Starry petunias


Love’em or or loeathe’em, you can’t ignore petunias and they have changed a lot since I first grew them, four decades ago! Then there was the simple choice of ‘Grandifloras’ with large flowers that were usually ruined by UK weather conditions and ‘Multifloras’ that had small flowers that were more likely to look half decent if it rained but that lacked the ‘Wow’ factor. Now there are seed-raised varieties that feature weather-resistant flowers and in colours and combinations to suit every taste and the big news is, of course, cuttings-raised plants that are often sterile so do not need deadheading and keep on flowering all summer with minimal care.

New for next year is ‘NightSky’ a cuttings-raised variety (you can’t buy seeds, just plants) that is distributed by Selecta Klemm and bred by Antonella Capo at Selecta Italia.

I hardly need to say what the story here is – the midnight blue flowers are spotted and I hardly need to repeat all the PR blurb – the pics will say more than I can.

I am a little sceptical of these new petunias because I have found that the colours can be very unstable – just look at those black petunias. But this is supposed to be very stable and will not change as the season progresses.

For 2016 it has won the FleuroStar contest which is organised by Fleuroselect, the pan-European testing scheme and a panel of 30 judges chose the winner for its ‘wow effect at point of sale’. This means it will look great when you buy it and we will have to see how it does in the garden or, more appropriately, in pots where I think it will probably be used.

I like novelty and I think I like this though a nasty niggle at the back of my mind makes me think it looks like it is covered in mildew. Still, I will give it a go if I see it next year.













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8 Comments on “Starry petunias”

  1. Jackie Stockley
    December 4, 2015 at 8:26 am #

    How can any one loathe a petunia ? I love this one.

    • thebikinggardener
      December 4, 2015 at 6:20 pm #

      I have seen some I didn’t like though loathe would be a strong word. Glad you like this one 🙂

  2. Meriel
    December 5, 2015 at 1:21 pm #

    I am glad you like it. Personally I think it looks awful – as if badly rain spotted!

    • thebikinggardener
      December 5, 2015 at 5:19 pm #

      Well I tend to agree with you – that it looks a bit like it is damaged by weather. I just can’t quite decide if I like it or not! I will have to try it and see. It does seem as though the breeders are desperate to find any new look and promote it.

  3. Jo Thedens
    April 30, 2016 at 9:54 pm #

    I saw this petunia in a hanging basket with some yellow flowers (not sure of the name) yesterday, and it was GORGEOUS!

    • thebikinggardener
      April 30, 2016 at 10:17 pm #

      Ah – that is interesting to know – that it is making it into garden centres. I hope you snapped one up! Thank you for commenting 🙂

  4. Mihail Faina
    May 12, 2020 at 1:35 pm #

    A question not related to this specific petunia – what makes petunias change colors? I have planted dark indigo colored ones and next day or 2 some of them were faded indigo! Try to research it the best I came with was the night/day temp variation! Is this the only cause or is more to it – watering, soil, fertilizer???
    Thank you!

    • thebikinggardener
      May 12, 2020 at 2:18 pm #

      Temperature will certainly make a difference. So will other stress factors such as watering. When the first black petunias came out, like ‘Phantom’ they were notoriously unstable, often producing flowers with five cream bars down the petals. This was due to their ancestry but was annoying, or delightful, according to your view. Of course, light will make a difference and flowers opening in really poor light will be pale. I dont think soil, such as acidity, will make a difference nor type of fertiliser. But water stress and fluctuating temps will affect flower colour I think. Of course, if flowers actually fade in colour it could simply be bright sunlight bleaching the flowers. It is most likely when flowers open in a dull time and strong sun scorches them rather like sunburn.

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