The hot new petunia this year at all the trials were the new petunias from Ball Seed. We had the privilege of growing all three of these in trials and we weren’t disappointed. We went to the OFA tradeshow at Ohio State and the feelings were mutual.
The color in the all black variety “Black Velvet” was rich, dark, and consistent. Phantom’s great contrast of yellow to black made a visual impact from 10 feet away. Finally, Pin Stripe, although not consistent in every flower had an interesting look to it. Some of the middles had a light purple, almost pinkish center and others had a slice of yellow. I will say that although they showed some vigor, we didn’t think it was nearly as vigorous as a normal wave petunia. It did much better in pots than it did in the ground. Some of the other trials we saw in the ground exhibited the same growth rates. The worst growth rate was at the Conservatory at Ohio State were they didn’t give any extra water to the plants. They looked as if they were planted yesterday even though they had been in the ground months.
Our suggestion is to try these new petunias. The make excellent container plants and mix well with pure white petunias and other contrasting light colored flowers. Look for them at all your local garden centers in 2011