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On Gardening: Bubblegum, Paradise, Fuchsia offer picture-perfect Vistas

Norman Winter, Tribune News Service on

Published in Gardening News

The Garden Guy has had the most fun the past few months when I show Supertunia partnerships on my Facebook page. The comments start off with "Can it compete with my Bubblegum?" and then conclude with something like "My Bubblegum will cover that plant up, chew it up and make it disappear."

So it goes with Supertunia Vista Bubblegum, which is probably the most celebrated plant in history with a trophy case consisting of 323 awards. I urge everyone who reads this to join the Facebook group Proven Winners Gorgeous Gardens. You will be shocked at what you see.

Let’s get down to some facts. The Supertunia Vista series represents the thoroughbred racehorses, so to speak, of petunias. Supertunia Vista Bubblegum may very well be the Secretariat of the group. You youngsters may not be familiar with the, name but that was a Triple Crown-winning horse that just didn’t win, but in the finish line photos there were no other horses to be seen.

The Vistas are huge, reaching 12 inches tall and trailing 36 inches. There are six varieties in the group, the newest being Supertunia Vista Jazzberry.

I assure you three things. First, there are no losers. Second, you can design wonderful combinations even with Bubblegum. And third, this group is among the best petunias at attracting butterflies.

James, my color design guru son, has created container masterpieces for high-traffic commercial shopping centers and upscale communities. I can tell you, Supertunia Vista Fuchsia is no second fiddle to the pink Bubblegum.

In one, James used partners like Indian Summer rudbeckia, Diamond Snow euphorbia and Luscious Royale Cosmo lantana for a most complete garden look. Whatever your other favorite flowers are, they are candidates for Supertunia Vista partnerships.

One of his most talked about designs was created in a horse trough near a children’s play area. The trough has Supertunia Vista Fuchsia intertwined with Supertunia Lovie Dovie, Luscious Royale Cosmo lantana, Truffula Pink gomphrena, Little Quick Fire hydrangea and then a touch of the tropics with large Portora elephant ears.


A follower looked at my post of a Supertunia Vista Bubblegum petunia and Superbells Grape Punch calibrachoa and left a comment that was humorous to me. She said it looks good now, but it's not for the long haul. It was a photo from early May. I chuckled, knowing it was planted in early October. It had already made the long haul of almost eight months.

This brings up the possibilities of Supertunia Vista petunias for planting in October. I did that not only in the container just discussed, but in a large sweeping bed where I planted Supertunia Vista Bubblegum, Supertunia Vista Paradise and Supertunia Vista Silverberry around Pugster buddleia, Limelight Prime hydrangeas and large Portora elephant ears.

The winter took their toll on the tropicals, and of course hydrangeas and buddleia are deciduous. The Supertunias would grow and bloom when warm, then kind of hunker down during freezing periods. They bloomed from October until July 1, which was about nine months. I then pulled back to bring in more plants to try.

The six Supertunia Vista petunias are big, bold and wonderful. If you don’t want the big, then consider the Supertunia Mini Vista group, which has nine great selections with four new colors this year: Scarlet, Yellow, Midnight and Sweet Sangria.


(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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