Hybrids of this group of half-and are almost always grown as annuals for their colourful and showy . There are two main types: multiflora and grandiflora.
Suitable site and soil. Plant in a sunny, shelteredin fertile yet light, well-drained soil. If grown in , plant in John Innes No.l in 13cm – 5in pots. Alternatively put in tubs, hanging baskets and window-box displays.
Cultivation and care. Plant out in late spring or early summer after they have been hardened off. Dead-head regularly to prolong flowering.
Propagation. Grow fromsown under glass in early – mid spring at a temperature of 15°C – 59°F.
Recommended varieties. There is a large range of both types of petunia to choose from and all bear flowers profusely from early summer until stopped by a hard frost in autumn. Perhaps the best bedding plants are multiflora Fl hybrids sold in single and mixed colours; the ‘Resisto’ range is a good choice. Multiflora plants tend to be more weather resistant than the grandiflora type and have profuse blooms 5cm – 2in across. Grandillora Fl hybrids also give good displays in a bed or in a hanging basket or tub, producing larger blooms up to 13cm – 5in across; the ‘Daddy’ series is popular.
Pests and diseases. Watch out foron growing plants and also for symptoms of viral diseases and cucumber mosaic virus.
There is almost nothing to beat a window box of petunias, in shades of pink, purple, red, white, blue or yellow; the flowers can be frilled, plain, striped and bordered. Plant 23cm – 9in apart for best results.