Night Sky – Not Your Grandmother’s Petunia

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!

Night Sky Petunia

Night Sky Petunia

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.

night sky 2I’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.

UPDATE 7/5/2016

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.

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5 responses to “Night Sky – Not Your Grandmother’s Petunia

  1. Stephannie Costello

    I am growing these petunias as well but mine have turned to mostly all white. I am trying to find out what to do to get them to be purple and spotted again. If you have any advice let me know. Is is temperature, amount of sunlight, pH????

    • Interesting – I’ve noticed that mine are losing the white spots and are getting more and more solid purple! I don’t know what it is since this is the first time I’ve grown them. I’m going to be watching and seeing what might make a difference.

    • Just did a search online and found out the warm days and cool nights will make it more white while warm days and warm nights will make the flowers more purple!. So this seems to be one of those flowers that changes during the growing season. Thanks for motivating me to do a little research on this.

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