This blog is about growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area

November 3, 2015

How to choose the best six-pack of petunias

Petunias are great. They do well here in the Phoenix, Arizona area, and stay in bloom all winter. They can be planted as early as October, although it's best to be absolutely sure that the weather has cooled down, so I waited until November. There are some tricks to getting the most out of them, and one of the first steps is to choose the correct six-pack.

By the way, the six-pack is the only size you should buy, there's no need to buy them any bigger. If you do it right, they will grow like wildfire!

First of all, don't worry about going to some fancy nursery. Annuals are annuals, and what you want is freshness. So places like Home Depot, or Lowe's, which do a lot of sales, and get a lot of plants in fresh, are the best place to go. And luckily, what most people choose are the wrong ones, so there are usually plenty of the correct ones, that get passed over, for you. This is how to choose:

• Look for small, compact plants. Big ones, that are all stretched out, overblown and in full bloom, have been there for a while. In "plant speak" they're "leggy" and will just need to be trimmed back in order to not look all scraggly. So get the small, compact ones. But be sure that the six-pack has a plant or two in bloom so that you're sure to get the correct color. This year I'm going with all white blooms.

And there you go. Yesterday at Lowe's there was a whole row that was considerably smaller than all of the others, much more compact, much younger, and much healthier. Those are the ones you want.
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