Image source – Pixabay
Petunia is one of the most commonly grown ornamental flowering plants. From containers to flower beds, these plants can be grown in a variety of conditions. There are 20 different species of petunias that are popular around the world. It is an annual that is easy to nurture even for gardeners who have newly ventured into gardening.
Companion plants for various reasons
Plant pairings are done based on various parameters. Companion planting trends have emerged recently as they offer a host of benefits for all the plants grown in the group. This method involves picking plants of different varieties to be grown close to each other.
Petunia companion plant combination tips
- Growing petunias close to vegetable crops is a common practice. This is mainly because these vibrant flowers can attract pollinators and improve yields. But there are also other flowering plants that can be grown close to petunia beds in order to make them look prettier. Some of them grow in harmony with your petunia batch without depleting the soil nutrients. There are others that can help in keeping a check on the plant diseases that are common in petunias. Whatever be the reason for which you are hunting for petunia companion plants, here are the most popular choices to consider.
- You can grow petunias close to almost all types of flowering plants. This plant has a reputation for keeping a variety of garden insects away. If you have a vegetable garden, then you ought to be careful about leafhoppers and hornworms. These can damage the foliage and bring down the yield. Petunia can be raised close to these plants as a pest-repellent which also looks pretty.
- While this insect-repelling nature of petunia is well-known, another fact to remember is that this is a plant that requires full sunlight. They also thrive in soil that is not soggy. Any flowering plant that can grow well in well-lit garden spaces would be able to grow well with petunias. It should also be a plant that doesn’t need to be constantly moist.
- Petunias cannot tolerate dry soil for a long time. So, it is not a good companion to be grown close to your succulent or cacti bed.
- Make sure that you do not grow this plant close to feeble stemmed flowering plants. It can creep on supports or even cover the ground when you grow them in containers close to the ground. So, it might end up invading the space of other delicate plants.
Best petunia companion plants
The following are petunia companion plants that can be chosen for gardens and containers as well. For garden beds, it is about creating height differences. You should know about the thriller, spiller, and filler strategy while choosing plants for combining in containers. Thriller plants are the primary focus and they are characterized by vertical growth. Fillers fill the space and grow bushy in the gaps. Spillers trail in the pot and create a continuation effect. Petunias fall in the fillers category. You can therefore choose plants that are thrillers or spillers for the best results with petunias.
1. Red salvia:
Gardeners who are looking for flowering plants to grow as garden borders love to work with this combination. Red salvia and petunias of lighter colors like white and yellow are classic pairs. This is another plant favored by gardeners looking to attract pollinators. Both petunias and red salvia offer a treat for hummingbirds.
The height of this plant and the dense growth of the petunia plants are perfect combinations. In fact, this plant is chosen as a companion mainly for that extra height it gives to your borders with the leggy flower stalks. This one blossoms elegantly in places that receive full sun and so does petunia. If it is for containers, then this would be the thriller plant for your petunias.
A soil pH level in the range of 5.5 to 6.5 is beneficial to red salvia plants. For petunias, you would have to maintain the pH levels in the range of 6.0 to 7.5. Hit the sweet spot and maintain the pH level in your flower bed between 6.0 to 6.5 and both petunias and red salvia plants would thrive.
Daisies are other petunia companion plants that are chosen as they have very similar water requirements like petunias. Upright stalks in the daisies make them wonderful companions for petunias. You also can tap into the variety of colors available with both these plant varieties and make some wonderful color combinations in your garden. This is also a plant that you can combine with petunia arrangements grown in containers. Daisies have very similar soil pH needs as petunias. So, you would not have to worry about rotating the soil nutrients in the bed when you grow both these plants together.
Lantana and petunia combinations are particularly popular in container gardening. These can both be grown comfortably in partially shady porches without any compromise in blooms. This is a plant that can reach a height of 6 feet when grown in the garden as a perennial. It contrasts the trailing nature of the petunias and creates a cascading appearance for the flower bed. It thrives in well-drained soil much like your petunia plants. It can grow well even in acidic soil and can withstand pH levels in the range of 5.5 to 8.5. A petunia bed would therefore be a favorable place for your lantana plants.
Another upright plant popular in the list of petunia companion plants is the snapdragon. Yellow snapdragons can be paired easily with purple and even red petunias. The black petunia variant is another killer combination to choose along with a light snapdragon variant. With its soil pH requirement in the range 5.5 to 6.2, you do not need additional preparation of the bed before planting this in petunia beds. Medium fertile soils are sufficient for vibrant blooms similar to petunias. Full sun can result in bright blooms in the snapdragon plant. You will have both petunias and snapdragons blooming in summer.
Bold and beautiful flowers on tall stems make the asters great companions for low-growing petunia plants. Aster, like petunias, would not tolerate water-logging in soil. Without letting the plant dry out for a long time between watering schedules, you can easily keep the soil moist. It would be important to add a well-drained potting mix for growing aster and petunia pairs in pots.
Soil pH should be maintained in the range of 5.5 to 7.5 for aster plants to grow and bloom as expected. This makes it easy to grow this in combination with petunias in the same container. You can also pick this one as a pair for low hanging baskets. In this case, you can go with trailing variants of petunias like wave petunias. You would have the petunia elegantly spilling from the basket while the aster grows upright.
This flowering plant prefers similar growing conditions like that of petunias. If you need a perennial that perfectly complements the short-lived petunia plantation, then candytuft is a popular choice. The bunches of candytuft flowers make great contrasts to dark color petunia variants. These grow to similar heights like petunias. They are perfect when grown on flower beds rather than in containers.
This is another warmth-loving plant that doesn’t stand soggy soils. Good drainage promotes better root growth and increases the life of this plant. Maintain the pH level between 6 and 7.5 for the best results.
A versatile combination to grow with your petunia would be the lobelia. Though it is often grown as a perennial it can also be nurtured as an annual in your petunia pots. The bush growth of the petunia in the container can be perfectly complemented with the trailing growth of lobelia. For companion planting in containers, trailing lobelia makes a good choice. It coordinates well with petunias of various types.
This plant carries blooms that are as bright as petunias. But the flowers of lobelia are slightly smaller. This helps in creating a nice balance in the appearance when the plants are both in full bloom. It starts blooming right when spring begins. When you pick a sunny spot for your petunia-lobelia container, you can be assured of bright and healthy flowers.
Even moisture with good drainage can keep the plant growing healthily. pH levels in the range of 6.0 to 7.5 can provide the right medium for the plant to grow and develop a healthy root system. Like petunias, this is another flowering plant that shows visible improvement in blooms upon providing organic plant fertilizers regularly. Depending on the arrangement of your petunia plants you can trim this down to encourage bushy growth. While economically using up whatever garden space you have, you would also be able to aesthetically accent your petunia plants with these other flowering plants. With these plant combinations, you can easily build the prettiest flower bed in your garden in no time.