Grow the best Petunias with us. Growing up Petunias always looked the same with just a few colours to choose from. Today Petunias are bang on trend with more colours and variations to choose from that one can think of. As water wise annuals Petunias take the heat and dry weather through late spring, rewarding the gardener with months of opulent flowers and colour upon colour.
Petunias are so versatile and new varieties are release every year. Petunias are a must have for colour throughout the year but especially as a stand out spring into early summer bedding plants. Compact bushy to spreading and cascading varieties lead the fold but don’t forget about the mini and dwarf varieties.
The traditional Grandiflora Petunia can have flowers bigger that the palm of your hand whereas the Multiflora have more but smaller flowers that handle rain or irrigation splashes better.
The cascading varieties have become very popular for containers and hanging baskets. The 2016 season saw the release of Petunia Night Sky into the South African market and caused huge excitement. The speckled flowers and cascading habit have caught the gardeners imagination and rightly so. This is the best performing Petunia in a generation and has reinvigorated the petunia market. Coming soon is Petunia Baby Doll, a sister for Night Sky, which is a pink speckled version.
How to grow the best
Petunias need full sun to really do well. Once planted keep them on the dryer side with little water till they establish and then cut the watering right back and give them almost drought conditions. Petunias are one of the most water wise colourful bedding plants that you can grow.
Well suited to containers where you can control the amount of water you are giving. In the garden make sure that they are in well drained soil. Petunias really detest wet feet and if you over water them they will most probably die on you.
As they flower keep your petunia plants clean of spent flowers to encourage more blooms. Many of the new varieties are self cleaning so it is less important on them, especially the cascading and compact dwarf varieties. If the plants are thin and sprawl and flowering seems to be coming to an end a cut bat and a boost with some Multifeed Flowergro will get them back into flower quite quickly.
What can go wrong
There is nothing that can really go wrong with a bed of petunias once established. Young plants are susceptible to Damping Off which is a direct result of being over watered. This can be identified by the plants going limp as if they are under watered and the leaves tend to go a slight yellow. Once this happens there is no saving them and the affected plants must be removed and the soil treated as it will spread to other petunias in the bed. Treat the soil with Copper Count or Kumulus to prevent further spreading.
What you have to remember is that Petunias are tough and hardy rarely succumbing to disease and only are at risk if you overwater them.
TIP: Nip out spent flowers to encourage more flowering and to keep the plants more compact you can nip out new grow tips between flowering too.