For reliable, long-lasting color, you can’t go wrong with petunias.
And for bold red hues that last and last throughout the summer they’re really one of the best options, especially if dealing with plant diseases isn’t your thing.
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Red petunias run the gamut from pale and nearly pink to deep, dark magenta that almost looks black. They can be striped, speckled, or bicolored.
Whether you’re looking for something with a classic solid crimson hue or a multicolored flower with many petals, you’ve got options. Lots of them.
To help with your selection, we’ve created this roundup of some of our favorite red petunias, ranging from the super popular to the somewhat rare.
17 of the Best Red Petunias
We’re going to get into the good stuff in just a second, but before we do, I want to explain a few terms.
Petunias come in four types: grandiflora, multiflora, milliflora, and spreading. There’s also a fifth category that we’ll discuss later, but it’s not a commonly recognized one.
Grandiflora petunias have huge flowers, each up to five inches across. The compromise here is that the plants tend to produce fewer blossoms than other types.
Multiflora petunias produce a ton of flowers on each plant that are between one and a half and five inches across.
Millifloras are petite plants with correspondingly small flowers, up to one and a half inches across.
Spreading petunias, also known as ground covers, grow low to the ground with a creeping, spreading habit. These tend to be the most drought and heat tolerant, and one plant can cover four feet of space.
Options from each of these types are offered below. But it’s important to know that, as we’ll soon see, these aren’t hard and fast rules when it comes to the size and number of flowers you should expect.
Multifloras can have massive flowers, for example, and grandifloras can be floriferous. These terms are more of a guideline to classify and differentiate one variety from the next.
In other words, don’t become too wrapped up in the basic terminology. We’ll explain each plant in our roundup in full detail.
Ready to get started? In China, red is considered the color of passion, summer, and joy. The following petunias prove that’s true!
1. Cascadias Rim Magenta
Like what you might see standing at the snowy peak of Mt. Rainier at sunset, Cascadias™ ‘Rim Magenta’ is a cascade of white and red so deep it’s nearly purple.
The center of each petal is an ombre of magenta, fading to red before transitioning to a white border.
This multiflora, part of the Cascadias™ series, was bred by Danziger, a well-known plant breeder specializing in petunias.
Ascend to new garden heights with a pack of four live plants from Burpee.
2. Dreams Red
The Dreams™ series is known for its dreamy trumpet-shaped flowers that all open up within a week or so of each other – assuming you plant the seeds at the same time – in contrast to other hybrids that might take a month for all the flowers to fully open.
These grandifloras also withstand high humidity, heat, and rain without being torn to pieces.
You can find Dreams™ petunias in a wide range of colors. But the red variety in particular is a dream come true with bold crimson, three-inch, single blossoms.
True Leaf Market has packets of 25, 100, or 1,000 pelleted seeds available.
3. Dreams Red Picotee
If you’ve never stumbled across the term before, “picotee” describes a flower with solid-colored petals with a border of a different color.
Sometimes this can mean a slightly different hue at the edge, or it can be a distinct contrast.
In this case, you’ll enjoy four-inch flowers with a carmine red center and pure white border. These grandifloras are particularly floriferous, and they’re even hardy against a light frost.
True Leaf Market carries packs of 25, 100, or 1,000 pelleted seeds.
4. Easy Wave Burgundy Velour
Easy Wave® is a grandiflora series of petunias known for being fast-growing, reliable, and more heat and cold tolerant than some other types.
They come in numerous colors, including red, rosy dawn, neon rose, and berry. But ‘Burgundy Velour’ is a real stand-out.
It’s a deep burgundy red with a nearly black center that looks like a luxurious fabric that you just want to sink into.
The plant has a mounding growth habit and the flowers last a long, long time, giving you a velvety, dark moment whether you plant them in a pot or let them self-seed across your garden.
Make a packet of 10, 50, or 100 seeds yours by visiting True Leaf Market. Keep an eye out for the trailing version of this color as well, which grows wider and lower.
While technically not a ground cover, the Easy Wave® series is low-growing and spreads horizontally rather than upright.
5. Easy Wave Red
There’s a reason Easy Wave® ‘Red’ is such a popular option. Several reasons, actually.
When in bloom, it’s completely covered in bright, uniformly crimson petals that drown out all of the green foliage, despite being a grandiflora.
Grandifloras are known for having large flowers but not as many of them as you would typically find on milliflora or multiflora plants.
The mounding form is ideal for filling containers, and they’re fast-growing, ready to bloom with a minimum of 10 hours of sunlight per day. Others need up to 12 hours to blossom.
They also spread readily, though not invasively, so the display just keeps cascading throughout the garden.
Burpee is ready to help you add wave after wave of blossoms to your garden. Grab four live plants to plop into your plot.
Pelleted seeds are also available from True Leaf Market.
6. Easy Wave Red Velour
Brighter and bolder than its cousin ‘Burgundy Velour,’ the flowers on this mounding plant are striking cardinal with a deeper, darker wine-colored center.
It’s a fast grower with velvety textured, bold crimson flowers.
Like the rest of the plants in this series, this cultivar a grandiflora that flowers profusely. Truly one of the best shows you can find in the Petunia genus.
Visit True Leaf Market to snag 10, 50, or 100 pelleted seeds for your garden.
7. Madness Red
The Madness® series produces medium-sized, heavily fragrant flowers on a compact plant.
These petunias can resist heat and humidity, though they’re not disease resistant, so be careful to water at the soil level rather than on the plant itself, and maintain good spacing.
The vermillion flowers on this multiflora type come in both single or double cultivars and can grow up to three inches across. The large flowers could easily qualify this variety as grandiflora.
To bring home a pack of 25, 100, or 1,000 seeds, visit True Leaf Market.
8. Madness Red Picotee
With lightly ruffled edges trimmed in white, and flanking a vermillion center, the picotee blossoms on this compact plant make an eye-catching display.
This is a multiflora option with three-inch-wide blooms on mounding plants that can reach up to 16 inches tall.
You’d be mad not to try out this cultivar. True Leaf Market makes it easy with packets of 25, 100, and 1,000 pelleted seeds.
9. Picobella Red
The Picobella™ series features dwarf milliflora plants with compact growth and bright colors.
These are vigorous growers that can thrive in a wider range of climates than other petunias.
Though the plants are super petite, topping out at eight inches tall, the blossoms are anything but. Each one is two inches across, and there are lots and lots of them.
True Leaf Market carries packs of 25, 100, or 1,000 pelleted seeds that you can bring home to brighten up your garden.
10. Pirouette Red
Imagine an evening at the ballet, high up in box seats, perched on a velvet cushion watching the dancers pirouette across the stage.
You don’t have to wait for ballet season to live the fantasy when you can bring the Waltz of the Flowers home.
Fully double grandiflora petunias are pretty dramatic, especially so when they’re dressed up in red and white.
Each massive flower of ‘Pirouette Red’ looks like the tutu of a spinning ballerina, flitting around, lighter than air, with cardinal petals edged in pure white.
Cue the symphony and pick up 35 seeds from Park Seed via Amazon to form your corp of frilly wonders to dance across your patio in hanging baskets or containers.
11. Starry Sky Burgundy
Did you ever lay back on the lawn as a kid and stare up into the night sky for so long that you could swear you could see colors in the Milky Way?
‘Starry Sky Burgundy,’ from the Headliner™ series, recreates that experience in your garden.
Each petal is deep, dark burgundy with a stripe of pale yellow at the center and speckles of pale yellow throughout.
The cooler the weather, the more pronounced those twinkling stars will be. This multiflora is moderately vigorous, and the blossoms emerge early in the year.
You don’t have to wish on a star to bring some of these home. Burpee sells packs of four live plants.
12. Spellbound Wine Red
One of the most striking grandifloras, the Spellbound series will hold you in thrall.
The flowers in this series have whirling, swirling, dark veins at the center. The spellbinding effect is of a flower hand-painted to look like a living piece of art.
The massive blooms can grow up to a full six inches across with ruffled, frilly petals that maintain their striking shape even in the rain.
Bring the magic to your garden and grab packets of 15 seeds or a bundle of four live plants at Burpee.
13. Supercascade Red
This petunia series deserves its own superhero franchise. The blossoms on this grandiflora are absolutely massive, some of the largest out there.
If this petunia were a superhero, it would be Giant Man, for sure. Each blossom can be up to five inches wide, and you don’t sacrifice vigor for size.
The plants are super early blooming, as well. Just watch out for fungal problems. This series is fairly prone to gray mold and damping off. We all have our kryptonite, right?
If you’re ready to save the world, or just your own garden, from a life of blandness, buy a packet of 50 pelleted seeds from Burpee.
The series also has a darker burgundy as well as a blend of colors available if you want to mix things up while still maintaining the crimson theme.
14. Supertunia Really Red
The Supertunia® series has a reputation for its beautiful mounding and spreading habit, stretching up to three feet wide and just 10 inches tall at most.
Plus, the multiflora plants are self-cleaning, which means they continue to flower well even without deadheading.
If you’ve ever taken a summer vacation and your petunias were left behind, with no one at home to pinch off the spent flowers, you know how quickly a plant can go from superb to sad.
You won’t have to worry about that with this series.
On top of that, they flower well from spring until the first frost. So if you’re like me and you forget (or are too lazy for) deadheading, this is a super series to have around.
Cutting back spent flowers will increase the density of the blossoms, but it’s certainly not necessary.
Home Depot has a four-pack of four-inch pots available.
15. Surprise Sparkle Red
The Surprise™ series perfectly recalls the experience of lighting up colorful sparklers on a warm summer’s night.
The bright crimson petals of ‘Sparkle Red’ have speckles of bright white on petite grandiflora plants.
Introduced in 2021, it’s the first red-speckled petunia to hit the market.
This plant has a semi-creeping growth habit, staying at about eight inches tall but spreading two and a half feet.
16. Tidal Wave Red Velour
The Tidal Wave® series comes from the breeders of the Wave® series. It brings all the great things about the Wave® series but with a creeping growth habit.
The plant is dense, with a mounding habit that spreads up to 60 inches wide and 22 inches tall. This plant defies categorization, so it’s placed in its own “hedgiflora” category.
It’s the most vigorous grower of the Wave family and is just the thing if you want to see cascades of crimson weeping over a garden wall. It’s too large for a hanging pot, but it’s gorgeous in large containers.
It’s such a fantastic option that it nabbed the All-America Selections award in 2015.
You won’t have to worry about botrytis, and the blossoms won’t fade, maintaining that deep, velvety color from spring until fall.
Let Tidal Wave ‘Red Velour’ sweep over your garden and bring color that lasts all summer by picking up 15 or 30 seeds at Amazon from Outside Pride.
17. Ultra Red Star
With an upright growth habit that stretches 12 inches up and 10 inches out, this member of the Ultra series is reaching for the stars.
Each flower has cardinal-hued petals with white stripes that come together to resemble a five-pointed star.
This grandiflora has a dense growth habit but it does best with regular deadheading.
Roll Out the Red Carpet… of Flowers
Red is the color of courage, joy, power, and celebration.
Whether you plant just a few in a pot or a massive bed full of them, any and all of the petunias featured above will add a joyous, celebratory feel to your summer garden.
Regardless of whether you want an option that doesn’t require deadheading or that will spread far and wide to cover an empty area with carefree color, there’s something here for you.
So, which one is calling your name? Have you tried any of the petunias on this list? Which are your favorites? Share with us in the comment section below.
I hope you found this guide helpful. If so, don’t go yet! There’s lots more to learn about petunias and we have several guides to get you started. Check these out next: