The ever-popular petunias are members of a large and diverse family of flowering plants named Solanaceae. According to The New Sunset Western Garden Book, petunias are typically divided into three major classes: grandiflora, multiflora, and milliflora. As the names suggest, grandiflora petunias feature large blooms while multiflora plants have a relatively greater number of smaller blooms. The third class, Milliflora, boasts even smaller, more numerous blooms than do multiflora plants. Flowers range in shape from smooth to extremely ruffled funnels and are found in sizes ranging from 1’’ (Milliflora) to 6’’ (Grandiflora). The leaves are thick, broad, and mildly sticky to touch. Petunias of all classes come in an impressive array of colors, known to bloom in most shades of every color except for green. Some types of petunias have a mounding growth habit while others are trailing, making them fantastic choices for hanging pots.
Lucky for us, petunias have a reputation for being relatively easy to cultivate, showing successful summertime blooms in nearly every climate zone. It is recommended that petunias be grown as winter and spring time blooms in Climate Zones 12 and 13 where summer heat proves overly harsh. Pinching back the plants once they are established is advised to encourage fuller growth. These plants prefer rich, well-drained soil and regular watering. They perform best in full sun and thrive with monthly feeding of complete liquid fertilizer. In humid growing conditions both the foliage and blooms of petunias are at increased risk of botrytis (a type of fungus) disease.
Here at Clearwater Color Nursery we are currently growing four different series of petunias: ‘Dreams’, ‘Easy Wave’, ‘Shockwave, and ‘Headliner’. We have various shades of blue, red, pink, and white varieties to choose from in six packs and gallon pots. Give us a call, like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, or check out our website at clearwatercolor.com to see photos of our nursery and to learn more about this beautiful plant and many others we grow!