The Q&A Archives: Fragrant Petunia

Question: I have a purple petunia (definitely a petunia) in my garden which has a very strong fragrance, almost like jasmine. It had wintered over from last year and I don't remember where I got it from . I had never thought of petunias as being fragrant and I don't recall noticing it last year. Is this unusual or do certain varieties of petunias have a fragrance and, if so, which ones ? I would like to get more next season as the smell in the evening is sensational.
Thanks for your help.

Answer: The most fragrant is Petunia pendula, an heirloom variety, with charming small flowers in shades of white, palest lavender, pink, and purple. Sweetly scented especially at dusk, these flowers are meant to be enjoyed on summer evenings. Plant in pots, window boxes and on trellises near your house. Weather proof, and if deadheaded, they continue to bloom until the late fall freeze. Listed in catalogs in the 1920s and 1930s, this self-sowing plant will grow 3' tall in a sunny flower bed.

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