I do not like petunias. There – my prejudices are out within the open. I would possibly not attempt to justify my dislike for the ever-present petunia, however in case you are in search of an annual flower that may fill in some house on your flower border, and you might be uninterested in petunias too, listed here are 3 of my favorites.
One in all my favourite petunia substitutes is Calibrachoa, which is in fact relative of the petunia. Calibrachoa, bought as ‘Million Bells’, is a low-growing plant that spreads and trails over baskets and partitions, just like a miniature petunia. The vegetation are a lot smaller, regardless that, and the leaves are finer than the petunia. The crops proceed to unfold and bloom from past due spring to frost in a carefree means that any busy gardener will experience.
The Calibrachoa blooming in my lawn has persisted to appear improbable regardless of a number of weeks of climate within the higher 90’s. The blossoms self-clean, so no deadheading is wanted. Sadly, this additionally signifies that the Calibrachoa won’t set seed, and new crops will want to be bought each and every spring since those hybrid crops are patented.
The ‘Million Bells’ we discover each and every spring within the nursery have been in the beginning a part of an in depth breeding program performed by means of a Jap corporate known as Suntory Ltd, which now holds its patent. The hybrids have been bred from a plant discovered increasing naturally in South The us in 1988. Those crops will develop in any sunny spot the place petunias are satisfied, however will probably be a lot shorter. In addition they glance improbable trailing over the perimeters of striking baskets. The crops will sooner or later fill in an area a minimum of 12″ extensive or extra, however to fill in lawn house extra temporarily they may be able to be planted as low as 8″ aside.
Calibrachoa are to be had in sun shades of blue, purple, crimson, yellow and white.
Every other of my favourite petunia substitutes is Nierembergia. This plant may be distantly associated with petunias, and the star-shaped vegetation do naked a obscure resemblance to diminutive petunias, however the comparability will have to finish there. This plant has fine-textured leaves virtually totally hidden by means of mounds of tiny vegetation. Mine have been planted from seed this spring and transplanted to a sunny border that receives the recent western solar. Many different crops increasing within reach have drooped within the warmth, however the Nierembergia has been totally unaffected, and continues to bloom and unfold.
Nierembergia is to be had in white, mild lavender and blue-violet. I planted seeds of the Nierembergia selection “Blue Mountain” this is to be had from Park Seed Co. Seeds of the “White Gown” and “Pink Gown” sorts are to be had from Stokes Seeds.
My ultimate advice for a petunia change is the previous lawn favourite, Portulaca, or moss rose. This plant may be in the beginning from South The us, however isn’t associated with petunias in any respect. This member of the purslane circle of relatives can develop in deficient soil and sizzling solar, so long as it receives an occasional drink of water. Like Nierembergia, the moss rose can simply be began from seed. Those crops don’t do smartly in shady spaces, however will live on in portions of your lawn which might be too sizzling for different crops to do smartly. Older sorts have a tendency to open their vegetation for just a portion of every day, so make a choice a newer hybrid, and plant the seeds 6 to eight weeks earlier than the ultimate anticipated frost. Portulaca is to be had in orange, rose, yellow and white – all colours that might distinction superbly if interplanted with one of the vital different petunia substitutes indexed on this article.