I haven’t grown petunias for years.
Back in the 60’s and 70’s, I grew a lot of them, usually starting from seeds. I grew multiflora and grandiflora varieties, singles and doubles. They were such an easy plant to grow.
Then in 1989 the Wave petunias were introduced. These plants are short (6″) but they spread into huge sheets of color, sometimes reaching up to five feet across. They were, and still are, a great plant to grow.
But in time I lost my love of petunias.
One reason is that rabbits really love petunias. As the rabbit population increased, growing petunias got harder and harder.
The other reason is that garden centers and seed catalogs started to offer so many new and interesting flowers to grow that were never available decades ago. I found myself getting tired of petunias in the same way that I’ve gotten tired of geraniums. They’re so 20th century – flowers that your grandmother grew!
That is until this year.
I found a new variety of petunia that caught my eye. It’s called “Night Sky” and it’s something I’ve never seen before. The purple blooms are spotted with white and each one is different with a unique pattern.
I’m growing it in a tall container so that the rabbits can’t reach it. It’s tucked in with calibrachoa, lemon grass and a marigold. I’ll be watching to see how it grows and holds up during the summer.
But for now, I like it. It’s a petunia, but it’s certainly not your grandmother’s petunia.
I’ve heard from one reader who found that their Night Sky petunia was getting more white with time. I’ve noticed that the one I have is getting more purple. So what’s up with that?!
I found a video from the company that developed this petunia and it appears that temperature affects the flowers. Warm days and cool nights will bring about more white in the flowers while warm days and warm night will make the flowers more purple. Also there are some growth regulators that grower use to being about the “perfect” mix of white and purple. That’s why the plants have a great mixture of white and purple for a time. Once the growth regulators wear off, then the temperature will determine the combination of colors.
I’ll keep watching this plant to see what it does during the growing season. Even with the changes in color, it still seems to be a good petunia.