By Delilah Onofrey, Suntory Flowers
Photographs courtesy of Suntory Flowers
Double petunias used to have a bad reputation. They were later to flower and messy to deadhead and maintain. After a heavy rain, they were just unsightly as soaked blooms became soggy and slimy. Commercial growers and retailers wanted nothing to do with them.
But the Surfinia Summer Double petunias from Suntory Flowers have been bred to be dramatically different. Plants produce mounds of tightly held flowers that shed water with ease. The need for deadheading is dramatically reduced as fresh flowers cover old ones, and dead blooms discreetly tuck away. Plantings recover quickly from rain.
The series was named Summer Double for exceptional heat tolerance. Plants retain their double flowers under high temperatures in the Deep South. In 2013, the year of introduction, Surfinia Summer Double Rose received the prestigious Classic City Award in the University of Georgia’s trials, and the entire series was named best of species at Penn State.
What’s nice about these plants is they stay tight and compact for smaller containers but also scale up nicely to very large hanging baskets and containers without losing their tidy shape. In beds, plants reach a height of 10-12 inches with a spread of 20-24 inches.
Choose sites with full or partial sun for best results. Grow as you would any other petunia. Use as fillers and spillers in combination plantings. They mound and then trail.