Wave petunias are beautiful, showy plants. With their vigorous growth and abundant blooms, it’s no wonder they are so popular in the gardening world. These annuals are becoming especially popular in hanging baskets. Growing Wave petunias in hanging baskets can make for a beautiful display of cascading flowers that will brighten up your home.
We put together this guide to go over some things to consider when you are planting your own Wave petunia hanging basket.
Already purchased a Wave petunia basket? No worries! Feel free to skip to the wave petunia hanging basket care tips to get some tips on keeping your basket beautiful all summer long!
First, a little bit about choosing flowers for your hanging basket.
Wave petunia hanging baskets
Due to their spreading nature and tendency to bloom non-stop, Wave petunias are often planted in hanging baskets. Wave petunias can be grown by themselves (single color), with varying colors of Wave petunias, or with other annuals to create a beautiful arrangement of flowers and foliage.
Plants that grow well with Wave petunias in a hanging basket
Wave petunias are vigorous growers. So its important to choose plants to grow with Wave petunias that can fend for their own, so to speak.
Below are some examples of annuals that you will often see planted with Wave petunias. These plants either are similar spreaders or have some height to them that allows them to not be overwhelmed by Wave petunias. They also have similar sunlight and watering requirements.
Trailing verbena can compliment Wave petunias very well. These plants will spread and cascade over the edge of the basket just like Wave petunias so its differing bloom and foliage contrast well with Wave petunias.
Choosing to pair your Wave petunias with trailing verbena also means you have more options when it comes to colors and style. While Wave petunias have a variety of colors, Trailing verbenas have some beautiful bi-color blooms that make them a great complementary plant to Wave petunias in a hanging basket.
Calibrachoa (Million Bells)
Million Bells are another vigorous grower shouldn’t get overtaken by Wave petunias.
Million Bells are a cousin to Wave petunias but have smaller blooms that add some variety to the hanging basket.
Looking for some height? Geraniums is a great flower choice for contrasting a Wave petunia basket. A hanging basket with Wave petunias pouring over the side and a Geranium growing up the center is a great combination.
Geraniums can also handle the sun, so both plants can get the sun they need to really put on a show.
Sweet Potato Vines
Sweet potatoes are a popular hanging basket “spiller.” Some popular colors are yellowish green and dark black. These accent colors are a perfect addition to a Wave petunia basket.
How to plant wave petunia hanging baskets
If you have your plants and you are ready to pot them up in a hanging basket, here’s the process!
1. Preparing your hanging basket
Grab your hanging basket and fill it up to a few inches shy of the brim with potting soil.
2. Unpacking your Wave petunia plants
Pull the Wave petunia plants from their pack or pot by squeezing the bottom of the container and gently pulling the plant out. You can turn the container upside down as you do this to get gravity on your side.
3. Staging you Wave petunia plants
Stage your plants in the hanging basket how you would like them.
Tip: If the Wave petunia plants are root bound (meaning their root cubes are very tight and interwoven), you can do the plant a favor by gently pulling the root cube apart a few times. This encourages the plant to spread its root out in the new soil.
4. Planting the Wave petunia hanging basket
Cover the Wave petunia plugs up to match the soil line of the plants.
5. Watering the plants in
Water the Wave petunia basket in and apply slow-release fertilizer (if not already included in your potting soil).
7 tips for planting wave petunias in a hanging basket
1. Don’t overpack your basket
As mentioned before, Wave petunias are vigorous growers. You don’t want to make the mistake of filling your Wave petunia basket too full when the plants are small. While Wave petunias aren’t quite as vigorous as Supertunias, they still have the potential to overcome other plants in a hanging basket.
If planting your basket with just Wave petunias, you could get away with just one plant per hanging basket, but many will plant three to really get a nice display (stick with odd numbers). This will depend largely on your basket size, but for a general 12″ basket, 3 plants will easily be enough.
If you are planting Wave petunias with another plant in a hanging basket, be careful as to not crowd any of the plants.
2. Choose a hanging basket with good drainage
Choose a hanging basket with good drainage holes. This will help protect the Wave petunia from root rot.
3. Plant the hanging basket early
Since Wave petunias are great growers even late plantings will flourish. But, as it is with any annuals, the earlier you can safely plant them outside, the better! This will allow you to cure that cabin fever and get an early look at some blooms.
4. Fertilize throughout the summer
Even if your hanging basket’s potting soil has slow-release fertilizer in it already, we still recommend fertilizing the hanging basket throughout the summer.
Some growers recommend fertilizing hanging baskets every third watering, but this will vary on how much fertilizer the potting soil had in it, how the plants are looking and how much sun the hanging basket is receiving.
5. Keep in the sun
Speaking of sun, make sure your Wave petunia receives at least 6 hours of it. Wave petunias can handle that hot afternoon sun with the proper care. Petunias as a whole are sun-lovers, so make sure they are getting that natural sunlight.
Without enough sun, you may notice the Wave petunia not blooming as much or get stunted growth.
6. Cut back the Wave petunia for fresh growth
A huge benefit of Wave petunias is that they don’t need deadheaded. However, we find that cutting back Wave petunias will promote growth and encourage future blooms.
Feel free to cut back the Wave petunia in your hanging basket if you see that its getting straggly or overcoming other plants in the basket.
7. Keep the hanging basket watered but don’t overwater
While Wave petunias love the sun, they’ll be relying more heavily on you for water when planted in a hanging basket. Make sure to keep the basket well-watered throughout the summer, especially over really hot days.
For the heat of the summer, you may have to water the hanging basket once or more a day.
Be careful that you don’t overwater it.
A great way to tell if it needs some water is to see if the first inch or so of soil is moist. Or, you can lift the basket from underneath to test its weight. A Wave petunia hanging basket that is in need of watering will be noticeably light.
Overall, Wave petunias are great annuals to include in your hanging basket. Their cascading flowers and spreading make them stand out on your front porch or someplace sunny on your property.
For more information on gardening, check out Homestead Garden’s blog.