As part of the “Spring into Summer in the Garden” campaign, the HTA is promoting petunias, which come in a variety of blooms including single and double, ruffled or smooth petals. They can be striped, veined or solid in colour, with mounding or cascading habits. Most Petunias flowers have a wonderful delicate perfume. Petunias flower for months through summer especially in warm, dry weather.
Spreading type petunias which include the ‘Surfinia’ series are some of the most popular petunias because they do not need dead heading and they can be used as bedding plants, groundcovers or trailing in containers and hanging baskets. The two oldest types of petunias are grandifloras and multifloras. Both types are mounding in their habit of growth, grandiflora has larger flowers whilst the multifloras perform better in wet conditions. Calibrachoa or ‘Million Bells’ look like tiny petunias but are in fact an entirely different species.
Petunias come in all shapes and sizes from bushy small flowering types to large flowering trailing types so can be used in most situations. They can be grown in blocks, or mixed with other bedding plants to produce a vibrant range of colour and flower shapes. They need full sun and can tolerate a wide range of soils. They are not frost tolerant, so only put them out once all danger of frost has passed.
Nominated and agreed upon by British growers and retailers, the HTA’s Plant of the Month campaign highlights the plants that are widely available and looking especially good each month.
For more details about Plant of the Month, please visit www.the-hta.org.uk/plantofthemonth2013