Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum® is a very popular flower to use in upright containers. Because its stems will easily grow three feet long, it needs to be lifted off the ground sufficiently. Choose a taller urn or plan to set your upright container on a pedestal or plant stand. Because it is extremely vigorous, we recommend planting Supertunia Vista Bubblegum only with other strong growing flowers such as other Supertunia Vista Petunias, Sweet Potato Vines, Superbena® Verbena or Snow Princess® Sweet Alyssum. When planted with slower growing varieties, it can quickly take over the container.
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PLANTING YOUR HANGING BASKET
You’ll need a total of three 4-inch containers to fill one 16” container. You could plant a single container of all Supertunia Vista Bubblegum petunias or plant a combination container using one or two vigorous companions.
Space the plants equally in the container so it fills out on all sides.
Use a good quality potting soil in your container. Better potting soils are light in texture and weight, and water drains easily through them.
Mix a bit of slow release plant food into the potting soil before you add the plants. Follow the package instructions to know how much to use. This will ensure a small amount of food is available to the plants’ roots over the season.
Water your newly planted container immediately to help the soil settle in around the plants’ roots.
CARING FOR YOUR UPRIGHT CONTAINER
Sunlight, water and plant food are the three main things your container planting will need to thrive all season long. If you provide all three consistently, both you and your plants will be very happy.
Supertunia Vista Bubblegum grows best in full sun, but will still bloom if it receives light shade, especially in warm climates.
If you are feeding and watering your plants well but they aren’t full of blooms, move the container to a sunnier spot. If that is not the problem, you may have the dreaded petunia budworm. Read more about that here.
Plants growing in hanging baskets tend to dry out much faster than those planted in heavier upright containers and in the ground. This is especially true when they are hanging in windy areas or in full sun all day.
Never let your hanging basket dry out to the point where the plants wilt. That may mean it needs to be watered anywhere from every other day to more than once per day, especially as the summer’s heat sets in, depending on your growing conditions.
To figure out if it is time to water, stick your finger down in the soil up to your first knuckle. If the soil sticks to your finger, it is moist enough to make it through the day without watering. If not, it’s time to water.
If you don’t have much time to water or if you tend to travel in the summertime, consider investing in a WaterWise® self-watering kit. It saves time and water, is simple to use, and waters up to ten containers at once from a single faucet.
Every third time you water your hanging basket, include a bit of water soluble plant food in the water. Follow the package instructions to know how much to use.
What does every third time mean? If you water every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, then you’ll feed your plants every Friday. If you water your plants more than once a day, every third time you get out the watering can, add some water soluble plant food to the water. During the heat of summer when you are watering more often, your plants are growing faster and need more food to keep up. Feeding flowers is like feeding kids—not so much when they are toddlers but they’ll eat you out of house and home when they are teenagers.
Any brand of plant food meant for flowers will work for your hanging baskets. But we recommend Proven Winners water soluble and continuous release plant foods because they are specially formulated with micronutrients to help our varieties grow bigger, stronger, and bear more flowers.
One of the biggest advantages of Supertunia Bordeaux is that, unlike many other petunias, it will naturally bloom all season without the need to remove the spent flowers. A more technical term you may have seen for this is “no deadheading required”.
By midsummer, your hanging basket should be nice and full, and the flowers should be starting to trail below the bottom of the pot. To extend the life of your basket into fall, this is the time to trim the plants back. Giving them a “haircut”, taking care not to remove more than 20% of the plant, will make them bounce back with renewed vigor and you’ll have a fuller basket as a result.
It is perfectly OK to trim your plants back once per month between midsummer and fall. You know how good it feels to get a haircut? Plants love that feeling too, and respond by growing new branches filled with flowers.