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On Gardening: Glowing color of persimmon creates a most stunning petunia

Norman Winter, Tribune News Service on

Published in Gardening News

To me, this is the prettiest petunia I have ever grown. It is so pretty that if it only lasted a month, I would say I can hardly wait until next year. But it is a Supertunia, and therefore it will perform as suggested: a super petunia. The name of the new variety is Supertunia Persimmon.

Deep down I wish Proven Winners had given this petunia a better name, like Glowing Embers, or Electric Flame. But then, what do I know, the most popular petunia of all time is known in the garden world as Bubblegum.

Some of you have no doubt started to tune me out as I have alluded to the color orange. This might be a color not included in your repertoire. In other words, someone has stolen the joy of orange out of your heart. (I am just kidding.)

Supertunia Persimmon is just one of several knock-your-socks-off new plants coming out in 2023 that I had the opportunity to trial. I'll tell you more about the others over the next few weeks.

Supertunia Persimmon will get 5 to 12 inches tall with a 2-foot spread, possibly a little more. True to its name, the flowers are a persimmon orange with a glowing yellow throat. It is such a color that brings happiness to the garden. I planted mine in early April and can only hope I have a shot at planting them in early October. While the South is waking up to fall planted petunias and calibrachoas, there are 45 million pansies in the way of accomplishing this on a wide scale.

I plant almost all of my petunias in containers, even those planted in October, and yes, I am in zone 8a Georgia. I will admit this year I have seen incredible Supertunia petunias in the ground in commercial landscape settings. I know also the prepared landscape mixes were as close as one might get to having a potting soil-like bed.

This hue of orange screams complementary color scheme, the attraction of opposites. My favorite partnerships were with Superbells Grape Punch calibrachoas and Superbena Royale Chambray verbena. But I also like echoing the yellow throat by adding some Superbells Yellow calibrachoa, which you will notice has been improved for 2023 and is even more floriferous.

Son James had the opportunity to try Supertunia Persimmon in an old European-style urn. He partnered it with Supertunia Mini Vista White petunias and this year’s hot new Augusta Lavender heliotrope as the thriller plant and a dash of Whirlwind Blue scaevola. It turned out to really be an eye-catcher.

 

Supertunias really like to be fed during the summer. My regimen has been Proven Winners' water soluble mix every other week. This year with early season triple digits watering, every day was essential, and I have heard some had to resort to a period of twice a day watering for containers. All this watering really leaches out nutrients.

No matter how much we try in the South, and even much further north this year, cutting back will play a pivotal role. When the petunia gets tired, perhaps opened up a bit and performance has waned, cutting back can be essential. The Supertunia that has a third of its foliage removed at this stage, along with maintaining fertilizer and water, initiates new growth getting you back into flower production.

It is totally amazing to see what is coming in 2023, and Supertunia Persimmon will have to go to the top of your list.

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(Norman Winter, horticulturist, garden speaker and author of “Tough-as-Nails Flowers for the South” and “Captivating Combinations: Color and Style in the Garden.” Follow him on Facebook @NormanWinterTheGardenGuy.)

(NOTE TO EDITORS: Norman Winter receives complimentary plants to review from the companies he covers.)

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