Annual of the Week-Petunia

One of the most popular and versatile annuals found in the horticulture world is the petunia. You can probably find any shade of color that you want and would be able to plant it anywhere other than a deep shaded area in your garden. If you can give it sunlight it will grow.

However, not every petunia is the same. There are a couple of distinctive characteristics that are set petunia apart from each other. So distinct that petunia are separated into different classifications: grandiflora, multiflora, milliflora, trailing and mounding types.

Petunia Hybrid Grandiflora: Grandiflora types produce the largest flowers of all petunia, however they will bear the least amount of flowers. These plants can grow as tall as 24 inches and certain varieties or strains can give you a spreading habit of 24-36 inches wide. Some of the more popular strains are Ultra, Storm, Magic and Frost.

Petunia Hybrid Multiflora: This is also known as a floribunda. Plant growth or habit is similar to that of the Grandiflora varieties, but the flowers are smaller, usually only producing flowers that are 2 inches across. Certain strains offer a neat compact habit that makes them excellent for mass planting in flower beds. Prime Time, Celebrity, Plum, and Whispers are strains that can offer the widest range of colors for your garden.

Petunia Hybrid Milliflora: These are cute dwarf petunias growing in mounding habits of about 6 to 8 inches in height and width. One of the best features is that there is no need for pinching or pruning to keep these babies in tip top shape. Dainty flowers cover the whole plant offering a burst of color in containers or in your garden. Plant them where they can be seen and not covered over. You will find these as Fantasy or Tiny Tunias.

Trailing and Mounding Petunia: You might have heard or seen the Purple Wave petunia, but have you seen the Tidal Wave or even the Ramblin’ petunias? These phenomenal petunias definitely have made a splash in the cascading flowering plants. Some of these varieties can grow up to 5 feet wide. That is a lot of color to have in one area.

Petunias are a flower that everyone has had in their garden at one time; personally I think you should have them somewhere all of the time. I find that the purple ones, no matter which variety offers the best fragrance to enjoy from your garden. Plant them and enjoy.