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Petunias are failproof favorites for gardeners everywhere. They are vigorous growers and prolific bloomers from midspring through late fall. Color choices are nearly limitless, with some sporting beautiful veining and intriguing colors. Many varieties are sweetly fragrant (sniff blooms in the garden center to be sure.) Some also tout themselves as "weatherproof," which means that the flowers don't close up when water is splashed on them.
Wave petunias have made this plant even more popular. Reaching up to 4 feet long, it's great as a groundcover or when cascading from window boxes and pots. All petunias do best and grow more bushy and full if you pinch or cut them back by one- to two-thirds in midsummer.
Shown above: Merlin Blue Morn petunia
Part Sun, Sun
From 1 to 8 feet
1-4 feet wide, depending on type
how to grow Petunia
more varieties for Petunia
Cascadias Bicolor Purple petunia
(Petunia 'Cascadias Bicolor Purple') is a heavy-blooming variety bearing purple flowers with a white star in the center. It has a trailing habit.
Cascadias Cherry Spark petunia
(Petunia 'Cascadias Cherry Spark') is a floriferous selection with pink flowers veined in dark purple. It has a trailing habit, making it good for hanging baskets.
Cascadias Sunray petunia
(Petunia 'Cascadias Sunray') is a trailing petunia with medium-size soft yellow flowers veined in rich yellow.
Double Wave Blue Velvet petunia
(Wave Double Velvet Petunia) bears double, purple-blue flowers on vigorous plants that reach 6 inches tall and 2 feet wide.
Dreams Fuchsia petunia
(Petunia 'Dreams Fuchsia') is a large-flowering petunia bearing many bold fuchsia-pink flowers all summer. It grows 15 inches tall and 12 inches wide.
Easy Wave Blue petunia
(Easy Wave Blue Petunia) is a spreading petunia bearing tons of dark blue-purple flowers. It grows 12 inches tall and 40 inches wide.
Easy Wave Coral Reef petunia
(Easy Wave Coral Reef Petunia) is a spreading petunia with an abundance of dark coral-pink flowers. It grows 12 inches tall and 40 inches wide.
Easy Wave Mystic Pink petunia
(Easy Wave Mystic Pink Petunia) is a spreading selection that bears soft, creamy-pink flowers with a white center. It grows 12 inches tall and 40 inches wide.
Easy Wave Pink petunia
(Easy Wave Pink Petunia) is a spreading hybrid with bright pink flowers all summer long. It grows 12 inches tall and 40 inches wide.
Famous Lilac Picotee petunia
(Petunia 'Famous Lilac Picotee') is a vigorous variety with a semi-trailing habit and lilac-purple flowers edged in white. It grows 1 foot tall and 2 feet wide.
Fantasy Pink Morn petunia
(Petunia 'Fantasy Pink Morn') bears soft pink blooms with a white throat on compact plants that grow 1 foot tall and wide.
Madness Yellow petunia
(Petunia 'Madness Yellow') is a floriferous selection with clean yellow blooms, great branching, and season-long performance. It grows 15 inches tall and 18 inches wide.
Merlin Blue Morn petunia
(Petunia 'Merlin Blue Morn') offers rich purple flowers that have a glowing white center. This award-winning variety grows 18 inches tall and wide.
Merlin Rose petunia
(Petunia 'Merlin Rose') produces beautiful pink blooms with a white and yellow throat on plants that grow 1 foot tall and wide.
Opera Supreme Pink Morn petunia
(Petunia 'Opera Supreme Pink Morn') bears bright pink flowers with a soft white center. This award-winning variety grows 6 inches tall and 3 feet wide.
Orchid Daddy petunia
(Petunia 'Orchid Daddy') is an award-winning selection with 4-inch-wide lavender-pink blooms that bear darker veins. It grows to 1 foot tall and wide.
Picnic White petunia
(Petunia 'Picnic White') is a mini petunia with an abundance of small white flowers. It grows 1 foot tall and 2 feet wide.
Pirouette Rose double petunia
(Petunia 'Pirouette Rose') bears frilly, double, pink-and-white flowers on 1-foot plants. It's not as heat tolerant as many other petunia varieties.
Storm White petunia
(Petunia 'Storm White') bears big pure-white flowers all summer long. It holds up to heat well and grows 14 inches tall and 16 inches wide.
Supertunia Bermuda Beach petunia
(Supertunia Bermuda Beach Petunia) is an easy-growing selection that produces an exceptional number of salmon-coral blooms. It grows 10 inches tall and 24 inches across.
Supertunia Bordeaux petunia
(Supertunia Bordeaux Petunia) shows off soft pink flowers with rich purple-red veins. It's a vigorous plant that bears a lot of flowers and grows 10 inches tall and 4 feet across.
Supertunia Lavender Skies petunia
(Supertunia Lavender Skies Petunia) is a vigorous variety that covers itself in lovely lavender-blue flowers that seem to change color throughout the day. It grows 10 inches tall and 48 inches across.
Supertunia Mini Blue petunia
(Supertunia Mini Blue Petunia) graces gardens with small, dark blue-purple blooms. It grows 8 inches tall and can spread to 6 feet.
Supertunia Pretty Much Picasso petunia
(Supertunia Pretty Much Picasso Petunia) is a ground-breaking selection with purple flowers edged boldly in lime green. It grows 12 inches tall and 36 inches across.
Supertunia Royal Velvet petunia
(Supertunia Royal Velvet Petunia) displays an abundance of rich, blue-purple flowers all summer long. The vigorous selection grows 10 inches tall and 4 feet across.
Supertunia Citrus petunia
(Supertunia Citrus Petunia) is a vigorous selection with soft yellow flowers veined in rich yellow. It's good for hanging baskets and can trail to 1 foot.
Sweet Sunshine Compact Lime petunia
(Petunia 'Sweet Sunshine Compact Lime') is a delightful double-flowering petunia with chartreuse-yellow flowers all summer long. It grows 14 inches tall and wide.
Sweet Sunshine Compact Nostalgia petunia
(Petunia 'Sweet Sunshine Compact Nostalgia') shows off beautiful, double soft-pink flowers touched with creamy yellow on a 14-inch-mounding plant.
Vista Silverberry petunia
(Vista Silverberry Petunia) offers silvery pink flowers on vigorous, long-blooming plants that grow 2 feet tall and wide.
Wave Blue petunia
(Wave Blue Petunia) liberally splashes bright purple-blue color through the garden, growing rapidly to 4 feet and blooming profusely all season.
Wave Misty Lilac petunia
(Wave Misty Lilac Petunia) shows off silvery, soft-lilac flowers on a plant that grows 6 inches tall and 48 inches wide.
Wave Purple petunia
(Wave Purple Petunia) is an award-winning selection with magenta flowers on 4-inch-tall plants that can spread 4 feet wide.
(Petunia integrifolia) is native to areas of Mexico and bears magenta flowers all summer long. It scrambles to 2 feet and often self seeds.
plant Petunia with
Sweet alyssum, with its dainty, fragrant flowers, is often used in containers and hanging baskets to spill over the edges, creating a soft, frothy look. It's also a great edging plant because of its tidy, compact habit. Regardless of how you use it, sweet alyssum does best in spring and fall's cool conditions (or use it for winter color in very warm climates).In cool-summer conditions, such as the northern third of the United States, sweet alyssum will bloom steadily through the summer. It halts bloom in summer in warmer areas.
Even without its fabulous scent, heliotrope would be widely grown in the garden. It has a distinctive scent -- some say it smells like cherry pie; others say a grape Popsicle. Still others say it's reminiscent of vanilla. Regardless, it is undeniably one of the most intriguingly scented plants in the garden. As a bonus, this tropical plant, grown as an annual, bears big clusters of rich purple, blue, or white flowers.Heliotrope thrives in a spot with full sun and moist, well-drained soil. It's a great container plant -- try it in a window box or next to a doorway where you can enjoy it frequently. For the strongest scent, group several plants together where they can get afternoon sun. That warming sun releases the fragrance.
There are few gardens that don't have at least one salvia growing in them. Whether you have sun or shade, a dry garden or lots of rainfall, there's an annual salvia that you'll find indispensable. All attract hummingbirds, especially the red ones, and are great picks for hot, dry sites where you want tons of color all season. Most salvias don't like cool weather, so plant them outdoors after all danger of frost has passed.