Wave Petunia

The Wave Petunia Is Making Waves

 

The wave petunia certainly hasn’t been misnamed. Just like a wave spreads across a beach, these petunia plants will spread across your garden. The height of one of these plants is measured in inches, but the spread can often be measured in feet. There are also varieties of these petunias called Tidal Wave petunias. These varieties not only spread out, but also grow to a height where they can even form a hedge-like border. You may see pictures of Tidal Waves that make it appear as if these plants could form a 6-foot high hedge, but a 2-foot high hedge is more like it, which makes the Tidal wave an interesting choice for a border plant. Many plants are described as either upright types, or spreading types. These petunias fit the description upright and spreading.

 

 

Long Blooming And, Up To A Point, Frost Hardy

 

These petunias don’t have to be planted only in locations where they’ll be allowed to spread. They make good container plants as well. One of the nice features about the Waves, is the length of their blooming period, which can last from the late spring, to deep into the fall. If started early, or in warmer climates, these flowers will even start blooming in the early Spring, and then just keep blooming and blooming. Unlike many varieties of petunias, the Waves can sometimes survive a frost or two, and once in a while will make it through a relatively hard frost, before giving away to winter. Besides being relatively cold-tolerant, as compared to other types of petunias, the Waves are also more heat resistant, and are therefore less prone to wilting. They also appear to be less prone to disease and less prone to problems with insects.

 

Can Be Purchased For Use As A Ground Cover

 

We usually don’t think of petunia plants as being candidates for a ground cover, although many varieties probably could be. It’s just that the spread of most other varieties comes no where near what  the Wave petunia has to offer. Obviously, we are talking about an annual ground cover here, since petunias are annuals, and will die back once winter weather sets in. The Waves can however perform service as a ground cover for nearly three out of the four seasons, as they spread fairly rapidly. By mid-summer, or somewhat later, they may have to be trimmed back, as like most petunias they can become somewhat leggy or overgrown. If these petunias were perennials they could easily be placed in the category of being  invasive plants, as they would most certainly tend to spread far and wide over several growing seasons. As it is, a plant will spread a few feet, and then stop.

 

A Container Plant – With Limits

 

Although Waves will often perform wonderfully in container and planters, they should not be placed in anything too small, such as a small pot. Waves have outsized root systems, and when the plants are grown in a container that is too small, the root balls may become a problem. Sometimes, the plants will become root bound, and both the leaves and the flowers may become smaller, although the plant will usually continue to keep on producing blooms, and will therefore continue to be a very attractive plant. Another variety of petunia, the ‘Supertunia’ would be a better choice for growing in containers, since it resembles the Wave in many ways, but does not have nearly as large of a root system.

 

 

Planting Wave Petunias

 

Planting Wave petunias is not rocket science. If you’ve ever planted a petunia, you can plant a Wave petunia. About the only differences would be that you would want to take into account the spread of the plant when determining the planting location and spacing of the plants, and you would want to take into account the eventual size of the root ball if you plan to place a few in containers.

 

 

These petunias can be grown from seeds, but are becoming increasingly available as seedlings in plant stores and nurseries. They should be planted in a location where they will get full sun, and it’s generally recommended that they be placed in the ground at the same depth as they were in the container they came in. Seed planting instructions will normally be found on the seed packets. It will be a good idea to mix a little slow-release fertilizer into the soil before placing the plants in the ground. Wave petunias are usually spaced about 24 inches apart. They can be placed closer together if you wish, but should as a minimum be placed no less than 12 inches apart.

 

Once planted, Wave petunias should be cared for in the same manner as one would care for other types of petunias, and almost any other flower garden annual for that matter. The soil should not be allowed to dry out, and watering the plants in the mornings is usually best. If a little fertilizer is applied about every two weeks during the growing season, you’ll get the best performance from your plants.