Petunias remain popular bedding plants

Allen D. Owings, Young, John, Gill, Daniel J.  |  10/9/2009 6:27:02 PM

Sustainable Landscape News From LaHouse Distributed 10/09/09

By LSU AgCenter Horticulturists Dan Gill, Allen Owings and John Young

Petunias continue to be one of our most popular bedding plants. They long have been relied on for their consistent landscape performance and can be used as either warm-season or cool-season ornamentals.

Many petunia varieties are available. The most popular belong to the Wave series, including the original Wave, plus the newer Easy Wave, Shock Wave and Tidal Wave. In addition, Double Wave petunias sport double flowers in pink, purple, blue, red, white, blush, lavender and more.

Here are some best management practices to ensure the desired performance from your petunias:

– Prepare the landscape bed to allow for good internal drainage and aeration.

– Incorporate fresh, nutrient-rich, finished compost in the bed to provide nutrients.

– For a traditional fertilizer approach, apply a slow-release fertilizer at planting.

– Make sure landscape beds have a soil pH between 5.5 and 6.0.

– Select a full-sun planting location.

– Plant either in September or October for the cool season or in February or March for the warm season.

– Irrigate only when necessary. Overwatering leads to many problems with bedding plants.

– Add mulch to minimize weed problems, conserve soil moisture and keep the soil warmer over the winter.

– Remove old flowers from plants after each blooming cycle. This will extend the bloom season.

Come to LaHouse in Baton Rouge to see sustainable landscape practices in action. The home and landscape resource center is located near the intersection of Burbank Drive and Nicholson Drive (Louisiana Highway 30) in Baton Rouge across the street from the LSU baseball stadium. Go online to Louisiana Yards and Neighborhoods for additional information.

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Editor: Mark Claesgens

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