Petunias are one of the most popular flowering annuals, known for their prolific and beautiful blooms. They’re available in a wide variety of colors, growing habits, and bloom form, ranging from single or double, wavy or simple to veined or striped. Generally low-growing, petunias can be mounding or trailing. Mounding varieties include ‘Rays,’ ‘Potunias,’ and ‘Sweetunias.’ Trailing varieties include ‘Wave,’ ‘Cascadia,’ ‘Supertunia,’ or ‘Surfina,’ which generally don’t need deadheading. ‘Calibrachoa’ or ‘Millions Bells’ look like tiny petunias, but are actually a different species, though their care is similar. Petunias bloom continuously throughout summer.
Full sun. Tolerates part shade, but won’t bloom as profusely.
Containers, beds, or baskets. Petunias do well in mass plantings or part of combinations. Benefit from light shade during the mid-day heat of summer.
Prefer well-draining soil. Always use quality potting soil in containers, such as our custom soil mix. Our custom soil mix is the same soil we use to grow all of our plants, which we’ve designed to contain a blend of ingredients for optimal nutrient content, moisture retention, aeration, and beneficial microbes. Amend garden beds with compost, if necessary.
Allow top few inches of soil to dry out a bit between watering. If kept too wet, petunias risk rotting.
Heavy feeders. Apply a granular fertilizer when planted in the ground, such as Osmocote, or a water-soluble fertilizer, such as Miracle-Gro Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food, weekly for containers. The foliage of petunias can sometimes begin to turn yellow, known as chlorosis, which is caused by an iron deficiency from a pH imbalance. Chlorosis can be prevented or remedied by applying Miracle-Gro Miracid when watering. Be sure to follow instructions on the package.
Many varieties need to be deadheaded regularly to continue blooming. Pinch spent blooms at the base of the individual green flower stem. All petunias benefit from a trim every few weeks or so to grow back more compact and to encourage blooming. Generally, trim back by about 1/3, or 1/2 if very leggy.
Petunias like cool weather, but are not frost tolerant. Plant after danger of frost has passed.
Click here to view some of the petunia varieties available at America’s Best Flowers.