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On Gardening: Scarlet goes wild in hot new petunia

Norman Winter, Tribune News Service on

Published in Gardening News

Supertunia Mini Vista Scarlet petunia will quickly become the one in which all other red petunias will be compared. Although it is making its debut in 2023, the tsunami created from the beauty shown in 2022 trials is already causing market jitters. Will there be enough next spring? We can only hope.

Last February, I wrote about how the Supertunia Mini Vista petunias were racking up awards and, certainly in 2023, the new year will be a dream come true. Although I am touting Supertunia Mini Vista Scarlet largely based on my trials, know that the University of Georgia just recognized Supertunia Mini Vista Midnight (also debuting in 2023) with a Plants of Distinction for July, which was nothing short of torrid for the heat.

Then one of the most talked-about plants at Young’s Plant Farm Annual Garden Tour in June was the new Supertunia Mini Vista Yellow. Holy wow, what a year 2023 is shaping up to be. At Mississippi State University’s Truck Crops Branch Experiment Station in Crystal Springs, Mississippi, Supertunia Mini Vista Scarlet was nothing short of dazzling, a real attention-grabber. Of course, this is what we have all longed for in a red petunia, and this one promises to be like none other.

If you haven’t tried the Mini Vista series yet, you will be delighted with their compact nature, which is 12 inches tall with a 24-inch spread. I’ve seen what seems like a million photos this summer from Supertunia Vista Bubblegum and the new Supertunia Vista Jazzberry. These are incredible award-winning petunias, the big boys, but the Mini Vistas are more refined or behaved, allowing you to really use them in combinations and designs.

Like all Supertunias, no matter the category, they will need plenty of sunlight to really perform. The soil should be moist, well drained and never boggy. When you think about a long growing season, feeding should be part of your regimen, especially so for those in containers, where the intense heat dictates a daily water application. I have gotten on a cycle of using a water-soluble mix every other week. Lastly — and this will prove hard for many — at some point in late summer, when they seem less productive, maybe leggy or open, cut them back with a sharp pair of scissors or pruning shears. You will be rewarded with new growth and blooms to carry you through fall.

All of my Supertunia Mini Vista Scarlet petunias were used in various container combinations using my own recipes. This color of bright scarlet red is so fun to use, it just creates happiness. In one container I partnered it with Superbells Grape Punch calibrachoa, White Knight lobularia, and Goldilocks creeping Jenny. You simply can’t take your eyes off this petunia.

In a slight deviation from the recipe, I used Superbells Dreamsicle calibrachoa to give an analogous flair with the Supertunia Mini Vista Scarlet while still using White Knight Sweet alyssum and Goldilocks creeping Jenny. By analogous, I am referencing two colors, in this case scarlet and orange, which are next to each other on the color wheel.

 

Lastly is the container where I created an eye-catching triadic harmony of color by partnering Supertunia Mini Vista Scarlet petunia with Superbena Royale Chambray verbena and Superbells Yellow calibrachoa. Triadic harmony is created by picking out three colors with equal distance on the color wheel. My plants were young when planted, and I don’t think I realized what they would look like at maturity, a real wowzer.

By all means, don’t let color schemes or recipes throw you. I promise if you give Supertunia Mini Vista Scarlet a try, you will feel like a pro designer. Hey, try all three new colors (scarlet, yellow and midnight) and you will create your own triadic harmony recipe.

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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.)

©2022 Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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