Powerfully Prismatic Petunias

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Are petunias overused and ubiquitous in the landscape? No.  I’m a huge fan of petunias and at Rotary Botanical Gardens, we plant about 20,000 every year.  Their range of colors, durability, heat tolerance and applicability in a wide range of situations (bed, border, container, etc.) is noteworthy and they should always be under consideration for significant impact in the garden.  There are many excellent seed grown varieties and I can’t say that I’ve explored all of those options although we’ll  have about 30 seed grown varieties planted in the gardens each year.  However, the last five years has seen some unbelievable breeding efforts and developments in vegetative selections (seen above and below at the California Spring Trials last spring).  Ten years ago the idea of a black or orange petunia was wishful thinking…not any more.  The yellow petunias continue to improve and the lime/chartreuse is being explored nicely as a solid color or contributing edge color.  The range of solid colors is not only impressive, those that feature multiple colors (striped, streaked, “margined”, etc.) are quite entrancing as well although designing with them requires the consideration of all their “contributing hues”.  I took photos last year of over 250 varieties of relatively new petunia selections and am excited about what is currently available.  Seed grown varieties are more affordable either grown from seed or purchased as 4 packs or flats.  The “per plant” price is less than the vegetative selections that are offered in a small container at an average price of $3.50 per plant or so.  If you consider every petunia variety a paint color in your design palette, that palette continues to expand in an exciting way, allowing for a lot of fun in the full sun garden.  As consumers (of petunias!), we all have budgets but don’t neglect consideration of some of the unbelievable varieties that will be available this spring at your local garden center or other venues!

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Amore™ Queen of Hearts

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Amore™ Joy

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Amore™ Mio

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Amore™ Fiesta

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Boom Little Antique Pink

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Classic Blue Ray

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ColorWorks™ Blue Star

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ColorWorks™ Homare

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Crazytunia® Citrus Twist

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Crazytunia® Lucky Lilac

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Crazytunia® Stonewashed

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Glow™ Forest Fire

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Happy® Fire Red

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Happy Magic® Cremissimo

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Happy Magic® Giant Dijon

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Happy® Yellow Orange Stripes

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Moonstone Beach

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Perfuctunia™ Mandarin

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Potunia® Plus Papaya

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Sanguna® Lavender Vein

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Sanguna® Patio Blue Morn

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SUCCESS!® Pink Chiffon

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SUCCESS!® Pink Vein

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Supertunia® Daybreak Charm

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Supertunia® Pink Star Charm

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Surprise™ Lemon Frost

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Surprise™ Purple Ice

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Sweetunia® Miss Marvel

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Sweetunia® Pink Touch

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Sweetunia® Purple Touch

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TriTunia™ Blue Star

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Viva Glow Cappuccino

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Whispers™ Star Rose

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