Surfinia Petunias: Production Secrets

'Surfinia Red' from Suntory

A global revolution in vegetative annuals began when Suntory introduced Surfinia petunias, the first vegetatively propagated petunias. Robust and vigorous, Surfinias reinvented petunias as a genus, which had been dominated by compact seed annuals. More than 20 years later, Surfinias are still No. 1 in the world. The original trailing types span 20 colors with fresh new genetics including Deep Red, Yellow and Baby Deep Purple. Mounding types include four Patio types and three Baby Compact colors. Growers have especially liked the new Bouquets for their floriferous and dense habit. Surfinia Bouquets now span five colors, including the new Denim. But the most exciting introduction for 2013 is the new Surfinia Summer Double petunias in Rose, Pink and White. The Summer Doubles reinvent double petunias by offering the superb heat and weather tolerance Surfinias are known.

General Culture

Rooted cuttings should be potted as soon as possible into 4-inch to 6-inch pots. One liner per pot is recommended, using a well-drained peat/perlite mix with a pH between 5.5 and 5.8. Crop temperatures at this stage should be 55-60˚F. Watering is key, as overwatering will lead to root rot. A little-and-often regime is encouraged when plants are very young. Surfinias are heavy feeders and the use of slow-release fertilizer is recommended as they grow in addition to liquid fertilizer.

Surfinia will require pinching to encourage the right habit and breaks to get a bushy and spreading plant. This should be carried out two weeks after potting. Surfinia is responsive to daminozide (B9), which can be sprayed at a rate of 2,500-5,000 ppm. A Bonzi drench can be applied at 1-3 ppm. Apply as needed. Surfinia grows rapidly in conditions of high light and high heat.

Crop Timing

• 4-inch pots – four to six weeks from one liner with one pinch
• 6-inch pots – seven to eight weeks from one liner with two pinches
• 10-inch baskets – 10 to 12 weeks with three liners and two to three pinches

Pests & Diseases

Key pests to monitor for include aphids, fungus gnats, mites, shore flies, thrips and whiteflies. Diseases to prevent include Botrytis, Phytophthora, Pythium, Powdery Mildew and Rhizoctonia.

Helpful Hints from Chris Spanton
Sutton Consumer Products, United Kingdom

Twenty years ago, Surfinia was well on its way to becoming a household name with gardening consumers in Europe as it revolutionized the hanging basket market by providing such good value for money. Across central Europe, it took the place of ivy geraniums on balconies in Austria, Switzerland and Germany, whereas before no other plant tolerated the extreme conditions of summer heat and heavy rain. It just looked fantastic hanging down in window boxes and baskets and it went on and on performing. Surfinia’s weather tolerance to the English cool summers was fantastic. The plant’s ability to flower back up the stems was another great strength, along with resistance to mildew. A lot of seed-raised petunias at that time would be done for by late August. There also is no need for consumers to dead head the flowers. Surfinia is self cleaning.

For the propagators, Surfinia is a dream to root – 3-4 weeks max on a bench. It responds to plant growth regulators (PGRs), especially B9. Its branching habit makes an excellent 4-inch pot with a quick turn on the bench. It can be flowered easily in the pot and kept compact with PGRs or a dry regime. Keep plants cool and pinch the crop only once as a plug or in a 4-inch pot. Feed well throughout its entire life. Ensure they get plenty of fertilizer in final containers. Always use a slow-release product, such as Osmocote, in addition to liquid feed. They just can’t get enough! For larger containers and baskets, plant liners in odd numbers – three or five. For combinations, mix with mounding Million Bells calibrachoas, Desana ipomoeas or Temari verbenas.

Leave a Reply

One comment on “Surfinia Petunias: Production Secrets

  1. I have just planted " Surfina magenta,Ultra Red Petunias , and yellow madness petunias" in a 15" by 15" concrete vase outside my porch . On the east side of my home.I live in Northeast Arkansas. How often do I need to water them?

More From Annuals...
National Garden Bureau California Vegetable Summer Trials

May 26, 2016

California Summer Vegetable Trials In August Will Cover A Wide Range Of Crops

The National Garden Bureau is once again organizing summer vegetables trials this August in California, giving attendees the opportunity to visit with several breeding companies.

Read More
Eason 2017 Perennials Guide

May 25, 2016

Eason Horticultural Resources Releases New Perennials Guide And Spring Trials Report

The two guides are available in digital and print versions and offer information from several breeders.

Read More
Echinacea ‘Butterfly Rainbow Marcella’

May 25, 2016

15 New Perennials For Bees, Butterflies, And Other Pollinators

These 15 new perennials, available for retail in 2016 and 2017, will produce colorful flowers and foliage year after year, providing habitat and food for bees, butterflies, birds, moths, and other pollinators.

Read More
Latest Stories
NGI-SunPatiens-Compact-Hot-Coral-Sakata

March 23, 2016

P. Allen Smith Says SunPatiens Are Hero Plants For Cons…

Plants that ensure consumer success with disease resistance bred into their genetics, and ease of use in a variety of conditions, are heroes for gardeners, especially beginners, and they should be celebrated and supported to promote gardening success and interest. These are the messages the award-winning designer, gardening, and lifestyle expert P. Allen Smith wants the horticulture industry to know, with the recent announcement of his expanded partnership with Sakata Seed. In an exclusive interview with Greenhouse Grower, P. Allen Smith describes his expanded partnership with Sakata Seed to promote SunPatiens and why the now 10-year-old series helps both novice and expert gardeners to be successful. Smith also collaborates with Sakata to promote the HomeGrown Collection of vegetables. SunPatiens Set Consumers Up For Success, Smith Says As a plantsman first, Smith has extensively trialed SunPatiens in his gardens at Moss Mountain Farm in Little Rock, AR, and says he is […]

Read More

March 15, 2016

California Spring Trials Central Region Preview: More N…

Spring is finally here, and you can draw inspiration from the hundreds of new varieties you’ll see at California Spring Trials (CAST) 2016. The annual exodus to the West Coast is coming up, but before you hit the trail, check out the slideshow below to see some of the new annuals making their debut to the trade this spring. Because so many annuals are revealed at CAST, we had to build two slideshows — one for the Northern Region and one for the Central Region. Last week’s focus was on the Northern Region, but this week we’re highlighting annuals that will be showcased in the Central Region. We asked breeders to share with us pictures and information on some of the great new annuals introductions they will debut at CAST 2016. They didn’t let you down. These new annuals introductions have all the great characteristics you’ve come to rely on from breeders — excellent […]

Read More

March 9, 2016

Get A Glimpse At New Annuals For 2017, Debuting At Cali…

California Spring Trials (CAST) is coming up, but before you hit the trail, here’s your chance for a glimpse at the new annuals that will be hitting the market in 2017. We asked breeders to share with us pictures and information on some of the great new annuals introductions they will debut at CAST 2016. They didn’t let you down. These new annuals introductions have all the great characteristics you’ve come to rely on from breeders — excellent branching, good uniformity, flower power, and most important, long-lasting garden performance. Check out the slideshow below to see some of the new annuals making their debut to the trade this spring. And because so many annuals are revealed at CAST, we had to build two slideshows – one for the Northern Region and one for the Central Region. This week we’ll focus on the Northern Region, but stay tuned for the Central […]

Read More

November 6, 2015

Greenhouse Production Tips For A Successful Spring Pans…

Following good, methodical growing practices from start to finish will produce a pansy crop that is not only green and healthy, but well-toned and able to withstand the potential extreme temperature and weather conditions of spring bedding crops.

Read More
Dahlia1

October 12, 2015

Dahlia Production Tips For High Quality Greenhouse Plan…

We are beginning to see a new generation of dahlia breeding where emphasis is moving back to staggered blooming and improved disease tolerance. Here are some tips for greenhouse production that will get your dahlias off to a strong start.

Read More
WavePetunias-GrowIt_contest_featured

June 18, 2015

Wave Petunias Sponsors Photo Contest Through GrowIt! Ga…

The gardening season is heating up and the Wave Petunias Team wants to see the #WildestWave. The popular plant brand has joined forces with the GrowIt! Garden Socially app to host a two week contest in June that encourages Wave Fans to share and rate photos of their favorite Wave Petunias. The grand prize is a $100 gift card to the garden center of the winner’s choosing. “We are excited to work with GrowIt! and see our Wave Petunias tagged in cities from coast to coast,” says Claire Watson, brand manager for Wave. “Seeing gardeners’ creative photography, awarding a winner, and learning what each region likes about Wave Petunias will be extremely useful as we further promote our ‘Wow ’em With Wave’ ad campaign this season.” Gardeners can place an entry into the contest by downloading GrowIt!, filling out a profile, and uploading photos of Wave Petunias. Placing the tag #WildestWave in the photo’s comments section […]

Read More
Salvia 'Ember's Wish'

March 11, 2015

Annual Salvias – Not Just Red Bedding Plants Anym…

Salvias are popular — and they need not all be the same. Here are a few you know well, and perhaps a few you do not. All are easy to grow and may be found through a broker or grower.

Read More

February 18, 2015

New Annuals For 2016 From California Spring Trials

California Spring Trials (CAST) is long past for 2015, but you still have the chance to see the new genetics that will be hitting the market in 2016. We asked breeders to share with us pictures and information on some of the great new annuals introductions they shared at CAST, so we could share them with you.

Read More

November 14, 2014

First Vegetatively Propagated All-America Selections (A…

All-America Selections (AAS) honors two vegetatively propagated impatiens with AAS winner status.

Read More

October 13, 2014

Growing Tips For Verbena

Rich Schoellhorn, product manager at Proven Winners, shares some tips for growing verbenas successfully.

Read More

October 13, 2014

Greenhouse Grower 2014 New Varieties Guide: Petunias [S…

Greenhouse Grower asked more than 40 breeders to send photos of new introductions they think are worth your attention. The result is the 2014 New Varieties Guide. See what petunias made the cut.

Read More

June 12, 2014

New Begonia Variety And Coleus Series, Plus Two Lobelia…

Terra Nova Nurseries introduces seven new varieties and one new series.

Read More

May 27, 2014

Two New Salvias Added To Southern Living Plant Collecti…

Two new salvia varieties are now available exclusively to growers from the Southern Living Plant Collection and Sunset Western Garden Collection.

Read More

May 9, 2014

New Petunias Making Their Debut In 2015

Take a look at the new petunia varieties that will be making their appearance in 2015.

Read More

April 23, 2014

Foliage Begonias May Be A Big 2015 Trend [Spring Trials…

A number of breeders debuted their rex begonia and begonia hybrid lines at 2014 Spring Trials.

Read More
Petunia 'Success Violet' from Benary

April 11, 2014

What’s New With Petunias For 2014? [Slideshow]

Breeders are rolling out great new petunia introductions for 2014. Take a look at the variety of petunias they have to offer.

Read More
Verbena 'Superbena Royale Whitecap' from Proven Winners

November 11, 2013

Three New Verbena Superbena Introductions From Proven W…

Three new varieties have joined the verbena Superbena line-up this year: 'Superbena Royale Plum Wine,' 'Superbena Royale Whitecap' and 'Superbena Violet Ice.'

Read More
Calibrachoa 'Mini Famous Double Blue' from Selecta

October 17, 2013

6 New Calibrachoa For 2013

Check out these lovely new introductions in calibrachoa.

Read More
[gravityform id="35" title="false" description="false"]