Pretty petunias are one of the most popular flowers because of their exceptional blooms and long flowering period. As with most annuals, they get leggy by midsummer, so you’ll want to prune the shoots back to about half their length. See how to plant and take care of your petunias to keep them blooming.
Petunias are treated as annuals in most areas, but can be grown as tender perennials in Zones 9 to 11. The flowers come in many colors and patterns, and bloom from spring until frost!
These colorful annuals can really add pop to a front lawn and are often used in borders, containers, hanging baskets or even as a seasonal groundcover. Some even have a slight fragrance.
Height can vary from 6 inches to 18 inches. Spread can be from 18 inches to 4 feet.
Petunias are divided into different groups, mainly based on flower size:
- Multiflora petunias are the most durable and prolific. They have smaller but more abundant flowers and are ideal for summer bedding or in a mixed border (because they are more tolerant to wet weather).
- Grandiflora petunias have very large flowers and are best grown in containers or hanging baskets (because they are more susceptible to rain damage). These large petunias often do not fare as well in the south because they’re prone to rot during humid, hot summers.
- Floribundas: Floribundas are intermediate between the grandiflora and the multiflora groups. They are free-flowering like the multiflora varieties and produce medium-sized blooms.
- Millifloras: Milliflora petunias are much smaller than any other petunias on the market. The flowers are only 1 to 1½ inches wide, but they are prolific and last all season!
- Spreading or Trailing Petunias: These are low-growing and can spread as much as 3 to 4 feet. They form a beautiful, colorful groundcover because the flowers form along the entire length of each stem. They can be used in window boxes or hanging baskets.