Friday, May 15, 2015

Pinch Those Petunias!

Petunias are an easy addition to anyone's flower pot to add bright colors on the cheap. To get the most out of your petunia plant, try this quick pruning tip once a week. I promise this will keep your arrangement blooming energetically all summer.

Once a flower has lost its beauty, it is time to simply pinch the bottom of the entire flower and seed pod off the stem. You can use pruning shears if you wish, I just use my fingers.  Reach behind the bud and break off. 

I grew up thinking that all you need to do is pull the spent flower petals away from the plant and you are good to go. This may temporarily help the plant visually, but won't help promote new flower buds. Once the pod begins to form seeds the plant believes it has done its duty and will begin to die back.  By removing the developing seeds you are tricking the plant into to producing many more flowers than what is needed.

Pruning: If your petunia plant gets too crazy, feel free to cut large chunks of the plant back. Just make sure not to cut more than 1/3 of the plant off at a time. I recommend doing this if your plant starts to look leggy. This will only help the plant stay fresh and continue new growth.

Tip! If you are cheap like me, keep an eye out for petunia deals at Lowe's.  There was a large multi-color petunia hanging basket with the bottom of the pot broken (only on one edge, not even noticeable once hung). Looked like someone had accidentally dropped it. I asked if this could be discounted and got it 75% off!  I got another petunia hanging basket for $3 in the clearance section this week, all it needed was some pinching to get ride of the spent flowers. 

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