Supertunia® Series petunias feature a vigorous trailing habit and prolific season-long bloom. The medium-sized, funnel-shaped flowers come in rich shades of white, lavender, blue, purple, red, pink, or peach. They continue through the dog days of summer, long after many other petunias have flagged in the heat.
Hybrid petunias are garden standbys. Developed from several South American petunia species, these sun- and heat-loving annuals or tender perennials were among the first ornamentals to be bred for the bedding plant market in the 1950s. They have medium to fine, oval, mid- to dark-green leaves and fuzzy, sticky, scented stems. The velvety, pungent flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds. New, improved hybrids such as those in the Supertunia® Series continue to be introduced.
Petunias are as easy to grow as they are pretty. They require ample sun and grow best in rich soil with good drainage, but also perform well in infertile soil. Petunias are a good choice for fall and winter planting in warm, frost-free zones. In colder regions, plant them after danger of frost has passed. They bloom best with regular fertilization and will flower all season with no deadheading. Supertunia® Series petunias are good for hanging baskets, beds, and window boxes; as “”fillers”” in borders and tubs; and just about anywhere else that brilliant, long-lasting color is needed. These vegetatively propagated hybrids must be purchased as plants.
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Spring, Summer, Fall
- You can grow petunias from seeds, but it is easier to grow them from transplants. If you are going to grow from seeds, start them indoors 10 to 12 weeks before you want to set them outside. Petunia seeds are very small and needs lots of light in order to germinate. Remember to water them. When the plants have three leaves, you can plant them outside.
- It’s best to buy transplants and plant them in light, well-drained soil in full sun after the last spring frost. Petunias can grow in partial shade, but they will have fewer flowers. It’s better if the plants have shelter from the wind.
- Space the plants about 1 foot apart.
- If you’re planting petunias in containers, use a soil-less mix.
- Petunias are tolerant of heat so you don’t have to water them regularly. A thorough watering once a week should be sufficient (unless there are prolonged periods of drought in your area). The spreading types and those in containers require more frequent watering though.
- Fertilize your plants monthly to ensure good growth. Double-flowered cultivars like a biweekly dose of fertilizer.
- Remove faded/dead flowers to prolong blooming.
Sweet alyssum – Tiny, delicate alyssum contrasts well with the much larger blooms of petunia.
Heliotrope – Heliotrope and sprawling petunias combine beautifully in containers, creating a fragrant magnet for butterflies.
Salvia – Upright salvias in purple, red, or white create a regal backdrop behind ground-creeping petunias.