How to Care for Supertunia Hanging Baskets
Supertunias (Petunia supertunia) are a hybrid type of petunia that grows as a perennial in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 and 11 and as an annual elsewhere. The plant's flowers come in a wide array of colors, including pink, purple and pink-white. Supertunia's trailing foliage and vibrant, fragrant blossoms make a striking statement when grown in a hanging flower basket, which helps to bring the flowers up to eye level.
When choosing a spot to place the hanging basket, pick a location that receives full sun. Superpetunias require full sun for optimal foliage growth and flower development. That means the basket should get at least six hours of direct sunlight every day. Consider hanging the basket on an east- or west-facing side of the landscape to maximize sun exposure.
Watering Supertunia Baskets
Water a Supertunia hanging basket every day. Typically, petunias only need to be watered once a week, but Supertunias grow faster than traditional petunias and need more frequent watering. Additionally, because hanging baskets are exposed on all sides to wind and sun, the soil dries out faster.
Add water to the top of the hanging basket until moisture drips out of the bottom drainage holes. If you're using a porous hanging basket, such as one made out of moss or burlap, spritz and soak the sides of the basket, too.
Water Supertunias in the morning. This gives their foliage time to dry before cool evening temperatures set in. Chronically wet foliage increases the risks of plant diseases.
Fertilizing Hanging Baskets
All hybrid petunias, including Supetunias, need frequent fertilization to fuel their faster-than-usual growth. Fertilize once a week with any liquid all-purpose fertilizer, applying according to its product-specific guidelines. For example, if you're using a water-soluble 24-8-16 fertilizer, mix 1 1/2 tablespoons of fertilizer in 1 1/2 gallon of water and to water the hanging basket.
- When growing Supertunias as a perennial, start fertilizing them when they begin producing new growth in the spring.
- If you're growing Supertunias as an annual, begin fertilizing as soon as the plants are a couple inches high.
- If you buy a pre-planted hanging basket full of mature, blooming Supertunias, start fertilizing it a week after you've purchased it. This avoids potential overfertilization in case the garden store or nursery fertilized the basket.
Defending Against Pests
Supertunias are typically problem-free, but the plants occasionally succumb to attacks from aphids and other soft-bodied pests. If left unchecked, pests can stress the petunias and cause leaf wilting, foliage loss and blossom loss.
If you notice aphids and other pests on the hanging basket, spray the Supertunia with a strong stream of water from a garden hose. This is often all that's needed to knock off enough pests -- drowning and killing them in the process -- to prevent lasting petunia damage.
If spraying Supertunias with water doesn't sufficiently control the problem, mix your own insecticide.
Add the dish soap to an empty, clean spray bottle.
Pour in 1 quart of water.
Mix the solution thoroughly.
Spritz the soap spray on the Supetunias, evenly coating the entire plant.
Repeat in a week if pest problems persist.
Soap spray kills soft-bodied pests, such as aphids and whiteflies, but it must come in direct contact with them. Ensure the entire petunia plant is coated in the spray so you don't miss any.