Many of you know that I am a big fan of the Wave line of petunias.
I have praised them enthusiastically ever since they first arrived on the market. The Waves were the first heat tolerant, vigorous petunias available that stood up to our local summer heat and kept blooming from spring to fall.
Since then, other lines of heat-soaking petunias have come on the market, rivaling my affection for the Waves. Every year I like to check out what’s new in the world of petunias, especially my beloved Wave petunias.
We can celebrate that there is now a great yellow-flowered addition to the Easy Wave series. The Easy Wave Yellow has a tidy mounded and spreading growth habit, growing up to 12 inches tall and 40 inches wide.
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The Easy Waves have more controlled growth than the other series in the Wave family, making Easy Wave Yellow good for mixes in containers or alone in planters and hanging baskets.
Three other relative newcomers are Easy Wave Red Velour, Burgundy and Berry with velvety rich deep red, burgundy purple and lighter red flowers, respectively.
A few years after Wave petunias first became available, the Supertunias from Proven Winners (PW) arrived.
Supertunias are trailing petunias that originated in Australia. They also stand up well to summer weather, blooming profusely all season, but they are less aggressive than the earlier Wave series and do not tend to overwhelm other flowers in container gardens and hanging baskets.
Supertunias from Proven Winners (PW) are trailing petunias that originated in Australia. They also stand up well to summer weather, blooming profusely all season, but they are less aggressive than the earlier Wave series and do not tend to overwhelm other flowers in container gardens and hanging baskets.
They are also less likely to become leggy later in the season. Unlike Wave petunias that are propagated from seed, Supertunias are only propagated from cuttings. Along with being heat tolerant and weather resistant, they have diverse and delightfully unique flower colors.
The Supertunia being introduced by PW this year is Picasso in Purple, with distinctive star-shaped blooms in bright magenta with chartreuse green tips.
Like other Supertunias, it is tolerant of summer heat. It is more densely branched and has a more mounded habit than Pretty Much Picasso that was introduced several years ago. Mix Picasso in Purple with one of the chartreuse-leaved sweet potatoes and you will have an eye-catching combination.
While not new this year, the Supertunia Vista Bubblegum has been named the 2017 annual of the year. As you can deduce, the flowers of this heat and drought tolerant petunia are bubblegum pink.
The vigorous plants have a mounded trailing habit, growing up to 2 feet tall and 4 feet long. This vigorous Supertunia works best in large containers or in garden beds where they will provide an explosion of pink. If the plants become leggy in mid-summer, trim them back a bit.
Yet another wind, rain, and heat tolerant petunia is Surfinia, trademarked by Suntory.
They also are only propagated from cuttings. They generally reach a height of 5 to 7 inches and length of 4 feet. With their trailing habit they work well in hanging baskets and are the top selling petunias in Europe.
Surfinia Heartbeat is a unique new Surfinia available this year and being marketed by PW.
Heartbeat has a compact mounded habit, growing up to 12 inches tall and 18 inches wide. What is unique about Heartbeat is the novel white flowers featuring a pattern of five soft pink hearts.
I have not had as much luck with Surfinias as I have with Wave petunias and Supertunias, but I might just have give this adorable variety a try. Now it is time to go shopping to find these and other exciting new petunias for my container gardeners.
Marianne C. Ophardt is a retired horticulturist for Washington State University Benton County Extension.