Petunias double up on flowering efforts

By: 
Rob Zimmer
Columnist

With hundreds of varieties of petunias to choose from as you visit different garden centers throughout the area, some of my favorites are still the old-fashioned, heirloom double-blooming petunias.

These are the types of petunias that my grandma used to grow, filling containers and hanging baskets with their beautiful, rose-like blossoms. She always loved these more than the single blooming petunias, as they provided a lusher look and more exotic appearance. They elevate petunia gardening to the next level.

In addition to the many longtime favorite double-blooming petunias, plant growers and hybridizers continue to develop new varieties in splashier patterns and colors to attract a new generation of gardeners.

A number of the newest introductions of double-flowering petunias are continuously transforming in color throughout the season. These are often called chameleon petunias as they literally can change color day by day.

Whether planted in the ground, in hanging baskets or in containers, double-blooming petunias are a wonderful and rich addition to designer, elegant combinations.

Like regular petunias, there are those that mound, those that trail and those that climb. This makes double-blooming petunias especially versatile when creating plantings, either in the ground or in containers.

Even the increasingly popular “sky“ series of speckled petunias now features a few new varieties that bloom in double form.

Petunias in blue are always popular, and there are several double-blooming blue varieties available to choose from. These come in shades of dark blue or light blue. Old-fashioned, heirloom pinwheel petunias are also available in several colors as doubles.

The beautiful, layered, rose-like blossoms work beautifully in combination with other classic summer annuals such as verbena, super bells, lantana, lobelia, New Guinea impatiens, coleus, begonias, sweet potato vine and others.

Create theme containers and hanging baskets by using petunias and other annuals in your favorite color schemes or patterns.

The traditional world of double-flowering petunias, classics for decades, are making a strong comeback as gardeners seek out and discover these beautiful, timeless treasures.

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