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On Gardening: Supertunia brings home the trophies

Norman Winter, Tribune News Service on

Published in Gardening News

A year ago, a lot of us had the opportunity to try Supertunia Hoopla Vivid Orchid petunia. Even more importantly though, these new plants were part of the university trial programs. My first reaction was that these petunias were just a fancy novelty. These trial programs proved me wrong and this year the gardening public is showing their delight for this new Supertunia.

First off, you have to admit that the flowers really look like an impossible feat. How can each and every blossom show such incredible design? Proven Winners calls it bright orchid purple with a white edge. While that is true, how does each and every flower have the same design to perfection, plus it holds up through the life of the bloom?

Last year I wrote about it before the trial results came in. I did not know about Perfect Score at University of Minnesota, University of Tennessee and Director’s Select at Penn State. But there were a lot more, Iowa State, Oklahoma State and University of Georgia to name a few. This fancy beautiful Supertunia had a rugged nature too.

Last year we wondered what we would do with it. It seemed like it was a good match with the new yellow Supertunia Saffron Finch and sure enough that worked to perfection. Son James and the Eden Estate Management team used it with Supertunia Mini Vista Yellow, and that was pure artistry.

This year the pros put their magic touch to this award-winning Supertunia. Jennifer Hernandez, owner of Flintwood Farms in Fayetteville, Georgia, stepped the game up a notch using designer grade baskets. She created a trifecta mix of all award winners: Supertunia Vista Jazzberry, the Proven Winners "Annual of the Year," with Superbells Double White calibrachoa and the star of this week’s column, the Supertunia Hoopla Vivid Orchid petunia.

At the Young’s Plant Farm Annual Garden Tour in Auburn, Alabama, the crowd was treated to a new recipe called Moonlit Lavender. This Southern Combo design features Superbena Violet Ice verbena, Supertunia Mini Vista White petunia and the Supertunia Hoopla Vivid Orchid petunia.

Supertunia Hoopla Vivid Orchid petunia can reach 12-inches tall with a 24-inch spread. It needs plenty of sun to really showcase its beauty. Mixed containers with a really good potting soil open up your world to the green thumb award. Summers like we are having in West Georgia where it is hot and steamy with record temps will require you to be on your game when it comes to supplemental water.


The Garden Guy is finding it necessary to water twice a day, which is not the norm. When watering twice a day or even daily you will be leaching nutrients from the soil. The Garden Guy uses water-soluble mix and applies every 2 to 3 weeks. In the South we are prone to cutting back by a third to a half in late July or early August. This sets up for not only a superior fall bloom but the possibility of carrying through the winter.

Supertunia Hoopla Vivid Orchid petunia is making its debut this year so keep your eyes open. Like the name says it is a Proven Winner, as in Perfect Score, Top Performer and Director’s Select. You’ll be giving it an award too!


(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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