The perfect petunia! - Knowledgebase Question

Amherst, Ma
Question by Tccoleman
January 17, 2011
Hello, I would like to know if you could recommend a type of petunia that blooms a lot all summer long? One that does not need to be deadheaded or cut back. It seems like mine always fizzle out half way through the summer. While I see neighbors blooming nicely until frost! I've never tried


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Answer from NGA
January 17, 2011

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I, too, am on a quest for the perfect petunia! Most do require deadheading. Not only does deadheading keep them attractive, it promotes a bushy growth habit and encourages lots of new flowers. Despite their high maintenance, I think both Multiflora and Grandifloras are the most beautiful of all the petunias. I suspect that's what your neighbor is growing.

You'll also find the 'Wave' series of petunias. The 'Wave' series created quite a stir when first introduced and keeps improving. 'Wave' petunias grow only 6" tall but can spread to 4'. They make wonderful groundcovers and trailers for containers. Although Wave petunias don't need deadheading, they do wear out in the hottest part of the summer and some pruning will revive them. There is also a 'Tidal Wave' series, which tends to stay a bit more upright.

Another you might consider is the 'Supertuna'. The 'Supertunia' series is vegetatively propagated, meaning it is grown from cuttings, not seed. Supertunias are part of the Proven Winner series. Vigorous growers and bloomers, they require frequent feeding to stay at their peak. But if you feed them, they will bloom and bloom. Supertunias are also weather tolerant.

If you're looking for a trailing type, 'Cascadia' and 'Surfinia' are 2 more popular types bred for their trailing habit, vivid colors and prolific flowering. You'll find lots of interesting shading and veining with these petunias. They are also easy care, spreading to about eighteen inches. These petunias are best suited for hanging baskets and window boxes.

A final suggestion is a petunia look-alike. 'Calibrachoa' (Million Bells or Superbells) look like tiny petunias, but they are actually an entirely different species. However they may just suit your purpose in a hanging basket. The tiny flowers cover the foliage and Calibrachoa hybrids share the best traits of hybrid petunias: long blooming, no deadheading and weather tolerance.

If you absolutely do not want to have to deadhead, this might be the best choice for you. Hope this information is helpful.

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