Sunday, May 7, 2017

purple petunias with white dots that look like the cosmos

I'm new to this gardening hobby and already I see a marketing pattern. I noticed before that the patriotic looking petunias red and white stripes with blue ones in there were only available in baskets. They looked great but they were all mature plants, all well developed so not that long-lived through the summer, and available only in baskets, not in 6-packs.

Same thing with these purple with white speckled petunias. I noticed these among ordinary petunias and they are fascinating right off. Attention grabbing immediately. Just looking at them and you risk getting lost in a universe held in a bunch of flowers. The pattern that grabs you looks like this.

Seemed like to me. Okay, maybe this. 

No wait. It's coming back to me. The plants crammed together and suffering the depletion of their miserable compacted condition hanging there like criminals and having already peaked on the course of their natural lives looked like this as a pattern.

Kind of. The blooms are really piled in there. 

It seems to me right then that plant hybrid developers learned to skim the market when introducing new types to the market. They're a lot more expensive this way. 

Wouldn't you? Wouldn't you want to maximize your return on your investment in time and attention? They may have started out as love projects but this is big business. 

Says as much right here. But I do not trust them completely because they spell worse than me on that website. 
... new colours and colour combinations, of course. But few can be as genuinely different as 'Night Sky'.

The deep purple-blue single flowers are unpredictably speckled in large and small white spots so they look like stars shining in the night sky.
That's exactly what I thought.
These striking flowers are the result of many years of careful selection by Italian plant breeder Antonella Capo; the target being to obtain a stable colour pattern.
I wonder if he's thinking, "Oh man, if I can get these plants to the American market I'll never have to work another day in my life."
this lovely new colour pattern is not 100% stable. When the summer weather provides us with hot days and cool nights the white colouring will tend to predominate and white flowers with a purple star pattern may appear. On the rare occasions when day and night temperatures are unusually high – above 24°C (75°F) during the day and above 17°C (63°F) at night – the colouring may become almost solid purple. 
Bummer! I like them like this. Graham Rice goes on to describe the perfect temperature to get this color.  75℉ in the day and 63℉ at night, like that's going to happen naturally more than once or twice a year if ever.

Is it worth it? Will they go all white or all purple? Would that be so bad? Will I regret investing my interest and my garden hopes on a hybrid flower this unstable?

Eh. Caladiums do that too. You pick out a pattern expecting to get what you see but instead what grows in your microclimate situation produces dramatic differences in leaf color patterns. Say, red centers with green borders can vary dramatically when either red or green predominates and the overall pattern of a bunch of leaves is dramatically different. Even on the same patio if one container is in shade and the other container mostly in direct sun.
Night Sky won the 2015 Fleurostar award for the most stunning new plant of the year and was also a favourite amongst visitors to Britain’s most prestigious flower trials last year. It is propagated vegetatively, not from seed.
Clones. It's like Star Wars.

I also noticed that their chile peppers are a lot more sturdy than mine. Much thicker stems, larger leaves, and larger flowers. Altogether more robust. My habanero plants are like bonsais compared to theirs.

I want these purple flowers all over the place. They're too good to pass up and I did pass them up and now I regret it. I should have just snatched them up without further thinking. But I was thinking about all of this and it interfered with my decision. The last time I broke up a basket and spread them around the whole project didn't go very well. I'm willing to give it another try. I would like these around the whole inside of the balcony. Like a mysterious cosmos environment that invites hummingbirds. 


ndspinelli said...

I'm not into flowers or gardening, but w/ all the rain in SoCal, the wildflowers are breathtaking.

Chip Ahoy said...

Take some pictures.

cliff claven said...

Chip, Sorry..I am now back in Minnesota. But Chip, for a heathen like me to take note of the flora, it is noteworthy.