Petunias are tender perennials that are widely grown as annual bedding plants in temperate regions. During the growing season, bed and container plantings overflowing with petunias are seen in public and private landscapes and gardens. Petunias are colourful, easy-to-grow bloomers available in nurseries and home centres early in the season. Their popularity and reliability ensure the continuous development of improved varieties by breeders. Several exciting new introductions expand the choice range for gardeners.
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Suncatcher and Sun Spun Petunias
Ball Horticulture introduces Pink Lemonade as an addition to the Suncatcher series for 2012. This trailing, large -flowered petunia produces an abundance of two-toned pink flowers from early in the season on a plant 8 to 12 inches tall and wide. Ball's Sun Spun series recently added Sun Spun Lavender, earning Excellent ratings from Colorado State University, University of Wisconsin and Kansas State University in 2010. Sun Spun Blue is a newer, early-flowering, low-maintenance variety displaying season-long, nonfading blue petunias on mounded plants.
Proven Winners developed the Supertunia Series of petunias. An abundance of scented flowers on trailing plants is produced over a long season. The 2012 introduction White Russian has petals in antique white with dark, chocolate-coloured veins and a dark eye. White Russian spreads 2 feet wide. Trials sponsored by Kansas State University found Supertunia Vista Bubblegum to be a superior plant with a wide spread. Crowded together, the pink-flowering plants pile as high as 3 feet atop one another. The Supertunia Series includes past introductions in shades of pink, cream, white, yellow, purple and variegated, including single and double flower forms.
Dümmen has introduced a black-flowering variety called Blackjack for 2012. The Sweetunia series petunias have small flowers on mounding, trailing plants. Dark-flowering Bordeaux and Mystic are also part of the series.
Shock Wave Petunias
Pan American Seed has added Coral Crush and Red to their Shock Wave series of petunias. Coral Crush mounds and spreads to 7 inches high and up to 3 feet wide. It is a bright coral, small-flowered plant with an early-flowering habit and a profusion of petunias over a long season. Plants in the Shock Wave series rebound readily from rain and sprinkler watering, continuing to appear fresh and perky. Red has deep red flowers with like qualities and growth habit.
Fides North America produces the Fortunia series, with mounding habits and long-season blooms in addition to heat-tolerance. New introductions include Silver Vein with off-white petals and a striking purple veining pattern, and Purple Heart with dark-purple centres in violet flowers.
Green Fuse Introductions
The company Green Fuse Botanicals is introducing a new Green Fuse series of petunia plants called Good and Plenty. Blue, Purple, Red, White, Yellow, and Rose are named for their colours. Good and Plenty plants have a mounding habit with some trailing. In the Green Fuse Blanket series, the new Midnight Velvet is a deep, rich purple.
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- Kansas Healthy Yards and Communities: New Petunia Varieties
- Greenhouse Grower; 2012 Petunia Planning; May 24, 2011
- Ball Horticulture: New Varieties page 7
- Pan American Seed: Shock Wave Coral Crush Spreading Petunia
- Greenhouse Grower; Producing Fortunia Petunia; October 12, 2010
- Green Fuse Botanicals: New Varieties