Petunias are a hugely popular annual that are used in hanging baskets and planters throughout the UK and elsewhere during the summer months. Here are some Petunia facts.
Petunias are native to South America and are a close relation to tobacco, tomato and potatoe plants!
Most Petunias grown for horticultural use are hybrids known as Petunia × atkinsiana. This is known as a 'nothospecies'.
There is four categories of Petunia. Grandiflora, Hedgiflora (spreading), Multiflora and Miliflora. Grandiflora have the largest flowers, measuring up to 4 inches in diameter. Hedgiflora Petunias are perfect for ground cover in borders, as they grow about 4 inches in height but spread 3 to 4ft. Multiflora have smaller flowers than Grandiflora, but are heat tolerant and do not get damaged in heavy rain. Miliflora Petunias have the smallest blooms, just 1 inch in diameter, but of all the different Petunias they are the most robust.
In 2010 flower breeder Jianping Ren developed the first 'all black' Petunia, the darkest purple yet, known as Petunia 'Black Velvet'. This striking Petunia looks superb planted as a contrast alongside, white, yellow or pink Petunia varieties.
Petunias like plenty of sun and regular watering. Liquid fertiliser once a week will increase the amount of flowers. Dead flowers should be removed to encourage new growth.
The image at the top is Petunia 'Night Sky'. New for 2016. White speckles against a deep purple-blue backing resemble a clear night sky. Flowers June to October. Available from Thompson & Morgan 5 plug plants £4.99 / 10 plug plants £7.99. To order click on the image or HERE.
To view their whole Petunia collection view HERE.