By: Amy Grant
Petunias are an old-fashioned annual staple that are now available in a plethora of colors. But what if you just want to see red? You’re in luck because there are many red petunia varieties available – so many, in fact, you may have difficulty choosing just which one to plant. Keep reading for some top choice petunias that are red.
Petunias come in a myriad of not only colors, but shapes and sizes and habits – from clumping to trailing. The abundance and choice of red petunia varieties is just as varied. Many petunia flowers that are red are particularly fragrant as well as attractive to hummingbirds and pollinating insects.
Before choosing red petunias, you will want to consider whether you wish to plant grandiflora or multiflora varieties, or a little of both. Here’s the run down:
Grandiflora petunias are the grandfather of petunias. They grow up to a foot (30 cm.) high and have large wavy blooms but are susceptible to damage from rain and heat.
Multiflora petunias are more compact and smaller than grandiflora, but they come in many shapes, sizes, and growth habits. They bloom more profusely and are more weather resilient. They also propagate easily.
Below are some top picks when choosing and planting red petunia varieties for the garden.
Aladdin Red is an early blooming, red ruffled, rain resistant grandiflora petunia that grows up to a foot (30 cm.) in height.
Capri Rose, is as its name suggests, a rose red petunia with large blooms that flowers from spring through fall. This variety is very weather tolerant down to 25 F. (-4 C.) and up to 105 F. (41 C.)! They bloom earlier and finish off later than many other petunias.
Capri Red is another frost hardy petunia with the same qualities as Capri Rose.
If you love carnations, then Double Valentine is a gorgeous grandiflora with double red blooms on a mounding, upright plant that grows from 12-16 inches (30-41 cm.) tall.
If you’re looking for red petunias to brighten up your containers, look no further than Mambo Red. These bright red petunias are weather tolerant multiflora petunias that bloom early with large flowers. They will not stretch and blossom with blooms that are up to 3 ½ inches (8-9 cm.) across.
Hurrah red petunias are among the earliest blooming multiflora petunias. They reach up to a foot in height and flower consistently despite heat and humidity.
Potunia Plus Red has large trumpet shaped blooms that attract hummingbirds. They require less water than other types of petunia which allows it to thrive in drought-like conditions.
Supercascade Red is yet another variety of red petunia that produces large, showy blossoms on a bushy plant.
Looking for spreading ‘Wave’ petunias? Try growing the Petunia Easy Wave Red hybrid. This trailing petunia looks lovely trailing over flower pots or filling in rockeries.
This is just a sample of all the glorious red petunias to be had. Don’t overlook the ones that are predominantly red but include a splash of white or yellow. Both Candy Picotee and Frost Fire, for example, are red types surrounded by a ruffle of white, and Cha-Ching Cherry has a creamy yellow star in the center edged with red.
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Attracts: Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Dead-Heading Not Necessary
Use in hanging baskets, window boxes, combination planters and landscaping
Maintenance Category Easy
Water Category Average
Flower Form Container, Edging Plant, Groundcover, Landscape, Mass Planting
Soil Fertility Average Soil
pH A - pH 5.5 - 5.8
EC (2:1 Extraction Method) 1 - 2
Fertilization 200 - 300
Light Requirements High
Water Requirements Moderate to Moist
Rooting Out Temperature 65 - 72° Fahrenheit
Growing On Temperature 55 - 65° Fahrenheit
Holding Temperature 40 - 50° Fahrenheit
Planting and Timing Information
Early Spring through Fall Finish. Standard PPP.
Finishing Times [weeks]
4-5" and Quart Pot : 4-6
6" and Gallon Pot : 5-7
7-9" Pot : 7-9
10-12" and Two Gallon Pot : 8-10
Pinching and Growth Regulators
For all sizes of containers, pinch the liner 1–2 weeks after transplant for containers larger than 6” and for hanging baskets, trim around the edge of the container as needed prior to spacing or hanging of the baskets.
10-15 ppm Sumagic spray or 1-3 ppm Bonzi drench are effective at controlling growth. Apply as needed. Supertunia Minis may require higher rates of PGRs. Cold temperatures will also effectively control growth. -Supertunia Black Cherry is more susceptible to flower damage from chemical applications late in the crop cycle.
Pest and Disease Management
Good sanitation practices include keeping greenhouses clean at all times, eliminating weeds and debris, disinfecting equipment in greenhouses as often as possible and keeping hose ends off of the greenhouse floor. Good water management practices are critical for good, healthy plant growth.
-Requires high light in production. -Needs 250+ ppm fertilizer. -Watch pH and EC levels. -Mini Strawberry Pink Veined, all veined varieties and Bordeaux are more sensitive to cold. Keep above 50 F. -Cold temperatures also control growth. -Yellow growth tips often indicate iron deficiency caused by high soil pH. -Do not bring Supertunia petunias in too early as they finish quickly. -Many common problems with Supertunia can be avoided if proper crop timing and the appropriate environment are provided. -Supertunia Black Cherry is more susceptible to flower damage from chemical applications late in the crop cycle. -Cooler growing temperatures, high light levels, proper spacing and drier growing practices can be very helpful in managing plant size.
Scientific Name: Tulipa
Type: Perennial or Annual depending on the climate
Sun: Full Sunlight
Water Needs: Low
Hardiness Zones: 4 to 10
Soil: pH 6.0-7.0
The color red can stand for a multitude of things and is very expressive in nature. Throughout history, it has stood for a wide range of things one each end of the spectrum, from love and passion to war and anger. When it comes to flowers, it is symbolized much closer with the former.
Red flowers are commonly used represent love and compassion to the person that is receiving them. They are a deep, strong meaning that shows the person they are thought of in high regard. Commonly, red roses are a gift used to express love to a person, so it is a something that displays a sign of caring.
Red flowering trees are a beautiful addition to a yard as they bring a fresh scene of color to any home. Different types of Crape Myrtles are popular due to their resilience. They are a fast growing tree that is also disease resistant and able to withstand drought conditions, making it a popular choice.
Red Dogwood Trees are also very adaptable to most soils and don’t require much maintenance. The Red Knockout Rose Tree is a favorite as it blooms for about nine months out of the year. In warmer climates, the Royal Poinciana is a favorite for areas that will receive a lot of sun. The long lasting red blossoms from the Prairifire Flowering Crabapple make this tree a popular choice for those that also enjoy the changing of the fall colors.
Red flowering Yarrows will attract butterflies and produce large clusters of flowers. Chocolate Cosmos produce a dark red/maroon flower attractive to the butterfly that also produce a chocolate-like scent.
The Cardinal Flower is a favorite among butterfly gardens due to their interesting flowering style. Craving warmer areas, the Bottlebrush plant produces a vibrant red flower that is popular among butterflies and other insects. Another great addition to the butterfly garden are the Tall Red Pentas.
Aside from flowers and trees, cacti and succulents can produce red flowers as well. Some common cacti in this category are the Prickly Pear, the Christmas Cactus, and the Claret Cup Cactus. Succulents are common in the home due to their ease of care. Some common red flowering succulents are the Flaming Katy Kalanchoe, the Crown of Thorns Euphorbia, and the Burro’s Tail when it does have a rare bloom.
Hummingbirds rely mostly on their eyesight as it is their more dominant sense compared to hearing or smell. They are able to see ultraviolet light so colors are a big part of the hummingbirds world.
Hummingbirds are more sensitive to red colors and they appear brighter in their field of vision making red flowers and feeders more attractive to the birds. They are also known to have good memories, so commonly visiting a red flower or red colored feeder could be thought of as a conditioned response by some.
As hummingbirds are drawn to the color red, many gardens with red flowers will have these as regular visitors. Daylilys and Columbines are great as they have large flowers that last through the summer. Cardinal Flowers and Bee Balms are also a favorite since they are commonly taller and stand out in gardens.
Penstemons and Hibiscus plants are commonly associated with hummingbirds as they provide large flower for the birds to feed. Other common flowers attracting hummingbirds are Peonies, Coral Bells, and the Garden Phlox.
Red flowers can be appropriate for a funeral, but its important to note any cultural issues that may arise. With the color red, there are many different meanings that it can symbol so it’s important to research in order to send the right message.
For example, red roses are a way to show love and respect. Red Carnations can emphasize fascination and love. Many times, red flowers will be a part of a flower arrangement as the color is a powerful display and can evoke a deep meaning to those grieving.