“What is the coldest temperature petunias can handle?” Question from Barbara of Racine, Wisconsin
Answer: Petunias are true warm-season annuals that cannot withstand really chilly temperatures without damage. Ultimately, they grow best when nighttime temperatures are between 55 and 65 F. (14-16 C.) and daytime temperatures are between 61 and 80 F. (16 to 20 C.). Many newer cultivars are able to withstand hotter temperatures, but no petunias thrive in chilly temperatures. When spring temperatures dip below 40 degrees F, either cover your outdoor petunias with frost cloth or bring them indoors. Temperatures below freezing will kill them in a jiffy.
“I would love to plant Wave Petunias this year, in a 1/4 wooden barrel container. Is there anything special I need to know about these beautiful flowers before I try to make them grow? Oh, and will they last all summer? Many thanks!” Question from Diane of Newark, Ohio
Answer: Wave petunias will last all summer with good care, take heat, and are one of the best choices for containers. Wave petunias were the first spreading, groundcover petunias created. The first, Purple Wave®, was bred by the Ball Seed Company and introduced in 1995 (many other Wave® varieties followed). What made them different was their ability to spread and bloom nonstop with little care and deadheading. They are tough, fast-spreading, nonstop bloomers. That’s why they are still popular today. Since then, many other groundcover petunias have been bred, some with even greater flowering power. Of these spreaders, here are the six that I recommend the most.