Petunias are one of the most recognisable and popular of the ornamental bedding plants. This is probably due to their hardiness coupled with their ability to bloom prolifically. There is a Petunia for every season and for every garden.
There are three popular types of Petunia: grandiflora (large flowered); multiflora (many flowered); milliflora (thousand flowers):
The most popular is grandiflora. They have large showy blooms which tend to be less tolerant of heavy rainfall. The plant itself is more vigorous in habit and spreads easily. Multiflora Petunias are known for their mounding growth habit and abundant, colourful blooms. The flowers recover well from seasonal storms. Milliflora Petunias bear dense, bushy foliage and clusters of petite flowers. These heat-tolerant plants do not need pruning or deadheading to remain in bloom, producing wave after wave of eye-catching blossoms. Their compact growth habit is particularly well-suited to containers.
All Petunias should be planted in composted and well draining soil. They prefer full sun but can tolerate a little bit of shade. They require less watering than most annuals.
Petunias come in a wide range of colours and forms. There is a Petunia for hanging baskets, one for pots, window boxes, flower beds, rockeries. There is a Petunia for wet summers; one for dry summers you will even find a Petunia that flowers in winter.
Information supplied by the Bedding Plant Growers Association. For more information please visit www.lifeisagarden.co.za
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