Resistance to Petunias is Futile

Petunia 'Double Wave'Wave petunias are making waves, and, no matter how hard you try to resist them, they will soon inundate and overflow your garden.
You will plant Wave petunias in prim and proper fashion along your garden paths and steps, only to see them flood your walkways with 2- to 3- inch flowers.
You will plant Wave petunias above block walls and, as they come cascading down, your flowering waterfall will remind you of the hanging gardens of Babylon.
The original ‘Purple Wave’ petunias grow so quickly and are so dense with blooms that you will never again consider other options for warm-weather ground cover; a single plant will spread over a 4-foot area. Unlike traditional petunias, they do not require pinching back in order to keep on flowering from spring until fall.
Ground cover Wave petunias are also available in blue, deep lavender, misty lilac, rose and pink. ‘Tidal Wave’ hedgiflora petunias have a bushy growth habit, growing out for several feet and then up, creating a colorful filler for shrub beds. ‘Tidal Waves’ will crash over your garden in tsunamis of cherry, hot pink, purple and silver (light lavender with dark purple veins).
The newest new petunias are ‘Easy Waves,’ which have larger flowers than the other Wave varieties. ‘Easy Waves’ form a mounding ground cover that will bloom in cooler weather than the other Waves, but will also persist in the heat.
Because of their rapid lateral growth, Wave petunias should be planted 20 to 24 inches apart. Petunias grow best in quick-draining sandy loam soil. Prior to planting, dig in organic matter to a 3-inch depth and incorporate a slow-release fertilizer at the rate of 2 pounds per 100 square feet. Immediately after planting, mulch the ground in between your petunias to minimize watering and keep out weeds until the plants are established. They should not require watering more than once or twice a week.
At long last, there is a hibiscus that can be grown in the high desert and survive the winter: Hibiscus moschuetos ‘Luna.’ It is a mini-hibiscus that grows no more than 3 feet high and 2 feet wide. It has blood-red flowers that expand to 8 inches in diameter.
TIP OF THE WEEK: Robert Trainor wrote from Burbank that he wants to plant a lawn in an ivy patch but has not been able to kill the ivy. If you lay sod over ground from which ivy has been removed, chances of the ivy coming back are remote. Sod would simply prevent light from reaching the ivy.

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