Late September 2017
The time is now to start adding flowers for the fall months ahead. The new Louisiana Super Plant from the LSU AgCenter for fall is the Supertunia Vista Bubblegum petunia. This is one of the most talked-about petunias over the past three to five years and one of the best petunias in landscape trials at the LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Station. The flowers are a clear, bright pink. Over the past few years, it has been proven that Supertunia Vista Bubblegum is one of Louisiana’s most durable petunia varieties.
Supertunia Vista Bubblegum is a vigorous petunia with a 3-foot spread at maturity. It can grow 16 to 24 inches tall. Plant these petunias in full sun in well-drained soil. Petunias prefer an acidic soil in the pH range of 5.5 to 6.5. A mulch of pine straw improves the appearance of the landscape bed and minimizes upward splashing of water from irrigation while helping with weed control.
When mass-planted in the landscape bed, it is best to plant the petunias on 18-inch centers. This petunia works equally well in containers and hanging baskets where the flowering branches and shoots can cascade over the edge — a truly spectacular “spiller” plant. Always plant the transplants at the original cell pack or pot depth. You mostly see Supertunia Vista Bubblegum for sale in 6-inch pots at garden centers.
There is always confusion about the best time to plant petunias in the landscape. In Louisiana, petunias do well when planted in the fall from September through early November and in late winter and early spring from early February through mid-March. A fall planting of petunias will normally overwinter well and provide blooms until late May. Late winter- and early spring-planted petunias normally last only until early June, but if the weather cooperates, the more heat-tolerant petunias — like Supertunia Vista Bubblegum — can be oversummered successfully.
Supertunia Vista Bubblegum is self-cleaning of old flowers. Deadheading (removal of old flowers) is not needed to maintain continued bloom, but a light pruning after each bloom flush is recommended. Early morning watering is best for petunias and other bedding plants. With the vigorous growth habit of these petunias, you may need to pay more attention to water demands of container-grown plants.
All varieties of Supertunias are heavy feeders. Apply a two- to three-month controlled-release fertilizer at planting. For the best growth and flower production, fertilize these plants regularly. Water-soluble fertilizers are good for this purpose.
You can consider using other cool-season Louisiana Super Plants when planting your new petunias this fall. Try Swan columbine, Amazon dianthus, Sorbet violas, Redbor ornamental kale, Mesa gaillardia, and Diamonds Blue delphinium as companion plants.
When you’re shopping this fall, be on the lookout for this great Louisiana Super Plant. Supertunia Vista Bubblegum truly is a super petunia and is deserving of being a Super Plant. See more on LSU AgCenter Louisiana Super Plants at www.lsuagcenter.com/superplants.