PETUNIA

These are perennials usually treated as half-hardy annuals in this country. Heights vary from g to 18 in. and both single and double flowered strains are available. (The double strains may produce a proportion of single blooms.) Petunias require a light, dry, rich soil and a sunny position. In wet summers and in even slight shade they are disappointing, tending to produce foliage at the expense of flowers. They are excellent for window boxes and make ideal pot plants in the greenhouse.

The colour range is very wide, although yellow and orange are so far absent. Here are some worth-while strains and named varieties. Silver Medal is salmon-cerise passing to rich salmon (1 ft.); Gipsy Ballerina is scarlet overlaid with salmon, about the same height and with a spreading habit. Blue Lustre reaches 1 ft. but with a spread of 20 in. The colour is a clear mid-blue and the blooms slightly waved. Comanche is a vivid brick-red to about 15 in. with good colour stability. Peach Satin, Pink Satin and Red Satin all have a dwarf, compact, bedding habit (about 10 in. tall), the last named being almost sunproof. The Ramona strain Super-Dwarfs only attain 6 in. with huge frilled and ruffled single blooms. They make first-rate pot plants. Pan-American All Double reach 15 in. and the percentage of double blooms is 100%, the seed being hand-pollinated.

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