Are Petunias Annuals or Perennials?

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Petunias are one of the flowers I most remember from my childhood flowerbeds. (Along with marigolds and impatiens, of course.) I loved picking out the flowers with my mom each spring. If you’re wondering, “are petunias annuals or perennials,” I can help!

The pretty, trumpet-like shape sets the petunia apart. It adds a touch of dimension to the garden.

Many love them, but are petunias perennials?

Coral pink petunia flower in a pot
Coral pink petunia flower in a pot – Are petunias annuals or perennials?

Are petunias annuals or perennials?

Technically, petunias are tender perennials. This means they cannot withstand frost. For most gardeners, petunias are annuals for this reason. If you wish to keep the same petunias from year to year, don’t leave them in the ground. You must bring them indoors over the winter, unless you live in a climate that doesn’t get frost.

Pink white and purple petunias in a pot
Pink white and purple petunias in a pot – Petunias are annuals where I live.

Are Wave petunias perennials?

Like common petunias, Wave petunias are treated as annuals as well. These tender perennials can live year-round in zone 11. Expect them to spread beautifully, cascading down garden walls or planters. You must bring Wave petunias inside, though, to keep them alive over the winter. Wave petunias cannot survive frost.

Easy Wave Blue Petunias
Easy Wave Blue Petunias at Glick’s Greenhouse in Oley, PA

Do petunias come back?

Due to an inability to tolerate frost, most petunias do not come back each year unless you live in a frost-free zone. That being said, sometimes petunias may reseed themselves.

New petunia plants will grow and may be different from the original plant. Look for fun variations in flower color, depending on pollination.

Pretty pink petunias with healthy green leaves
Do Petunias come back every year? Where we live, they do not, unfortunately.

Enjoying Petunias Even Longer!

Now that you know the scoop on “are petunias annuals or perennials,” you can plan accordingly for your grow zone.

Extending Blooms

The best secret to enjoying even more petunia flowers is removing old flowers. Follow these tips on deadheading petunias to keep your flowers blooming all season!

Purple petunias in a flower basket planter
Purple petunias in a flower basket planter

Regrowing Beloved Petunias

If you love petunias and become fond of a certain plant, try to propagate. Propagating petunias usually gets you a genetic copy of the parent plant. Most often, gardeners propagate flowers like this from cuttings.

Also, you can try pinching petunias and planting the tops in moist potting soil for twice as many flowers!

Pink and white petunias
Pink and white petunias

Growing New Petunias

Or, if you just want to try growing similar petunias again, save some seeds! You can plant petunia seeds indoors in the new growing season. Get ready to see what beautiful surprises nature gives you!

Red Petunias in a Hanging Basket
Red Petunias in a Hanging Basket

Are Petunias Perennials?

Petunias are tender perennials treated as annuals, so we must plan accordingly. Plan to make gardening decisions that best support this pretty flower.

Also, here are a few tips:

  • Avoid Frost – Avoid planting out petunias until after the danger of frost passes.

  • Cover if Needed – If a rogue frost or freeze does come, cover your petunias with buckets or flower pots overnight.

  • Overwinter Petunias – Dig up and bring in any petunias you wish to overwinter.

  • Buy New Petunias – Look forward to choosing new colors and varieties of petunias each spring!

Buying new petunias is lots of fun, too! It can become a memorable tradition with those you love.

Young daughter picking out petunia flowers
My youngest daughter picking out petunia flowers in 2019

By the way, to get the most out of your flowers, you may also wish to read our posts on pruning petunias for fuller growth.

Do you have any questions about petunias as annuals / tender perennials? Feel free to ask away or share any tips in our comments below. We love hearing from you!

Happy Gardening!

09.20.22 – Edited to add link to pruning post.

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