Growing Petunias: Tips at a Glance
Petunias are colorful annual flowers that will bloom prolifically throughout the summer in a sunny spot (at least 5 to 6 hours of full sun) if you pinch back the growing tip to encourage a bushier plant.
- Type Herbaceous flower
- Lifespan Annual
- USDA Zones All
- Sun 5+ hours
- Soil Wel-drained
- When to Plant After last frost
- Companions Begonias, alyssum
- Design Tip Window boxes
- Peak Season All summer
Petunias: A Field Guide
Discovered in warm climates by 18th-century plant collectors who brought them home to colder regions in Europe and the United States, petunias have been popular annual flowers ever since.
Petunias’ profuse blooms in a wide range of colors (thanks to centuries of hybridization) and long season of flowering make useful in sunny garden beds and as container plants. Pinch back spent blooms to encourage more flowers.
With 20 species (the most widely sold of which are varieties of Petunia x atkinsiana), petunias bloom in colors ranging from white to shades of pink, purple, red yellow, and even black. “Flowers are frequently striped, speckled, edged in a contrasting color (such as white or even chartreuse) or have centers that are round or star-shaped in hues either lighter or darker than the rest of the flower,” writes our contributor Jeanne Rostaing. “To further boggle the mind, there are double blooms that look like miniature peonies and fancy varieties with dainty ruffled edges.”