Petunias You Can Bank On For Success

Purple and white spotted petunias

by Garden News |

Petunias are the mainstay of the summer garden, radiating cheery charm wherever they're used. And the good news is that varieties just keep improving, as a recent RHS trial testified, with all the varieties showcased here receiving the Award of Garden Merit.

Now's the time to buy them either as plugs or small potted plants and grow them on or plant them in containers and hanging baskets, while ready-potted plants, although more expensive, mean you’re ready to go! If the weather looks rough place newly-planted pots and baskets in a greenhouse for a few days to give them time to settle in and grow away.

It pays to pick the right petunia for the job too, as some varieties are more spreading than upright, making them more useful for planting the sides of baskets and pots. Those with the largest flowers don’t always stand up to heavy rain or wind well, so choose those with smaller blooms, which are more durable and often produce more flowers.

Petunias love sun and moist, well-drained soil, but need regular watering and feeding with a high potash liquid fertiliser to help prevent them getting stressed and petering out in the height of summer.

Cascadias Rim Magenta

Eye-catching variety producing lots of smaller, weather-resistant flowers. H:30cm (12in) S:41cm (16in).

Buy online or tel: 0333 400 0022

Fanfare Royal Purple

Large-flowered variety that blooms all summer. Good in pots and baskets. H:20cm (10in) S:35cm (14in).

Buy online or tel: 01536 720784

Jamboree Blue Vein

Spreading habit makes it an ideal basket plant. Blue-eyed sweetly scented blooms. H: 20cm (10in) S:30cm (12in).

Buy online or tel: 0161 848 1100

Night Sky

Distinctively speckled flowers on a compact plant. Soft vanilla scent. H:25cm (10in) S:30cm (12in).

Buy online or tel: 0333 400 0022

Surfinia Deep Red

Vibrant flowered cascading variety with neat, narrow foliage. Effective in pots and baskets H: 20cm (10in) S: 30cm (12in).

Buy online or tel: 0333 777 3936

Three steps to success

  1. If purchasing plug plants grow on in 7.5cm (3in) pots or cell trays before planting out.
  1. Choose a trailing variety for edging the basket, a taller compact variety for the centre.
  1. Remove spent blooms, keep watered and feed plants to encourage more flowers to come.
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