Pethoa Is A New Word In Petunia Breeding. Growing Experience, Advantages, Varieties. Photo

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Pethoa Is A New Word In Petunia Breeding. Growing Experience, Advantages, Varieties. Photo
Pethoa Is A New Word In Petunia Breeding. Growing Experience, Advantages, Varieties. Photo
Video: Pethoa Is A New Word In Petunia Breeding. Growing Experience, Advantages, Varieties. Photo
Video: How To Grow Petunia From Cuttings ,Grow petunia using this process and get 100% success ,Petunia 2023, February

Today, petunias have more than a thousand varieties and hybrids of countless shades, different heights and bush shapes - for almost every taste. Modern petunia is strikingly different from the simpleton that it was at the dawn of breeding work. And, it would seem, what else can breeders surprise? But, as they say, there is no limit to perfection. Last spring, I purchased from the market several unnamed cuttings of vegetative petunias with striking flower colors. When I later found out what kind of plants I was growing, I was dumbfounded. After all, it turned out that these "petunias" are not petunias at all, and not even calibrachoa, but belong to a new independent genus Pethoa.

Pethoa - a new word in petunia breeding
Pethoa - a new word in petunia breeding


  • Personal experience of growing pethoa
  • What is Pethoa?
  • Benefits of pethoa over petunia and calibrachoa
  • Pethoa varieties

Personal experience of growing pethoa

Amazing unnamed "petunias" delighted me all summer. And at the end of the season, I set out to find out in more detail what kind of cultivars grew on my balcony. They were the most profusely blooming, most tireless, persistent and the most amazingly colored petunias I have ever grown. A search through the catalogs of vegetative petunias showed that the plants I grew were the last word in petunia breeding. At the same time, it is a fundamentally new plant bearing the unusual name of pethoa.

On my balcony, I grew three varieties of Pethoa: BeautiCal French Vanilla (yellow), BeautiCal Caramel Yellow (orange) and BeautiCal Cinnamon (reddish brown). I bought the plants in small cuttings, and over the summer they have grown a decent green mass. The flowering was very abundant, and I did not notice any interruptions in flowering in the pethoa (unlike many petunias that bloom in waves). I also never had a desire to cut them, because no "baldness" or stretching of bushes was observed.

Like petunia, pethoa bloomed until frost, but at the same time, unlike the first, with the onset of autumn, the flowering remained just as abundant, and the bushes were densely covered with flowers, almost like in summer.

Caring for pethoa was no different from cultivating the usual petunias: the plants grew in hanging baskets filled with a ready-made peat-based substrate for flowering plants. Additionally, when planting, granules of specialized "long-playing" fertilizers were introduced into the soil.

Throughout the season - regular watering plus feeding with a soluble complex mineral fertilizer approximately once a week. Pethoa is definitely as voracious as petunia and needs a strict fertilization schedule. No disease or pest damage was observed in Pethoa. In short, I was more than pleased with this new product, because all summer I never ceased to admire the vitality and unique color of its flowers. Therefore, I wanted to learn more myself and tell you about this amazing "petunia".

Caring for Petchoa (Petchoa) is no different from the cultivation of familiar petunias
Caring for Petchoa (Petchoa) is no different from the cultivation of familiar petunias

What is Pethoa?

Pethoa is a relatively new plant on the market, so many gardeners most likely haven't even heard of it. But if you take a closer look at the exotic name, it is easy to guess that the name "Petchoa" is the result of the merging of parts of two familiar names of flowers: "pet" (petunia) and "hoa" (calibrachoa). After all, pethoa is nothing more than an interspecific hybrid of petunia and calibrachoa. According to the description in the catalogs regarding the appearance, pethoa inherited large flowers from petunia, and unique color and small foliage from caliachoa.

Important! Pethoa is not a traditional cross-pollinated hybrid followed by sowing. Petunia and calibrachoa have a different number of chromosomes and, according to botanists, crossing of such crops is impossible. Pethoa was born in the laboratory as a result of a complex process of artificially preserving the embryo, which in natural conditions would be completely unviable. Pethoa propagates exclusively vegetatively: by cuttings or on the basis of plant tissue fragments (laboratory).

Pethoa flower sizes are indeed comparable in size to most varieties of hybrid petunias (approximately 6 centimeters in diameter). But, unlike petunia, most cultivars of which have flowers that are slightly star-shaped with slightly pointed petals, in pethoa, like calibrachoa, the tips of the petals are more rounded, the dissection of the petals is barely noticeable, and the full face of its flowers looks more like a circle. The pethoa tube of accrete petals is also slightly shorter than that of the petunia.

Calibrachoa also enriched the color gamut of the petals of the new plant, because the petunia does not have a gene responsible for a rich, true orange and bright yellow color. Almost all vegetative petunias that have an uncharacteristic color for the species were created using genetic engineering methods. So, a few years ago it even led to an international scandal.

Due to the natural tones of bright yellows and oranges for calibrachoa, petjoa has very unusual colors. In addition, pethoa petals have a special glow and rare depth of tones. The pethoa foliage is narrower and, indeed, smaller than that of petunias, but still its leaf blades are larger than the calibrachoa leaves.

The shape of the bush, as a rule, is spherical or ampelous, internodes are short, the bushes are very dense and their height is no more than 25 centimeters. In width, pethoa grows up to 80 centimeters in good conditions. Such a habit makes pethoa versatile and ideal flowers both for hanging container compositions and for planting on flower beds in gardens and in urban landscaping.

On the left is a spherical petchoa flower, almost identical to calibrachoa (below), on the right, a petunia flower of a more stellar shape with dissected and pointed petals
On the left is a spherical petchoa flower, almost identical to calibrachoa (below), on the right, a petunia flower of a more stellar shape with dissected and pointed petals

Benefits of pethoa over petunia and calibrachoa

According to the creators of the unique hybrid, the novelty contains the positive qualities of both parents, but at the same time it is devoid of the shortcomings of its predecessors. What are the benefits of pethoa?

First, pethoa are more tolerant of adverse weather conditions than petunias. They are more resistant to temperature fluctuations. Pethoa flowers are much more persistent and even after heavy rain do not look like hanging rags. At the same time, in unfavorable conditions, they exhibit greater resistance to powdery mildew.

Secondly, pethoa, like petunias, are more tolerant of soil acidity. And if calibrachoa react negatively to high pH levels, then petjoa are free of these problems. This is a key characteristic for growing flowers in regions where tap water is very alkaline or soils are alkaline.

Thirdly, calibrachoa has a weak root system, which complicates plant growth and requires increased attention to it. Pethoa got a more powerful and vigorous petunia root system. Due to this, petjoa absorb nutrients much better than calibrachoa. This is essential for healthy, rich foliage and abundant flowering.

Fourth, as mentioned above, thanks to the genes of calibrachoa, pethoa have very rich and often original petal colors that look "aristocratic". Sometimes I really want to describe pethoa colors as “tasty”, which is reflected in the name of cultivars, if translated into Russian: “Cinnamon”, “French vanilla”, “Caramel”, etc.

In addition, nursery breeders involved in the propagation of vegetative hybrids of annual plants noted that cuttings of pethoa are more viable, easier to grow roots and easier to take root, in comparison with cuttings of petunias and calibrachoa. At the same time, the yield of cuttings from mother plants is greater.

As you may have noticed, the foliage of many petunias (especially older varieties) is slightly sticky. The pethoa foliage, like the calibrachoa leaves, is practically non-sticky. This allows the faded flowers to fall off on their own without lingering in the foliage, keeping the plant neat and saving the grower time for cleaning the bushes.

According to the gardeners who kept the pethoa mother plants in winter, the plant is easier for petunias to endure winter on the windowsill and on the southern window can winter without lighting and even continues to bloom regularly with individual flowers.

Since pethoa flowers are completely sterile and do not produce seeds at all, each flower tends to bloom for a little longer than many petunias.

If so many petunias need to be trimmed in order to look good by stimulating the new flowering wave, then there is no need to trim the pethoa. These plants retain their compact bush shape and abundant flowering throughout the season, so they do not need to be rejuvenated.

Pethoa 'BeautiCal Cinnamon'
Pethoa 'BeautiCal Cinnamon'

Pethoa varieties

For the first time, pethoa were obtained by a breeder of the Israeli company Danziger and were immediately registered under the trademark Calitunia® (although, according to other sources, the first pethoa was bred in Japan). There are only two colors available in this series: Calitunia® Pink and Calitunia® Purple.

The second breeder, the renowned seed breeding and seed company Sakata, has introduced the new SuperCal® pethoa series, which already consists of eleven different varieties. Sakata later also registered the follow-up pethoa series, BeautiCal®, which is distinguished by its unusual coloration and greater resistance to weather conditions.

Currently, the most popular are the Petjoa varieties with the most unusual colors:

Pethoa 'BeautiCal Cinnamon' ("Cinnamon"). Due to the presence of the calibrachoa genes, the flowers of the cultivar have a very complex color with warm orange hues. The color of the petals of this variety can be described as bronze, terracotta, red-brown, dark orange tones. But none of these colors will be an accurate description of their true colors. The petals of this pethoa are colored in many shades, and in the very depths of the flower they become almost black. The shape of the bush is semi-ampelous.

Pethoa 'BeautiCal French Vanilla' ("French Vanilla"). The flowers of this variety are yellow, but it would be too easy to call them just yellow. Yellow is represented here by a very rare noble shade, reminiscent of ivory. On light petals, there are many yellow veins, which turn brown as they move away from the edge. In the center of the flower, the veins merge, forming an expressive, almost black eye. The shape of the bush is ampelous, the shoots fall by 60 centimeters.

Pethoa 'BeautiCal Caramel Yellow' ("Caramel yellow"). The flowers of this variety have a rich yellow color of a warm shade and, indeed, resemble liquid caramel in color and seem just as tasty. Additionally, the petals are decorated with expressive brown veins, which converge in the center, forming a pattern similar to a star. The flowering is very abundant. The shape of the bush is semi-ampelous, spherical, the shoots hang slightly from the edges of the container.

Pethoa 'SuperCal Terra Cotta' ("Terracotta"). The color of the delicate petals of this cultivar resembles a warm summer sunset. The edges of the petals have a pinkish blush, closer to the center the petals turn yellow, and the core is colored dark brown. Dark venation adds additional originality. Due to its affinity with calibrachoa, this unusual shade in this pethoa variety is stable, does not fade or change as the flower dissolves. The shape of the bush is ampelous, the shoots can go down 30-60 centimeters.

Pethoa 'BeautiCal French Vanilla' ("French Vanilla")
Pethoa 'BeautiCal French Vanilla' ("French Vanilla")
Pethoa 'BeautiCal Caramel Yellow' ("Caramel yellow")
Pethoa 'BeautiCal Caramel Yellow' ("Caramel yellow")
Pethoa 'SuperCal Terra Cotta' ("Terracotta")
Pethoa 'SuperCal Terra Cotta' ("Terracotta")

PS At the moment, it is very difficult to guess whether pethoa will replace petunia in its many forms or whether an amazing novelty will be used by flower growers on an equal basis with it. In any case, in the near future, the popularity of pethoa will only grow, because it is actively gaining fans around the world. And this is not surprising, since the plant is very easy to grow, pethoa adorns the garden with very beautiful, stunning colors of flowers all season. And, for sure, the one who first begins to grow pethoa will become a trendsetter in gardening fashion in his circle.

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