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News » 18.04.2024 - "Petunia varieties bring color to spring gardens"

 Spring is my favorite season of the year as I enjoy the return of warmer days and the colorful blooms in gardens and landscapes. Among the many flowering plants that grace the spring landscape, petunias stand out as one of my favorites.

by Dr. Eddie Miles Louis Smith, MSU Extension Service

As nature bursts into life, now is the perfect time to visit your local nurseries and garden centers to acquire bright and colorful petunias.

One standout variety that captures the essence of spring is the Cascadias Pitaya petunia.

Sporting a vigorous and well-branched habit, this delightful plant cascades gracefully over the edges of baskets and pots, creating a stunning visual display. Its trumpet-shaped flowers are mesmerizing dark pink with intricate dark purple veins and throats, truly a sight to behold. Flower petal edges are a vibrant lime green, further enhancing its appeal.

For those seeking a touch of celestial magic in their garden, I recommend the Night Sky petunia. Its deep purple petals are speckled with variable white dots reminiscent of stars against a night sky.

Equally captivating is the Easy Wave Rose Fusion petunia, with its pink rose-colored flowers adorned with striking dark pink veins. This variety exudes elegance and charm, making it a standout addition to any garden or container arrangement.

Beyond their aesthetic appeal, petunias are prized for their resilience and adaptability. They thrive in both cool and hot temperature extremes, making them perfect for brightening up outdoor spaces throughout the spring, summer, and fall months.

With proper care and attention, petunias will reward you with a profusion of vibrant blooms, bringing color to your outdoor oasis.

To ensure optimal growth and bloom production, it is essential to provide petunias with the right care.

In containers or hanging baskets, plant them in a well-drained potting mix and feed them with a liquid fertilizer every two to three weeks during the summer months. If planting in the ground, ensure the soil is well-drained.

Make sure you put your petunias in a location that receives at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight each day. They thrive in full sun, although they can tolerate partial shade, especially in hot climates.

Deadhead spent flowers regularly to encourage continuous blooming and maintain the plant's appearance.

If my plants begin to look open or a bit tired, I give them an all-over trim. I use a sharp pair of scissors or pruning shears to trim back up to one-third of the volume of the plant.

After any trim, use a water-soluble fertilizer to provide instant energy to help kickstart new growth, branching, and flowering. The plants take about a week to recover from the trim, but the result is fuller plants with more blooms going forward. Repeat the trim as needed throughout the growing season.

Whether adorning hanging baskets, containers, or garden beds, petunias are sure to elevate your outdoor space and inspire admiration from all who see them. So, embrace the beauty of spring and let some of these exquisite petunias add a touch of magic to your garden landscape.

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