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Nowadays, the petunia species that we can admire in the gardens of our homes are all hybrid species. The hybrid petunia has a height that can vary from 20 to 60 cm. The leaves of this species are ovate of light green color, sometimes sticky. The flowers, on the other hand, are funnel-shaped, simple or double cream-colored, white, mauve pink and blue between 3 and 12 cm wide. bloom from June until autumn. There are varieties with flowers of two colors. Among the most known and cultivated hybrid species there are:
- multiflora, bushy plants 40-60 cm high with large leaves and 5 cm wide flowers.
- grandiflora, similar to the plants of the previous group, with fewer and larger flowers.
- compact dwarf, with a height of 20-25 cm.
- pendula, includes creeping plants suitable for covering the ground or for baskets hanging from or hanging from windowsills. Similar to the plants of the previous group, with fewer and larger flowers.
Variety of hybrid petunias
Among the multiflora hybrid varieties we find the Apple Blossom, with light pink flowers, the load-laced cream-flowered Brass Band, the pink and white flowered Cherry Tart, the pink-flowered Dream Girl, the Plum Crazy with flowers of different shades, the Polaris with deep blue flowers with a white center, Red Satin with bright scarlet flowers and finally the Sugar Plum with pink flowers.
The following varieties belong to the second group of grandiflora petunias: Cascade with red, pink, white and blue flowers; Fluffy Ruffles crimson, pink, purple and white rippled and fringed flowers; Pan American All Double Mixer with large double flowers and ripples; Superb Mixed with very large flowers with wrinkled petals and groove with veins.
The compact dwarf swono instead formed from the Aldermann with violet flowers; Blue Bedder with blue flowers; Fire Chief with scarlet flowers; Rose of Heaven with pink flowers.
Finally, among the hanging petunias we find the variety Balcony Blended Mixer. The flowers of this plant are damaged by the wind and intense rains.
As for the cultivation of hybrid petunias, the soil must be light and well drained. In fertile, moist and shaded soils the plant produces many leaves and few flowers. The ideal exposure is in the sun as petunia seedlings need sunlight to grow at their best. As for multiplication, this is possible in the spring. It is sown in March in a warm bed (15 ° C). The varieties to be grown outdoors are acclimatised to a cold bed before being planted. They can also be sown according to the zones, from March onwards.
Diseases and pests hybrid petunia
Petunias can be affected by parasites or develop diseases. Among the most common problems we remember the red spider mite. The red spider mite is a mite that, nourishing itself on the sap of the plant, causes the discoloration of the leaves and their consequent yellowing. To defeat it it is necessary to use specific pesticide products. In addition to this problem, petunias are subject to incurable viruses (tobacco mosaic, alternariosis affecting the shoots). When the plants are affected they must be removed and burned to avoid proliferation. This is because, today, there are no specific products that can solve the problem.