Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Petunia Power

Petunias can provide a big punch of color in any garden. An old favorite, petunias can maximize impact in a border, container or hanging garden - while provide constant fragrance to boot. Petunias come in four forms: grandiflora, multiflora, spreading and milliflora. The grandifloras produce trumpet-shaped flowers up to 3-4 inches across. Multiflora blooms are smaller but more profuse, providing a mass of color when planted densely. Millifloras are petunias in miniature, producing pretty little blooms about an inch to an inch and a half. All are available in singles or ruffled doubles. The showy spreading petunias can provide a dense blanket of flowers. If you were a regular customer of Roy Henslee at the old Shell Plant Farm, you probably remember the year Roy planted a wide row of cascading Wave petunias all the way across the roof over the entrance. They were stunning. Petunias stop producing in heat, so they are lovely in a cool-weather garden - but they aren't fond of frost. If you didn't plant any this fall, think about them for an early spring planting.

Type: flowering annual

Light: full sun to part shade

Foliage: dark green, slightly fuzzy leaves

Flowers: all available colors but blue and black

Blooms: summer (will stop setting buds in extreme heat) into fall

Growth habit: low, dense, cascading with some

Height: 6 inches; width varies with variety

Soil: needs well-drained soil; don't let dry out, but don't keep wet

Zones: all

Pests or diseases: hearty

Uses: borders, containers, ground cover

Fertilize: every month; weekly for spreading types

Care: deadhead older varieties; pinch back by half when leggy

No comments:

Post a Comment