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Petunia Petunia x hybrida

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
peh-TEWN-ya BY HYE-brid-ah
Description

Garden Petunia is an annual in the nightshade family that blooms continuously throughout the summer until frost and is one of the most popular bedding plants.  Seeds can be sown in January-March under glass as they require a germination temperature of 72-75 degrees but many people purchase plants in six-packs from local nurseries.  Pinching purchased plants back before transplanting them will help them maintain a bushy habit.  

Plant in full sun to partial shade and light and well-drained soils. While it can survive in heavy shade, the blooms will suffer. Deadheading provides optimal performance and increased flower bud production.  Leggy plants should be pinched back.  Plants may be overwintered indoors in a bright location away from heated air.

This plant has moderate drought tolerance, is seldom damaged by deer and does excellent as a bedding plant and in containers.  It can tolerate poor soils as long as they have good drainage.  Plant in beds and border fronts, along edges, in containers, or hanging baskets, window boxes, or in interior sun rooms in the winter.

The major groupings of hybrid petunias are:

Cascading hybrids- Cascading stems best for hanging baskets or ground covers

Grandiflora hybrids- Large showy flowers up to 4” wide

Multiflora hybrids- Smaller flowers 2" wide but more abundant than Grandiflora

 

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Aphids, flea beetles, slugs, and snails are insect problems.  Root rot, gray mold, and tobacco mosaic virus are disease problems.  

Quick ID Hints:

  • Funnelform flowers
  • Anthers yellow
  • Decumbent herb with sticky pubescence

VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Annuals, Perennials, Vines, and Groundcovers" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.   

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscapes:
Container Garden Pots on Hardscape Round Garden Bed Container Garden Pots on Hardscape Davidson County Demo Garden Deck Garden
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Avalanche Lavender'
  • 'Avalanche Lilac'
  • 'Black Velvet'
  • 'Blue Ice'
  • 'Blue Wave'
  • 'Bubblegum'
  • 'Debonaire Black Cherry'
  • 'Dream Pink'
  • 'Dreams Salmon'
  • 'Eagle Pastel Pink'
  • 'Eagle Pink'
  • 'Easy Wave Red Improved'
  • 'Fant'
  • 'Flash Mob Redtastic'
  • 'Lagender Skies'
  • 'Opera Supreme Pink Morn'
  • 'Phantom'
  • 'Picnic Light Pink'
  • 'Picnic Purple'
  • 'Pink Charm'
  • 'Sanguna Lavender Vein'
  • 'Shockwave Coral Crush'
  • 'Shockwave Deep Purple'
  • 'Shock Wave Denim'
  • 'SUM Indigo Charm'
  • 'Supercal Neon Rose'
  • 'Supertunia Indigo Charm'
  • 'Supertunia Orchid Charm'
  • 'Supertunia Pink Charm'
  • 'Supertunia Pretty Much Picasso'
  • 'Supertunia Raspberry Blast'
  • 'Supertunia Sangria Charm'
  • 'Supertunia Vista Bubblegum'
  • 'Supertunia Vista Lavender'
  • 'Supertunia Vista Silverberry'
  • 'Supertunia White'
  • 'Sweetunia Black Satin'
  • 'Trilogy Blue'
  • 'Vista Fuschia'
  • 'Wave Purple Classic'
  • 'Whispers Lavender Eye'
  • 'Whispers Star Rose'
'Avalanche Lavender', 'Avalanche Lilac', 'Black Velvet', 'Blue Ice', 'Blue Wave', 'Bubblegum', 'Debonaire Black Cherry', 'Dream Pink', 'Dreams Salmon', 'Eagle Pastel Pink', 'Eagle Pink', 'Easy Wave Red Improved', 'Fant', 'Flash Mob Redtastic', 'Lagender Skies', 'Opera Supreme Pink Morn', 'Phantom', 'Picnic Light Pink', 'Picnic Purple', 'Pink Charm', 'Sanguna Lavender Vein', 'Shockwave Coral Crush', 'Shockwave Deep Purple', 'Shock Wave Denim', 'SUM Indigo Charm', 'Supercal Neon Rose', 'Supertunia Indigo Charm', 'Supertunia Orchid Charm', 'Supertunia Pink Charm', 'Supertunia Pretty Much Picasso', 'Supertunia Raspberry Blast', 'Supertunia Sangria Charm', 'Supertunia Vista Bubblegum', 'Supertunia Vista Lavender', 'Supertunia Vista Silverberry', 'Supertunia White', 'Sweetunia Black Satin', 'Trilogy Blue', 'Vista Fuschia', 'Wave Purple Classic', 'Whispers Lavender Eye', 'Whispers Star Rose'
Tags:
#purple#hummingbirds#red#white#sun#showy flowers#yellow#partial shade#fragrant flowers#annual#drought tolerant#container plant#easy to grow#wildlife plant#fragrant leaves#nectar plant#interiorscape#apvg#hanging baskets#window boxes#cpp#bedding plant#edging#summer flowers#deer resistant#house plant#long bloom time#borders#hairy leaves#spring interest#pollinator plant#fantz#mid-summer flowers#poor soils tolerant#early summer flowers#late summer flowers#butterfly friendly#early fall flowers#apvg-a#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#stormwater demo garden orange co
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Avalanche Lavender'
  • 'Avalanche Lilac'
  • 'Black Velvet'
  • 'Blue Ice'
  • 'Blue Wave'
  • 'Bubblegum'
  • 'Debonaire Black Cherry'
  • 'Dream Pink'
  • 'Dreams Salmon'
  • 'Eagle Pastel Pink'
  • 'Eagle Pink'
  • 'Easy Wave Red Improved'
  • 'Fant'
  • 'Flash Mob Redtastic'
  • 'Lagender Skies'
  • 'Opera Supreme Pink Morn'
  • 'Phantom'
  • 'Picnic Light Pink'
  • 'Picnic Purple'
  • 'Pink Charm'
  • 'Sanguna Lavender Vein'
  • 'Shockwave Coral Crush'
  • 'Shockwave Deep Purple'
  • 'Shock Wave Denim'
  • 'SUM Indigo Charm'
  • 'Supercal Neon Rose'
  • 'Supertunia Indigo Charm'
  • 'Supertunia Orchid Charm'
  • 'Supertunia Pink Charm'
  • 'Supertunia Pretty Much Picasso'
  • 'Supertunia Raspberry Blast'
  • 'Supertunia Sangria Charm'
  • 'Supertunia Vista Bubblegum'
  • 'Supertunia Vista Lavender'
  • 'Supertunia Vista Silverberry'
  • 'Supertunia White'
  • 'Sweetunia Black Satin'
  • 'Trilogy Blue'
  • 'Vista Fuschia'
  • 'Wave Purple Classic'
  • 'Whispers Lavender Eye'
  • 'Whispers Star Rose'
'Avalanche Lavender', 'Avalanche Lilac', 'Black Velvet', 'Blue Ice', 'Blue Wave', 'Bubblegum', 'Debonaire Black Cherry', 'Dream Pink', 'Dreams Salmon', 'Eagle Pastel Pink', 'Eagle Pink', 'Easy Wave Red Improved', 'Fant', 'Flash Mob Redtastic', 'Lagender Skies', 'Opera Supreme Pink Morn', 'Phantom', 'Picnic Light Pink', 'Picnic Purple', 'Pink Charm', 'Sanguna Lavender Vein', 'Shockwave Coral Crush', 'Shockwave Deep Purple', 'Shock Wave Denim', 'SUM Indigo Charm', 'Supercal Neon Rose', 'Supertunia Indigo Charm', 'Supertunia Orchid Charm', 'Supertunia Pink Charm', 'Supertunia Pretty Much Picasso', 'Supertunia Raspberry Blast', 'Supertunia Sangria Charm', 'Supertunia Vista Bubblegum', 'Supertunia Vista Lavender', 'Supertunia Vista Silverberry', 'Supertunia White', 'Sweetunia Black Satin', 'Trilogy Blue', 'Vista Fuschia', 'Wave Purple Classic', 'Whispers Lavender Eye', 'Whispers Star Rose'
Tags:
#purple#hummingbirds#red#white#sun#showy flowers#yellow#partial shade#fragrant flowers#annual#drought tolerant#container plant#easy to grow#wildlife plant#fragrant leaves#nectar plant#interiorscape#apvg#hanging baskets#window boxes#cpp#bedding plant#edging#summer flowers#deer resistant#house plant#long bloom time#borders#hairy leaves#spring interest#pollinator plant#fantz#mid-summer flowers#poor soils tolerant#early summer flowers#late summer flowers#butterfly friendly#early fall flowers#apvg-a#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#stormwater demo garden orange co
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Petunia
    Family:
    Solanaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Wildlife Value:
    Flowers provide nectar for hummingbirds and butterflies.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 6 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Ground Cover
    Houseplant
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Horizontal
    Rounded
    Spreading
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    10b, 10a, 11b, 11a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Orange
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Variegated
    White
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Long Bloom Season
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Funnel
    Flower Description:
    Fragrant funnel-shaped flowers come in all colors including variegated except brown and black and can be single or doubles. They are solitary flowers in upper leaf axils and pedicillate. Calyx is cylindric, 5-lobed, and lobes are about 1/3 of the length. Corolla is funnelform, single to double, anthrocyanin-pigmented, and rarely striped. Anthers are yellow.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Soft
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Description:
    Fragrant leaves are simple, sessile, alternate to sub-opposite above, ovate, and pubescent.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Stems are decumbent, viscid-pubescent, spreading lateral and creeping from underground stem forming an irregular carpet over the ground, upturning terminally. Lateral stems are sub erect.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Hanging Baskets
    Houseplants
    Patio
    Pool/Hardscape
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Poor Soil