All About Petunias

I want to know everything there is to know about Petunias. I want to know their species and subspecies, what kind of soil they like, and if they come back year after year or if they have to be planted every spring.

I had a dream the other night about a woman who was from the beginning of time on earth. She wasn’t old and grandmotherly, but I knew she was from the ancient past. She had a bunch of Petunias in her hand and told me that if I would keep these flowers with me at all times they would prevent illness and protect me from ill will. She also told me it was time to speak up. But she didn’t tell me what I should speak up about.

That dream wasn’t the first time Petunias had caught my attention.

At the end of one summer day,  a long time ago when I lived in Mount Holly on Peppercorn street I was sitting on the stoop watching my kids play in the front yard. There was a warm breeze. Evening had begun to cast soft shadows over the Rododendrums. All of a sudden  I noticed a fragrance so subtle that I wondered if I had imagined and when I looked for its source I saw a  dark purple Petunia waving gently in the breeze. I had planted those flowers in the spring but they weren’t anything special to me. I just thought they were pretty.

Now here was this flower, standing tall and leggy as if trying to watch a parade go by and it seemed like she was a friend; it seemed like she approved of the situation and she nodded gracefully as night fell in the little garden. It seemed like she was saying, “All is well, all is well.”

I hadn’t remembered that special moment between me and a flower until the dream. Now I was curious.

I learned that Petunias grow best in ground that is equal parts sand, silt, and clay. The way they arrange their petals so carefully around a pistil makes them seem cultured and ladylike. You wouldn’t know by looking that any of them grow wild and feed Buckeyed butterflies all summer long, and you wouldn’t suspect that this demure little plant that grows in hanging baskets and window boxes will take over if they are free to grow as they please.

I read that the essence of Petunia can be used to keep one’s mind keen and alert and can lift a sagging spirit. The Inca and the Mayans believed that they chased away evil spirits and would only grow in places where the atmosphere is positive. Petunias can also, somehow, help a person find her voice.

The woman in the dream told me to keep them with me and to find my voice. I suppose I’ll have to keep digging for information, esoteric or otherwise, on this mysterious little flower.

As for finding my voice, I cannot, for the life of me, imagine what I can say that the Petunias do not already whisper every summer to anyone with the sensibilities to listen.


1 thought on “All About Petunias”

  1. I love this so much! My dad’s nickname for me was Petunia! Never knew I was such a lovely flower!
    I appreciate learning the value of petunias, and will be pleased to plant them in bunches in the Spring!😍


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