When summer’s heat starts to drop off but winter is still months away, it’s time to plant petunias, one of the most colorful and easiest annuals to grow. Moderately tolerant of drought, salt spray and deer, petunias planted now will pump out loads of blossoms all winter.
Choose from vibrant pink to mellow yellow, or turn a pot into a party with candy cane-striped or multi-colored petunias. Trailing mini-petunias are fantastic in hanging baskets, while spreading varieties will grow into a gorgeous ground cover.
Try Petunias in Beds and Containers:
- Plant petunias 12 inches apart for a beautiful mass of color in flowerbeds. Fill each planting hole with a spadeful of compost or other rich organic matter and a handful of a balanced time-release fertilizer. Mulch with hardwood mulch or pine needles to retain soil moisture and prevent weeds.
- Grow a spreading variety such as Cascadia, Opera or Wave petunias as a ground cover. Disease-resistant Ray petunias are semi-spreaders that bounce back quickly from wet weather.
- Plant one petunia plant to fill a 12-inch hanging basket, especially small-flowered mini-petunias. In bigger containers you can crowd plants a bit more. Grow showy double-flowered petunias in containers where they won’t get soaked by rain. The big blossoms catch and hold so much water they can fall, often breaking off branches.
- Water newly planted petunias often to keep the soil from drying out. After two weeks, deeply water plants twice weekly during dry spells, preferably in the morning.