Petunias in Hanging Baskets and
We love Petunias in Hanging Baskets. The new varities thrive in the
heat and sun – and now require no dead heading – which is just great.
New color breaks have resulted in vibrant colors, doubles and even
almost black petunias. The list of choices goes on Ruffled vs smooth
petals, striped, veined and some Petunia’s are available now with a soft
Nothing says summer like baskets of colorful Petunias hanging from the
patio or porch.
A Little Petunia History
Discovered in South America in the 1700s Petunias were originally
leggy, small-flowered plants that came in two colors: white and purple.
While attractive breeders wanted more flowers, bigger flowers, a
wider color rang, longer blooming and improved disease resistance.
first new generation Petunias were the “Wave Series” developed by the
Japanese beer company Kirin. These were propagated from seed.
Suntory another Japanese firm introduced a vegetatively propagated
petunia they named Surfinia
These two petunia lines, one grown from
seed, the other from cuttings, have come to dominate the market. Giving
them competition is Proven Winners, a marketing organization that offers
varieties from around the world under their trademarked name.
In what can only be described as a frenzy breeder create upto 600 new
varities a year.
Wave Petunias available on the market today include “shock wave” and
“double wave” – click here for more
It is often said that Surfina Petunias
have a little more compact habit than do the Wave Petunias – however
both work well in hanging baskets and planters and they are far more
weather resistant (wind and rain) than the Petunias of the old days – so
the choice is yours.
Petunia are great not only in hanging baskets –
they do really well in window boxes also as seen below
In our mind if you are opting for either Wave or Surfina petunias – go
for the color you like best. Some of the newer color breaks are very
exciting – the reds, oranges, yellows have become increasingly more
vibrant and as a result more popular.
TIP – Deadhead
Your Petunias for Best Results
Deadheading your petunias will bring far more flowers than letting
the seed pods form. Petunias either will put their energy into producing
more flowers or they will put it into producing more seed. Petunia goal
is to produce more seed our goal as gardeners is more flowers.
More on Deadheading
on how to keep your hanging basket blooming
Proven Winners – a company we like a lot, have created their own
range of petunias – two of which are Supertunias and Superbells.
Their “Supertunias” have a fast “vigorous” growth habit and cascade
Growing 16 – 24 inches tall, and spreading to over two feet they are a
great choice for Hanging baskets, window boxes or patio planters.
Besides improved disease resistance the thing we like most with them is
that the Supertunias is that they are self-cleaning (no dead heading
More on Supertunias in
Superbells. Provien Winners describe these “smaller petunias” as
“extra, extra super” and we can see why they are excited.
They are in
fact “Calibrachoas” plants that look sort of like mini Petunias. Covered
with hundreds of flowers from early spring all the way through those
first light frosts and just 6 - 10 inches tall their long, long,
trailing branches cascade over the sides of hanging baskets and other
Again you don’t have to deadhead these plants either – which
is just great.
Humming birds and
Butterflies also love Petunia’s – and it is nice to have them visit
your hanging baskets.
Plant in sun.
In warm temperatures, water daily. When it's hot, they'll need water
two or even three times a day. The healthier the plant is, the more it
Petunias gobble up fertilizer but don't want much phosphorus (the
middle number on labels) because it inhibits the uptake of iron, calcium
and magnesium. If they don't get these minor elements, they'll get
yellow stripes and struggle. Al's Garden Center carries a water-soluble
20-9-20 fertilizer. Erric Ross of Ross Nursery says his secret weapon is
Jack's Classic Plant Food (20-6-22) made by J.R. Peters. Whatever you
use, it should be water-soluble and used once a week or at least twice a
month. Baskets hung along streets are fertilized every day when they're
Only double petunias need to be deadheaded. Today, all the singles
are self-cleaning. No need to pinch petunias anymore. Hybrids are bred
to send up new growth from the crown. However, if you don't place them
in full sun, petunias will stretch out looking for the light.
Petunias are guaranteed to have budworm by midsummer. The moths lay eggs
that turn into caterpillars that come out at night and feed on the buds.
For organic control, use Bt twice a month. Be sure to spray thoroughly,
covering the inside of foliage as well as the outside. If you prefer,
use a pesticide registered for budworm, such as Orthonex. Be aware that
chemical pesticides will kill beneficial insects as well.