A Petunia for Winter: Opera Supreme 'Pink Morn'

April 25, 2009


Update: Click here to discover how an ordinary petunia can be overwintered.

Colorful, sweetly-scented petunias are annual delights in the summer garden, but did you know that there is one special variety that will bloom indoors all winter long? It’s called ‘Opera Supreme Pink Morn,’ and it is not to be missed.

This modern, coral-pink and creamy white hybrid will give you endless pleasure if, after obtaining it in late May or early June, you place it in either full- or part-sun. Should the plant come in one of those dreadful plastic hanging baskets we all despise, knock it out and give it new quarters in an attractive 6- or 8-inch clay or glazed-ceramic pot. It will also look lovely cascading from a window box. Provide food and water freely, daily even, during hot, dry spells.

For winter blooms, take three-inch long stem cuttings in the fall, and root them in any light, porous soil. Four cuttings in a six-inch pot will produce a fairly substantial specimen. Place the potted cuttings under fluorescent lights or in your sunniest window garden. In cool temperatures (55-65 degrees), October-started cuttings will produce fragrant, flowering plants by January. Fluorescent-grown plants can be moved to the sunny window in late February.

To keep the plant shapely, cut it back periodically. Or, do nothing at all, and allow the stems to elongate and cascade over the sides of the pot. The plant will spread, however, and threaten to take over the entire window. Simply trim the overgrowth to keep Pink Morn house-sized. Also, snip off spent blossoms and their attached seed pods, to promote continuous bloom (see photo).

In late May, when all danger of frost has past, give Pink Morn a shady position outdoors for one week, and then gradually introduce it to sunnier conditions. It will continue to bloom all summer long, until October, when new cuttings can be taken for the winter show.

For temporary display, Pink Morn looks dramatic on a plant stand or as a centerpiece on the dining table.

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Related Posts:
How To Propagate Petunias, Wax Begonias & Impatiens for Winter Bloom
Overwintering Tender Herbs & Annuals (including Petunias)

Comments

  1. Emily says:

    Hi, I found you by searching “Petunia + Winter” on Google. What a great site! I love growing summer annuals in winter, too. Thanks for the tip on Opera Supreme! I hope that I can find it still, most of the annuals at garden centers are sold out now.

  2. Samantha says:

    Can other petunia varieties survive indoors in winter? I have beautiful purple ones in a hanging basket, and I'd sure like to enjoy these when there's snow on the ground!

  3. Samantha – sorry for the delayed response! All petunias, if propagated before frost, and provided cool temperatures in the window garden, can survive winter. Deeply colored types, such as your purple variety, may not bloom well unless you place it beneath lights.

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