if you’re unfamiliar, Google “the dress”). And the subsequent fallout, which spread infectiously across the nooks and crannies of the Internet, led to a rambling discussion of how human beings digest the color spectrum.
But maybe the answer to our morphing perception of carmines and aquas and lavenders isn’t to accept categorical differences in the presence of certain cones within our eyes, but to develop products that can be all things to all people. Futuristic as it might sound, color-changing items are already in existence or being developed in most markets, some of them just happen to be GMOs.
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) have a certain reputation. They’re terrifying monstrosities or divine technological revelations, depending on who you talk to. They’re polarizing. It seems folks either love or hate them, believe they’re pollutants or a massive break-through. Which makes it unlikely that the vitriolic conversation swirling around GMOs could be dragged to a calmer, more level middle-ground.
The newest such item? Color-changing petunias.
A company called Revolution Bioengineering is pioneering the product. Founder Keira Havens, along with cofounder Nikolai Braun, developed the plant. The petunia blooms white when irrigated with normal water. The plant then morphs red when irrigated with a special solution. The transformation takes 24 hours to take hold.
“When Nikolai and I came across the idea of color-changing flowers we both said, ‘That’s neat. We should try and make that happen,” Havens says. “We’ve partnered with researchers in the Netherlands who have worked with petunias for 30 years and an artist who is going to use these flowers to bring the concept to as wide an audience as possible.”
However, despite both being Ph.D.s in molecular plant biology, the duo was unable to find funding via traditional routes (donors and corporations) for their project.
“We are newer scientists. Our publication record is not that long. We don’t have an established lab, we’re renting space. For a traditional loaner, that’s a tough sell,” Havens says. “And you might think that this is a no-brainer for a large company to fund, but large companies are paralyzed by public perception at this point. There is still a group of people that appear to be very loudly anti biotechnology and anti-GMOs.”
But Havens believes most people are indifferent to GMOs. If the product is worthwhile, the opinion of the majority will swing towards pro-GMO sympathies. If the product serves no purpose, the pendulum of opinion will go the other direction.
“We want to stop that bumper sticker shouting and include more folks who don’t necessarily have an ideology behind them, people that are just interested in what the technology can do,” Havens says.
To promote a more balanced conversation, Revolution has emphasized their independence from corporate structure and the scientific safety features and protocols they observed in the development of the plant.
“We’ve designed it, from the beginning, to address some of the concerns that people always bring up about human health, pesticides, herbicides, all of those things,” Havens says.
Revolution is going to make its appeal to the middle using a single, tried-and-true feeling: coolness.
“Our idea is basically, if we can get that silent middle, that big group of people to say, ‘Yeah, that’s a cool thing, I’ll give $10,’ then we’ll start to change the conversation,” she says.
They set a fundraising goal of $75,000 (at the time of this publication, they’re roughly 25 percent fulfilled, with $17,650 in donations). Whether they’re ultimately successful or not, the early returns suggest Havens is right about GMOs. Many of the comments that dot the company’s Facebook page are supportive. One woman even wrote, “What a fun use of GMOs! What a great idea!” And while there have been occasional negative comments, the tone of what’s written lacks the usual acidity seen on the Internet. Some have even prompted candid conversations.
The next two years will be crucial. If they receive full funding, then the company will focus on getting USDA approval for the product. That process may require some re-engineering of the plant. They’re also reaching out to other industry experts for broad range risk assessment, including insight on pollination and the specific of color-changing flowers. After a year of approvals and investigation, the color-changing petunia will be productized and moved to market, making it available to the general consumer.
To learn more about the campaign, visit www.colorchangingflowers.com
We mistakenly published photos of a monarch butterfly caterpillar in our February issue in the article “The case of the caterpillar.” Since monarch butterflies are in decline due to a variety of factors, it would have been more appropriate to publish a photo of a different species of caterpillar. We at Greenhouse Management apologize for the error and have removed the photos from the web version of the article.
Outdoor Home Decorating with Petunias Waves of Color
Outdoor home decorating with petunias is simple and very attractive. Petunias bring spectacular waves of color into garden design and yard landscaping. These flowering plants create fabulous centerpieces for outdoor living spaces and work well as blooming borders or ground covers. Petunias are excellent Green yard decorations that are inexpensive and eco friendly.
Petunias are loved for their trumpet-shaped flowers, pleasant aroma and vibrant colors. These beautiful flowers come in tender white, light pink and magenta, pale blue and deep purple colors. Petunias grow in pots, hanging baskets and in flower beds, creating stunning displays of color and texture.
Lushome collection of colorful home decorating ideas show how these beautiful flowers transform yards, exterior walls and fences. Garden design and yard landscaping become awash with charming flowers and bright colors, when petunias are used for outdoor home decorating.
21 Green ideas for balcony decorating with flowers
Outdoor home decorating with petunias
Blooming borders, yard landscaping with petunias
A group of these flowering plants with exciting, bright and pleasant colors create wonderful centerpieces for garden design and spectacular borders for attractive yard landscaping. Some of these flowering plants have large double flowers, flowers fringes and multicolored petals.
Outdoor home decorating with petunias is charming. These flowering plants have beautiful leaves and stems and are adorned with tender flowers. Petunias have a tightly branched habit and these amazing flowering plants are just filled with color all blooming season long, from spring to fall.
Fence decorating with petunia flowers
Vivid colors of these beautiful flowers are amazing. The petals look and feel soft. Petunias are a perfect fit for porch, gazebo, garden pergola and balcony decorating with hanging baskets and containers. These flowering plants can be mixed with many other sun-loving plants to create fantastic yard decorations that brighten up garden design and yard landscaping.
25 beautiful backyard ideas for decorating with petunias
33 small balcony designs and ideas for decorating with flowers
These flowering plants make elegant and dramatic displays of color when planted alone in decorative containers or flower beds, and look especially spectacular when used as ground covers and borders. While these flowering plants bring unique waves of color, the beautiful flowers add a distinct sweet fragrance to outdoor home decorating.
Outdoor home decorating with flowers
by Ena Russ
New Types of Perfect Petunias
Anyone of voting age with a mother who gardens probably remembers old-fashioned petunias. Their fragrant, ruffled blossoms in every conceivable color have long been fixtures in flowerbeds, window boxes, and hanging baskets.
Trouble was, they didn’t enjoy the heat, humidity, and downpours that characterize Southern summers. By July 4, they’d poop out. By July 5, we were fed up.
It’s not that way anymore. New types and hybrids available in garden centers like our climate just fine. In most of the South, you can plant them in spring after the last frost, and they will bloom continuously into the fall and require very little maintenance. In the Coastal and Tropical South, where they’re winter annuals, you can plant them in fall, and they will bloom through the following spring.
Can’t Stop the Madness
Probably the first petunias to offer hope to Southern gardeners were the Madness Series. Unlike the then-popular Grandiflora types (which have 4-inch, ruffled flowers that turn to mush in rainy weather), Madness petunias hold up. Still available, they have 3-inch blooms in a full range of colors; many flowers offer attractive veining.
Ride the Waves
The next big splash in petunia progress came in 1995 when ‘Purple Wave’ was named an All-America Selections winner. The Kirin Brewery Company in Japan developed this remarkable plant and then partnered with Ball Horticultural Company to distribute it in the U.S. (Its origin gives new meaning to the phrase, “buying a six-pack of flowers.”)
What’s so remarkable about it? Well, the plant spreads out like a ground cover. A single plant can ramble 4 feet or more. Sporting 2- to 3-inch blossoms, ‘Purple Wave’ also blooms all summer without being pinched back. Purple was the first color of the series, but now you can buy pink, lavender, lilac, and blue versions as well.
Two other Wave petunias also deserve mention. If you like a more controlled spreader, choose a selection from the Easy Wave Series; they grow 8 to 10 inches tall and about 3 feet wide. But it’s the new Tidal Wave Series that has me foaming at the mouth. (No wonder; they were also bred by the Kirin Brewery Company.) These dense, mounding plants grow up to 3 feet high and 4 feet wide. Their 2-inch blooms just shrug off summer showers without missing a beat. ‘Tidal Wave Silver,’ noted for its silvery-white petals and dark purple centers, even survived winter in my Alabama garden and bloomed through a second summer.
Share the Fantasy
Hybrid Millifloras, a new class of dwarf petunias, debuted in 1996. Forming mounds 6 to 8 inches high and wide, they need no pinching to keep blooming. Small 1- to 1 1/2-inch flowers come in every color except yellow. Hybrid Millifloras such as the Fantasy Series are perfect for containers and hanging baskets.
Meet the Parents
Modern petunias are hybrids of species such as the fragrant white or wild petunia ( Petunia axillaris) and violet petunia ( P. violacea, also sold as P. integrifolia). While the former is rarely cultivated today, the latter is a rediscovered favorite. A trailing plant with small, rosy purple flowers that have dark throats, it blooms nonstop from spring till fall and makes a superb choice for containers. It is also winter hardy from the Lower South on down.
How low can you go? When it comes to trailing petunias, pretty darn low. If 4-inch-high ‘Purple Wave’ is too tall for you, consider the Supertunia and Surfinia Series. Used in beds, they grow practically flat; they’re wonderful cascaders when planted in containers. Both come in a full range of colors and never require pinching.
What Petunias Need
As great as these new ones are, they do have a few demands. Give them full sun with good air circulation, and provide fertile, loose, well-drained soil. To keep them going and making more flowers, feed them every two weeks with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer such as Miracle-Gro Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food 15-30-15 or Peters Professional 20-20-20. That’s it.
Give petunias a second look. After that, you’ll be looking for more.
“New Types of Perfect Petunias” is from the March 2006 issue of Southern Living.