(Petunia x hybrida) Petunia is a cold-sensitive tender perennial (hardy in USDA zones 9-11) that is grown in most regions as an annual. It is an excellent container or bedding flower. Petunias as we know them today are descended from two different varieties native to South America. These small-flowered varieties were brought to Europe in the 1800s, where cross breeding and experimenting began. The two were crossed in a natural manner and have been stabilized, making these antique garden petunias a true heirloom, despite the 'x hybrida' in the Latin name. Petunias are from the family Solanaceae, meaning they are related to tomatoes, potatoes and tobacco. The name petunia was given to the flower by French botanists, from the Indigenous South American word 'petun,' meaning tobacco! Our old-fashioned petunias tend to bloom longer and are more fragrant than modern varieties. Plant the tiny seed indoors about 10-12 weeks before your last frost date then transplant outside into a full sun location. Surface sow seeds and just gently press into the soil, as light aids germination. Seeds germinate in 7-14 days. Ideal germination temperature is 80F. Petunias require full sun and rich, well-drained soil. Plants are very heat loving and quite drought tolerant, although consistent moisture (water once a week) is preferable. Space plants 12 inches apart.
A dazzling petunia with diminutive purple blooms that look like a cluster of stars! This unique petunia is semi trailing, reaching about 14 inches wide and 12 inches high. When the British seed company Thompson and Morgan was sent a sample of a white petunia with unusually small sized flowers, it spent 10 years selecting and perfecting this variety from that original seed stock, releasing this eye-catching mix! The variety has received the prestigious Fleuroselect Novelty award and is a perfect fix for the flower bed, containers and any other spot needing a cheer up!
The blooms of this mammoth petunia reach up to 6 inches across! With dramatic deep-veined throats, the petals look like crushed velvet. The Superbissima giant petunia is believed to have been developed in Erfurt, Germany, in 1872. The D.M Ferry seed catalog mentioned it in 1881, and by the late 1880s it was widely available through the many U.S. seed catalogs of the time, from Burpee’s to Vaughan’s. These stunning giant petunias were considered a special offering and sold for an astronomical 35 cents per pack in the late 19th century--about $10 by today’s standards. We were delighted to trial this old favorite. When the blooms opened, it became clear why Superbissima petunia was once such a celebrated garden superstar.