Petunias originated in Argentina and the surrounding region. They get their name from a word the French borrowed – ‘petun’– meaning tobacco.
The common garden Petunia, Petunia x hybrida is a result of crosses between Petunia axillaris, Petunia inflata and Petunia violaceae all of which are native to South America. Petunias are closely related to tobacco, tomatoes and potatoes and come from the Solanaceae family. There are approximately 35 species in this genus, two of the oldest types being Grandifloras, which have large flowers, and Multifloras, which hold up better in the rain.
There are many hybrid varieties on the market with ruffled or smooth petals, striped and veined in a variety of colours. This hardy annual grows from seeds and is a prolific bloomer. Petunias look attractive in window boxes, hanging baskets and pots and can be planted along edges and borders.
Set seeds in Pro Mix using same method as with Marigolds which was outlined last week. You can also buy small plants from nurseries. Petunias like well-drained soil but like to be moist. They grow best in full sun. Fertilize with Miracle Gro Plant Food every 7-14 days.
Petunia flowers looks like small trumpets and have a mild scent like cinnamon. They are attractive to humming birds and butterflies.
In the UK and the USA petunias can be seen everywhere in parks, gardens and walkways looking like a carpet. Window boxes, borders and edges are neatly planted in a rainbow of colours along with hanging baskets on either sides of doorways. It is amazing how people take care of their flowers and plants. It is a sight to behold!
Until next week, happy gardening!