All About Petunias: Hats off

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All About Petunias

By LarryR
August 9, 2011

Petunias are one of the most popular bedding plants ever grown. Among the array of colors, shapes, sizes and habits available, there is bound to be something to please every gardener. It wasn't always like this though.

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Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
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valleylynn
Aug 8, 2011 7:51 PM CST
Hats off to you Larry. I thought I new about petunias. Well I know they are annuals and come in different colors and sizes. Now I know the rest of the story. Thank you for such and interesting article.
Name: Larry Rettig
South Amana, IA (Zone 5a)
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LarryR
Aug 8, 2011 7:57 PM CST
Glad you enjoyed it, Lynn. There are lots of plants with interesting histories. I'll see if I can track down some more.
Gardener was the label imprinted on me when the souls were handed out and so be it. --Margaret Roach (Thank you, Sharon!) Notes from the Garden: Articles of interest on all aspects of gardening
Cottage-in-the-Meadow Gardens: Come on in and take the tour! Check out the photos!
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Aug 8, 2011 9:56 PM CST
I look forward to any and all you can present. I love learning new things about plants.
Name: Larry Rettig
South Amana, IA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Tip Photographer I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cottage Gardener Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Composter
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LarryR
Aug 8, 2011 10:00 PM CST
Thanks for the encouragement, Lynn. Smiling
Gardener was the label imprinted on me when the souls were handed out and so be it. --Margaret Roach (Thank you, Sharon!) Notes from the Garden: Articles of interest on all aspects of gardening
Cottage-in-the-Meadow Gardens: Come on in and take the tour! Check out the photos!
Name: Dahlianut
Calgary, AB Zone 3a
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dahlianut
Aug 9, 2011 7:03 AM CST
Wonderous history on petunias Larry Hurray! I like to fool around with petunia seeds from my multicolour blooms. Usually they revert back to solid colours but sometimes they make swirly blooms. Nothing uniform but prettiful Smiling
Name: Larry Rettig
South Amana, IA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Tip Photographer I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cottage Gardener Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Composter
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LarryR
Aug 9, 2011 10:14 AM CST
Isn't it fun to sow seed from a hybrid to see what you'll get! I've also done it with zinnias. The most unusual bloom I got was one that only had a green center. No petals at all!
Gardener was the label imprinted on me when the souls were handed out and so be it. --Margaret Roach (Thank you, Sharon!) Notes from the Garden: Articles of interest on all aspects of gardening
Cottage-in-the-Meadow Gardens: Come on in and take the tour! Check out the photos!
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
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wildflowers
Aug 10, 2011 3:13 PM CST
Larry, your article was very interesting. I really enjoyed learning the history of petunias.

I'll have to find some that like this Texas heat! If they're as tolerant as the zinnias, I'll have a chance!
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Aug 15, 2011 1:14 PM CST
Hee hee, I once kept a pot of petunias going for over 3 years! They were in a big pot sitting in a window on the back porch; they just completely took over that window! Ah, found a pic:

Thumb of 2011-08-15/woofie/4c6884
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Name: Sharon K. Winter
Las Vegas, NV
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WormslovUsharon
Aug 15, 2011 8:34 PM CST
Now all we need is one that tastes terrible to those little worms that love to eat the blooms. Loved your article. Nice to know the history. Thank you very much.
If it is not going to affect you five years from now, do not let it get you down.
Name: Larry Rettig
South Amana, IA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Tip Photographer I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cottage Gardener Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Composter
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LarryR
Aug 16, 2011 4:06 PM CST
Thanks for your nice comments, Christine, woofie, and Sharon. Smiling

Woofie, congratulations on your long-lived petunia! And thanks for the pic.
Gardener was the label imprinted on me when the souls were handed out and so be it. --Margaret Roach (Thank you, Sharon!) Notes from the Garden: Articles of interest on all aspects of gardening
Cottage-in-the-Meadow Gardens: Come on in and take the tour! Check out the photos!
Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
Bee Lover Garden Photography Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: United States of America
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blue23rose
Nov 23, 2014 9:41 AM CST
Reading through all the old newsletters and came across this article. Larry I can't tell you how much I enjoyed reading about the history of the petunia.

Our house had no landscaping to speak of 35 years ago, but ever since we started digging around the house about 10 years ago, volunteer petunias have sprung up everywhere. So these seeds had been laying dormant for only God knows how many years.

So, I was wondering if there is a name for these petunias, other than "old-fashioned". Would you have any idea? These have an almost sickly sweet smell after a rain and I don't believe they come true from seed.

West side of house in 2007
Thumb of 2014-11-23/blue23rose/7bd9aa

Around the patio (North side of house) in 2014
Thumb of 2014-11-23/blue23rose/8cc28c

Front of house (Southeast side of house) in 2014
Thumb of 2014-11-23/blue23rose/add6ab

Color variations are anywhere from pure white to fuchsia to purple.
Thumb of 2014-11-23/blue23rose/8ef17f

Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Name: Larry Rettig
South Amana, IA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Tip Photographer I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cottage Gardener Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Composter
Foliage Fan Garden Photography Houseplants Hybridizer Organic Gardener Cat Lover
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LarryR
Dec 23, 2014 12:24 AM CST
Such lovely petunia photos, Vickie! Glad you enjoyed the article. The only other names I know for these petunias is heirloom petunia and multiflora petunia.
Gardener was the label imprinted on me when the souls were handed out and so be it. --Margaret Roach (Thank you, Sharon!) Notes from the Garden: Articles of interest on all aspects of gardening
Cottage-in-the-Meadow Gardens: Come on in and take the tour! Check out the photos!
Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
Bee Lover Garden Photography Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: United States of America
Region: Indiana Garden Art Annuals Clematis Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 2
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blue23rose
Dec 23, 2014 5:10 AM CST
Thanks, Larry!
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown

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