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Vining Petunia

Vining petunias were created by interbreeding old-fashioned ground-hugging petunias with wild South American petunias. They are high-performance forms of vining petunias and represent a whole new look in annuals.

Description of vining petunias: Wave Series of petunias can spread to 3 or 4 feet wide while reaching only 6 inches tall. Their vining stems are covered with 2- to 3-inch flowers that emerge from top to bottom. Calibracoa petunias, developed using a close relative of the petunia, bear hundreds of small flowers on 2-foot-long stems. Surfinia hybrid petunias, popular in European window boxes, can grow to 4 feet long in containers or to 2 or 3 feet long and 12 to 15 inches high when grown as a garden ground cover.

How to grow vining petunias: Provide full sun and well-drained, average to fertile soil. Wave petunias are little troubled with diseases caused by wet weather and tolerate heat well. They do not need cutting back and actually perform better without it. Calibracoa and Surfinia petunias thrive if fertilized regularly with a nitrogen-rich product to encourage continued growth and flowering. The Million Bells Series of Calibracoa petunias are self-cleaning and do not need deadheading.

Propagating vining petunias: By seed. Start seeds indoors 10 to 12 weeks prior to planting outdoors. Seeds are very fine and can be more evenly sown by mixing thoroughly with a pinch of sand. So not cover the seeds as they need light to germinate. Seeds germinate in 10 to 12 days at 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Calibracoa, Supertunia, and Surfinia petunias are patented plants and unauthorized propagation of them is illegal.

Uses for vining petunias: Vining petunias are ideal for hanging baskets or window boxes, which can even be used to drape down and hide unsightly plumbing or other eyesores. They, along with the Wave Series, also are great ground covers, and can creep across the front of any sunny bed or around the bases of perennials, roses, and even taller annuals.

Vining petunias related varieties: The Supertunia Series, an introduction from Australia, includes nine different colors on plants that grow to 3 feet long in just 6 weeks. Popular Surfinias come in many variations of blue, purple, pink, and white. Million Bells Calibracoa come in 'Trailing Blue,' purple-blue with yellow center; 'Trailing Pink,' lavender-pink with a yellow center; and 'Cherry Pink,' hot-pink with a yellow center. The Wave Series includes 'Purple Wave,' 'Pink Wave,' 'Rose Wave,' and 'Misty Lilac Wave.'

Scientific name for: Petunia spp.

Want more gardening information? Try:

  • Annual Flowers: Learn more about annuals and their glorious, must-have summer colors.
  • Annuals: Find out how annuals can enhance your garden.
  • Perennial Flowers: Find out more about how to grow and care for perennial flowers, which come in all thinkable shapes, sizes and colors.
  • Gardening: Read our helpful articles and get tips and ideas for your garden.