Breeders have revolutionised a top-selling bedding plant.

Petunia ‘Below Zero’

Petunias, which are usually wiped out by the first frosts, can now be grown through the winter.

Petunia ‘Below Zero’ is a new hybrid that can survive temperatures down to –5°C (23°F) and will withstand periods of frost and snow.

Both are exclusive to mail-order supplier Van Meuwen.

A spokesman said: “At the end of the summer, leave them where they are, don’t dig them out, and they’ll carry on growing right through the winter.

“They’ll bloom with spring bulbs and primroses!”

The grower claims to have overcome one of gardeners’ petunia bugbears with another novelty hybrid.

Petunia‘Non-Stick’ is branded “the ultimate solution to the sticky issue of dead-heading petunias”.

Petunia Non Stick

The company explained: “It doesn’t turn sticky as standard petunias do as they age, meaning dead-heading is less hassle and plants flower for longer.”

Petunia ‘Below Zero’ costs £6.99 for five plugs while Petunia ‘Non-Stick’ is £8.99 for five plugs.

For a copy of the Van Meuwen catalogue call (0844) 557 1850 or go to www.vanmeuwen.com for more information.