24
February
2014

Two New Bicolor Petunias

PET-mainWe’ve added two new bicolors to our 2014 petunia line: ‘Cha-Ching Cherry’ and ‘Rose and Shine’. We think of petunias as the swimsuits of the flower world—buy them in the spring, enjoy them in the summer and throw them out in the fall; next year, try something different. In our experience, strong patterns and distinctive floral patterns generate better petunia sales—it’s strictly a fashion business. To that end, we always keep our petunia line fresh and current with new introductions, like this year’s flashy additions:

Petunia ‘Cha-Ching Cherry’

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This fashionista features a cherry red flower with a strong star-shaped center that reaches to the tips of the petals. It’s a striking look for the plant, and one that we like. Set it out in the front of the store to make eye-catching baskets, distinctive window boxes or interesting containers. Market buzz is surrounding this introduction already—Greenhouse Grower awarded it the Medal of Excellence Readers’ Choice Award based on readers’ surveys and the 2013 California Trials. The award generated a number of articles about the plant in local papers and gardening magazines, listing it as one of the best new annuals for 2014.

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Culturally, ‘Cha-Ching Cherry’ grows about 10–16 inches high and spreads wider at 16–20 inches. Like all petunias, it requires adequate exposure to the sun and not very much shade. Its habit is to mound up in the center with light trailing along the edges—definitely a centerpiece plant. For mixed containers, consider putting in blue petunias for contrast and some white bacopa for texture. In a landscape bed, consider white vincas to cover the soil along the edges—setting the canvas to make the cherry red pop.

Petunia ‘Rose and Shine’

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White and burgundy come together in this petunia, creating a stained watercolor look on some of the petals. Staining is different on each flower and bleeds out from the strong red lines of the pinwheel. Flowers are fairly large, so the homeowner can get up close and enjoy a myriad of unique patterns. The red here could be considered a cherry red, but it’s closer to a bing cherry red (dark) than a tart pie cherry red (bright).

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Culturally, ‘Rose and Shine’ grows a little smaller and a little tighter than ‘Cha-Ching’. It mounds in the center but is a slightly smaller, slightly tighter plant. Though it may be small it is every bit the petunia that the other variety is.

Both of these fancy petunias are vegetative and patented as well. This is important because the patents and the vegetative cuttings make the plants more expensive than the seed varieties. Regardless, our experience has been that these are the better performing petunias by a long mile. Vegetative petunias have better consistency and less trouble growing in both the greenhouse and the garden; patents generally mean that the breeder has a vested interest in producing a better quality plant, genetically speaking. Combined, these factors produce a dramatically better petunia plant that is sought after by customers. Cheap petunias generally lean on the seed varieties and the obsolete or—frankly—junk genetics that can’t find a market except in the dollar bin.

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Diefenbacher Greenhouses is a supplier of annuals and creative green goods. We sell directly to Garden Centers and Landscapers in the Cincinnati Area. 

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