Brand new petunias available to gardeners

Rob Zimmer

For many gardeners in our area, it’s all about the petunias. Colorful, splashy and long lasting, petunias are a favorite — and for good reason.

As happens every year, plant breeders and growers are introducing a variety of brand new petunias to whet the appetites of eager gardeners. There are new petunia varieties available in many colors and patterns, as well as improved varieties that are said to be stronger and longer lasting than their original namesakes.

Petunias have become further divided into other categories over the years. There are supertunias. There are crazytunias. And still more. Even the million bells or superbells are basically petunias that have been dwarfed in size.

Some varieties of petunias are bred to trail or cascade, perfect for containers and hanging baskets. Others, such as the tidal wave series, are bred to mound into fantastic, rounded masses of bloom.

The “sky” series of petunias, now available from multiple growers, features a field of stars or speckles over a solid, deeper color. The classic night sky is a deep, rich purple with white spots and speckles. New varieties are available in magenta, red, pink and powder blue.

There are many classic petunias that many gardeners traditionally go after year after year. Pinwheel varieties are wonderful heirloom selections.

Many gardeners enjoy creating a classic patriotic garden using petunias in stunning red, sparkling white and rich blue.

Trailing and mounding petunias, supertunias and crazytunias all make excellent choices for container plantings, as well as garden beds and borders. Mix and match with other colorful annuals for full sun, and enjoy stunning container creations all season long.

Petunias work wonderfully as trailers or fillers in hanging baskets and porch and patio pots. Tidal wave petunias, in particular, make breathtaking displays, with many growing 3 to 4 feet high and wide when given space. This makes them an excellent choice for tall containers, as well as large porch and patio pots.

Tidal wave petunias also make excellent bedding plants, but be sure to give them plenty of room to reach their full potential.

Spring gardening season has arrived, and it’s looking pretty as a petunia.

Rob Zimmer is a nature and garden author, public speaker and radio show host on WHBY. Readers can find him on Facebook at