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Annuals/tidal wave petunia


I over fertilized my tidal wave petunia which i overwinter  i cut all the wilted leaves with sterilized scissors  but it is still climbing the plant  any suggestions???   The plant is all wiltting  or could it be a fungus???

Debbie, there are two things guaranteed in life: Death and Taxes.

Petunias are lucky.  They do not pay Taxes.  Alas, they are living things, and so, like us, they do not live forever.  

In fact, they don't even live that long.  They are annuals.  Unlike Geraniums, which are Perennials and built with the growth hormones that never say Die (but they do eventually kick the bucket, too).

People in Sunny, Tropical climates pop this question all the time: I love my Petunias, I want to grow them forever, I water them and fertilize them and hug them every day, what am I doing wrong?

Some gardeners -- most actually -- refuse to take No for an answer.  So they try.

But not even those luxurious, lavish Tidal Wave Petunias with their high-output flower genes will bloom end-lessly.  No matter how nice you are to them.  No matter how much you love them.  They are Petunias, made to bloom a single Season, then fade to black.  That's just the way God planned it.

On the sunny side, consider this: The right gene-splicing -- somewhere on the planet, a lab technician is doing this as we speak -- will turn out the world's first Perennial Petunias.  Those will bloom -- in theory -- perennially, year after year after year.

But today, the facts of life are simply this: Petunias are annuals.  They have under the best of care, by the biggest of gardening hearts, 365 days, give or take a month or two.  That, dear, is life.  Thankyou for writing.


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Long Island Gardener


Decisions, decisions... If you can't make up your mind which Annuals to grow, you're not alone. Problem with your new flowering Annuals flats? I`ve been there, done that. Petunias, Sweet Alyssum, Larkspur, Marine Blue Lobelia -- they all grow here at my house on Garden Street on Long Island, N.Y.. Cutting and Cottage Gardens, Sun and Shade Gardens, White Gardens and Night Gardens, I`ve done them all. Annuals are the perfect summer flower, bursting with color June through fall's first frost. I can`t speak on Cactus or tender Tropical Plants -- they don`t grow outside in my Zone 7. I`m no Farmer, so I cannot guide you on Fruits and Vegetables. But whether it`s an Annual you want to start from seed, mail-order or pick up at your local garden center, I can help you grow amazing blooms this Summer. Yes, together, we can turn your neighbors green with envy.


I have a lifetime of gardening behind me here on the North Shore of Long Island. While I have degrees in related fields, there's nothing like hands-on work to build real knowledge. I stay on top of current science -- there's a boom in research, and Kingdom Plantae is filled with surprises. By the way, I really do live on Garden Street.

Gannett newspapers, The New York Times, and hundreds of others - but not on Annuals.

B.A., botany; graduate credits in European Intellectual History and Political Science; minor coursework in related fields, docent training at our local botanical gardens (required for volunteers). I'm currently working on an advanced biochemistry degree.

Awards and Honors
I could tell you, but then you'd know who I am.

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