Tidal Wave Red Velour Spreading Petunia has been named the latest Texas Superstar release based on its superior performance across the state, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Research expert.
The Red Velour joins the tough, durable Tidal Wave petunia series.
What it takes to be a Texas Superstar
To be designated a Texas Superstar, a plant must not only be beautiful but perform well for consumers and growers throughout the state. Texas Superstars must be easy to propagate, which should ensure the plants are not only widely available but also reasonably priced, said Mike Arnold, AgriLife Research horticulturist, College Station.
“Tidal Wave Red Velour’s combination of durability and toughness and the longer growing season than most petunias makes it a great Texas Superstar,” he said. “We always look for combinations for bedding plants that will give contrast in landscapes, and this red is great for that. But it’s also a fantastic container plant because of its trailing habit that cascades over the container.”
Tidal Wave Red Velour
As the name implies, Tidal Wave Red Velour offers dark red flowers that appear as if crafted from rich red velour, Arnold said.
This 12-24-inch tall dense canopied petunia spreads to 30-60 inches in width. Flowering peaks from early spring to early summer and if well-tended can survive Texas summers and return for a significant fall bloom.
Arnold said Red Velour’s heat and cold tolerance are characteristics that give it a long growing season. Its flowering characteristics provide prolific floral display throughout the season.
Tidal Wave Red Velour combines well with its earlier designated fellow Texas Superstars Tidal Wave Silver Spreading Petunia and Tidal Wave Cherry Spreading Petunia to offer great seasonal waves of Texas-tough color, Arnold said.
“The fact that we are considering it to be a companion for the Silver Wave is an endorsement of how tough and durable of a petunia it is,” he said. “Silver Wave is an industry standard and paired together gives even more contrast between the white and red, even in comparison to the Cherry Wave because the reds are darker.”
Maximize and maintain the Tidal Wave Red Velour
Full sun exposure is best for maximum floral display, though partial shade does help in over-summering plants, he said. Growth in patio pots and containers is vigorous and will benefit from occasional shearing.
Tidal Wave Red Velour is typically grown as a fall southern or early spring northern cool- to transition-season annual, but plants can be short-term perennials in U.S. Department of Agriculture Hardiness Zone 8b. Summer temperatures can limit its long-term performance in warmer portions of the state, but Tidal Wave Red Velour is more tolerant of heat than most petunias.
Arnold said to plant to avoid the final frost date typically in late winter or early spring in northern portions of Texas. Plants can be planted in late fall in warmer portions of the state for a periodic winter display.
“It’s pretty trouble free when planted in a good site,” he said. “We treat it as a cool-season plant, but it can go from late winter, early spring through fall under the right conditions.”
Tidal Wave Red Velour can be used as a bedding, specimen or an accent plant in mixed borders; plants also perform very well in containers, hanging baskets and window boxes.
Plants thrive in almost any well drained soil and do benefit from regular fertilization, Arnold said. The plant also performs best under good quality irrigation water.
“It just needs good, clean water that isn’t too high in salt or alkalinity,” he said. “It’s done well here in College Station, which has a little salinity and high pH. The plant also needs a little fertilizer to keep the nitrogen levels at a reasonable rate throughout flowering.”
Where to buy this Texas tough Petunia
Arnold said Red Velour should be widely available at specialty nurseries and major retailers. But he recommended consumers check with local nurseries because they typically have regionally adapted plants.
“We’re always looking for improvements on tried and true plants,” he said. “And adding Red Velour to the Waves series is another improvement particularly for petunias.”
Texas Superstar is a registered trademark owned by AgriLife Research, a state agency that is part of the Texas A&M University System. Plants are designated Texas Superstars by the Texas Superstar executive board, which is made up of nine AgriLife Research, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Texas Tech University horticulturalists.
Article credit given to www.agrilifetoday.tamu.edu