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Petunias in baskets - used well, and not so well

House in Maine with a petunia basket. Image ©GardenPhotos.comThere are two ways to grow petunias in baskets. You can mix them up with other varieties, or you can grow one variety all by itself.

Visiting friends on the coast of Maine recently, right across the street was a house where they’d done a great job with just one basket (left, and at the end, click to enlarge), featuring one variety of petunia, hanging on the front porch. And they’d not chosen one of the Surfinia types, which so often develop long trails which swing in the breeze and can end up looking ragged.

They’d chosen a variety which is shorter and bushier. This one looks to me like British-bred ‘Corona Rose Rim’ (at the end, click to enlarge), now available all over the world. And it made a simple and elegant display in what is, way up on the north east coast of Maine, a harsh climate with wind and mist and salty air and cool temperatures.

The alternative approach is to mix things up, and there are two approaches to creating blends of different varieties: harmony and contrast. Going for harmony creates less of a risk that the White-flowered basket with Petunia, Verbena and Alyssum. Image © colors will just look plain wrong. This planting of three white-flowered varieties (right, click to enlarge) features Petunia ‘Supertunia White’, Lobularia (=Alyssum) ‘Snow Princess’ and Verbena ‘Tukana White’ and it looks gorgeous. It’s one of the many suggested combinations from Proven Winners.

I have to say that home grown baskets of this sort usually have the flowers far less intermingled as home gardeners usually start with fewer, but larger plants than show baskets like this one.

Hanging basket with Petunia, Bidens and Phlox. Image ©ProvenWinners.comThe risk of attempting a basket of contrasting colors is revealed by another Proven Winners combination (left, click to enlarge), this one featuring Petunia ‘Supertunia Mini Purple’, Bidens ‘Peter’s Golden Carpet’ and Phlox ‘Intensia Star Brite’. I think I’d be very disappointed if my basket turned out like this. The colors are all wrong.

So, the most dependable approach is to choose the variety of petunia you like, and whose color works well in your setting, and plant up your basket with just that one variety. I’m sure it will look wonderful – as long as you remember to feed and water regularly. Like this Petunia 'Corona Rose Rim' (below, click to enlarge).

Petunia (probably) 'Corona Rose Rim' in hanging basket. Image ©