Gardening Articles: Flowers :: Annuals

All About Petunias

by Peter Kopcinski


Petunias have always offered nonstop summer bloom, but now you're more likely to find a color, size, and growth habit to suit your garden needs. New, vigorous trailing types and miniature-flowered types have rekindled gardeners' interest.

Petunias are low-growing, bushy to spreading tender perennials usually grown as annuals. Their soft, thick leaves are slightly sticky to the touch. Trumpet-shaped flowers have a single set of plain-edged petals, or can be doubled, ruffled, or fringed and come in colors from light pink through dark red, and pale blue through deep purple. You'll also find white, cream, and even a new bright yellow. Many flowers have veins of accenting colors, or alternating stripes.

Plants grow in all climates, preferring the warmth of summer; most die at or just below freezing. Gardeners in mild-winter climates know petunias as winter annuals or even short-lived perennials.

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