Texas AgriLife Extension Service
Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas

March, 2008


Ways to Use "Wave Series" Petunias


by Cynthia W. Mueller, Galveston County Master Gardener

Wave® petunias, favorites of gardeners everywhere, are still making a splash in the garden - with even more varieties now available at local nurseries to choose from. Millions of these super performers - introduced by Ball Seed Company - are planted by gardeners and professionals alike because these low-growing "spreaders" are very low-maintenance and can withstand extremes of heat and cold, rain and humidity. flower lavishly well into fall and sometimes completely through the winter in warmer areas of Texas.

petunia 'Tidal Wave Silver
'Tidal Wave Silver' petunia. Image courtesy of Ball Seed Company
These varieties have left behind many of the problems found with earlier strains of petunias, which were sometimes too large, too ruffled, too delicate and too prone to disease to be practical for any but the most favored gardens. Unlike old-fashioned petunias, it's not necessary to pinch back or deadhead Wave varieties - they can take care of themselves. Just give them a good feeding of an all-purpose plant food every few weeks, water and watch them grow.

According to the Ball Company, the Wave petunia family now comes in five different series, and dozens of colors. The series now includes the Wave®, Tidal Wave®, Easy Wave®, Double Wave® and Shock Wave™ series – in easy-to-spot Pink Pots at your local garden center or home store.

Here are some ways to use Wave petunias to make a statement that shows style without a lot of effort:

  • Make an Entrance. Fill a container with any of the great colors of Shock Wave petunias such as the bright 'Rose' variety and make a warm, colorful welcome. Shock Wave petunias are the perfect choice for containers and small space gardens, filling the space with loads of petite blooms.

  • Garden Chandeliers.
  • Create an elegant focal point with a basket of Easy Wave petunias in a single color placed on a traditional pedestal. Easy Wave petunias mound up and out to form the perfect chandelier of petals. Place the pedestal within the landscape along a path, or put two at any entrance way to create a defined, sophisticated space.

  • Stair “Wave” to Heaven. Pick a color, any color. Use Wave, Tidal Wave or Easy Wave petunias to line a path to create a “heavenly” corridor...the large blooms fill in quickly. You can go with one bold color or graduate the colors from top to bottom. To get a professional look, space the young plants closer together so they can weave around each other to create a thick mass of color.

  • Spots of Pots. Create instant interest and continual color in the garden or perennial border with pots of Wave petunias. An overflowing pot of a single color creates a stylish look that adds punch and accents any spot in your yard, particularly when perennials are not in bloom.

  • Goodness Gracious, Great Balls of Flowers. Create a massive globe of color by punching holes in the sides of a cocoa-fiber basket and filling them with young plants of Double Wave petunias. Space the plants a few inches apart on top and around the sides of the basket. The petunias will spread and mound from the center to produce a full, lush ball of color.

    Native Fringe Tree
    Basket with "Wave" series petunias. Image courtesy of Ball Seed Company

  • Power Pots. A concentration of one plant in one color gives you a strong effect. An extra-large pot on the porch certainly makes an eyecatching magnet. Filling the bottom of the container with lightweight material will improve drainage, make your container easier to move and reduce the amount of potting mix you’ll have to use. This is a great way to reuse Styrofoam packing peanuts or plastic water bottles, or you can turn a few plastic nursery pots upside down to fill space.

  • Curb Appeal. Want to create a lot of “curb appeal” for your landscape without an entire redesign or budget-breaker? Count on Tidal Wave petunias like Tidal Wave Hot Pink, to come to your rescue! Plant a mass of these spreading petunias in free-form design or arrange the plants in stripes, borders or clusters. This low-maintenance, fast-growing crowd pleaser will make a colorful statement.

  • Mix It Up. The Shock Wave and Easy Wave series not only come in lots of beautiful single colors – they’re available in ready-made, “designer” mixes, too! Just buy a pack, flat or more of one of these beautiful color combinations at your local garden center, plant them up, and look like a garden design expert!

  • Don’t Fence Me In. Unless it’s with flowers! Tidal Wave petunias almost grow right before your eyes, creating a flowery hedge with a bevy of blooms in Cherry, Hot Pink, Purple or Silver. Put Tidal Wave in a restricted space with additional support such as a fence or a bush, and these eye-catching petunias will grow an extra two to three feet upward like a vine.

  • Go with the Flow. Mix up a kaleidoscope of colors and plant a sea of Wave petunias for a dazzling effect. Create a small “stream” of flowers or an entire river across the whole yard. Just imagine the flowers as free-flowing color rising up gracefully throughout your yard.

All Wave petunias prefer sunny spots – at least six hours of direct sunlight is best – but don’t let them dry out. Wave petunias are hungry plants, so keep them well-fed with an all-purpose fertilizer every couple of weeks, especially when grown in containers. Find out more about Wave petunias at the Wave Fan Club at www.wave-rave.com.
Earth Kind uses research-proven techniques to provide maximum gardening and landscape performance while preserving and protecting the environment. For more information on Earth Kind Landscape Management Practices see our web site: http://earthkind.tamu.edu