(As we look forward to spring, we’re re-posting this great article about Petunias, written by Tucker Hill’s former Flower Lady, from our own archives, circa March 2013.)
Native to Argentina, the Latin name is the same as common name, Petunia.
That is where the keeping it simple ends. Today’s petunias are hybrids developed for specific design purposes. Most are grown from seed, but some are from cuttings.
At first glance, you might think the 100,000 petunias planted at Tucker Hill all look pretty much the same. But look again. You will see Waves in window boxes and containers and Carpet in the ground at Founders Square and the main entry.
For an annual flower that just takes us from Pansy to Lantana, there are so many things to consider.
Grandiflorals are one of the oldest varieties with the largest blooms. Like the pansies, they are available in an array of colors and patterns…
- Picotees; white rim color inside
- Morns; colored rim white inside
- Stars; white stripes on contrasting colors
Multiflorals have smaller flowers than grandifloras, but they hold up better in rain and have a more compact growth habit. Sun Devils are the first naturally dwarf multiflora petunia.
Floribundas, like the”Madness” series introduced in the 1970s, combined grandiflora flower size with multiflora weather tolerance.
Miliflorals have a profusion of smaller flowers and a mounding habit.
Wave Petunias have been available for over a decade now and there are five types to choose from. The original Waves were the All-American Selection winner in 1995. Since then Double Wave, Easy Wave, Tidal Wave, and Shock Wave have been introduced. Waves can spread up to 4 feet!
“Potunias” are newcomers and it is said they grow like a bubble. They mound then trail without balding on top.
Supertunias from Proven Winners are vegetatively propagated. Heavy bloomers mean heavy feeders.
Calibrachoa is not in the Petunia family even though it sure looks like it should be. If the label says Million Bells or Super Bells, it is Calibrichoa. The flower will be a bit smaller than the Supertunias.
As always, I encourage you to come see for yourself what is blooming at Tucker Hill!