Supertunia – A Great Planter Refresh

Supertunia – A Great Planter Refresh
August 20, 2021 Sabine Schoenberg

The weather in 2021 has been anything but “normal”.  In the United States Northeast, we have seen extreme heat mixed with long periods of intense rain and thunderstorm.  Both are stressful for container plantings. My container plantings are not making it to fall planting this year.  They are in need of a refresh.  So, supertunia to the rescue.

Why Supertunia

Supertunia grow vigorously. There is no faster growing annual plant which makes them the perfect plant for all planter refresh plantings.

Most gardeners consider supertunia spreader annuals. In other words, they work beautifully in edgings of plant beds.  Your summer garden will be the envy of your neighbors. However, this year, given the unusual weather, I am using supertunia as the perfect filler plant.

Supertunia’s abundant flower growth and spreading or trailing growth habits will rapidly fill in much-needed color in my containers. They are easily available in so many colors and varieties.  In other words, supertunia fit into just about every color scheme your planters have going.

Growing Conditions

As the name already suggests, Supertunias are in the petunia family.  However, their hardiness, plant fullness, and fast growth make them deserving of the name “super petunia”.

Their intense growth requires at least six hours of full sun. They need moderate and even amounts of water in the soil.  While temperatures about 90 degrees require daily watering, generally water them well once a week.  Of course, water them in after the initial planting.  When your soil is moist and your supertunia look wilted, you will know you overwatered.

Do not over fertilize supertunia.  Generally, fertilizing every 2 weeks works well. When in doubt, just leave them alone.

Trimming or Shaping

This plant tolerates light trimming. After a short time of adjustment, they will start up blooming again.  This kind of shaping will keep your planters looking amazing right into late summer and early fall. Let me underscore the word “light” here.

One more benefit: Gardeners will tell you that petunias do best when flowers are deadheaded.  Supertunia do not need deadheading making it a super easy plant to maintain in your planters throughout the summer.

Will Supertunia Grow Back Next Year?

You will love your supertunia plantings so much that you wish they will return next year.  However, know that in most regions, they are annual plants. In other words, you will need to clean out your plantings in the fall and start over next season. This means you can reinvent a whole new color scheme.  You already know how dominant supertunia are in the landscape due to their proliferation of flowers.  The fiery colors of some varieties stand out and plain dominate your summer plantings.

For a special effect, perhaps try the same variety in planters and ground cover plantings.  It will make your sunny garden sections next year look stunning without really a lot of work. Let supertunia do it for you.  In the meantime, use supertunia as a quick filler plant to refresh your containers.

What fun!