Plant “Pazazz” with Petunias

Plant "Pazazz" with Petunias

PetuniasNative to South America, petunias are incredibly popular annual bedding plants, and this is no surprise if you consider their enduring charm and versatility. In temperate and sub-tropical climates they can be planted year-round, but show at their best in the cooler months. In areas with colder winters, they work glorious magic throughout the spring and summer. Extensive hybridization has resulted in an astonishing range of growth habits, sizes, petal shapes and colours. The plants may be compact or trailing, and whilst the standard varieties grow to 30cms tall, the dwarf hybrids reach only half that height. Petunias flower in every shade of red, pink, purple, mauve, blue, white and yellow. The blooms may be single or double, ruffled, frilled or fringed, mottled, striped and veined.

Prepare your beds in advance, loosening the earth thoroughly to ensure good drainage. Petunias need generous watering, but won't thrive in muddy, water-logged soil. To encourage growth, add lots of mature compost, and a gentle sprinkling of phosphate-rich fertilizer. They love warm, sunny positions, so are ideal in multi-layered flower-beds, and as colourful companions to pansy and alyssum in herbaceous borders, or sprawling rockeries. They add vibrant appeal to patio pots and hanging baskets, and make splendid walkway borders. Petunias harmonize charmingly with summer bulbs, and provide excellent contrast against the green foliage of shrubs and perennials. They have made themselves indispensable in the South African landscape, and no garden is complete without the addition of this lively, vivacious stunner.

Information Supplied by the Bedding Plant Growers Association. Contact Bronwen Tuck, chairperson 083 678 5907.