©2006 Publications International, Ltd. The petunia is a See more pictures of annual flowers.

Petunia is an annual flower that has captivated breeders with its funnel-shaped flowers with crisped, curled, waved, and doubled variations. The run of color goes from pink through red, lavender, purple, peach, white, cream, and even yellow.

Description: Garden petunias are divided into two types: multifloras and grandifloras. Each has single and double forms, with grandiflora petunias being larger (though new hybrids have blurred this distinction). Singles are more weatherproof than doubles.


How to grow: Well-drained soil in full sun suits petunias best. They grow well in cool temperatures and will stand a few degrees of frost if plants are well-hardened before planting. Space petunias 12 inches apart. To promote more branching and increased bloom, shear plants back halfway in midsummer.

Propagation: Start seeds indoors 10 to 12 weeks prior to planting outdoors. Seeds germinate in 10 to 12 days at 70 degrees to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Uses: Beds, borders, walkways, paths, containers -- all will accommodate an abundance of petunias. Some varieties are especially recommended for containers, since they mound up and billow over the edges.

Scientific name: Petunia x hybrida

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