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Cutting back petunias

Willis, TX(Zone 8b)

I have several petunias that are getting very leggy. Is it possible to remove the leaves from the middle of the long trailing pieces and cover that area with soil to root those pieces? Or can I cut the extra long vining pieces off and use them to start new plants? It seems such a shame to not use them to start new plants. Thanks for your advise!

Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

Hi Kokomo, Have your Petunias flowered yet, if not, and you cut off the stems, you will cut of the flower heads also, You need to deadhead Petunias almost daily, every second at least, I would try taking a few cuttings, but just take from here and there unless you want to realy revamp and shorten all the growth, I have never had any luck with cuttings from them and prefere seeds, but maybe someone else can give you ideas that work, you will have to feed your growing plants each week as if they are in a basket, the shortage of soil starves them and they go leggy quicker and get less flowers, wish I could help more, sorry But work on, nothing ventured, nothing gained, so have a go.

Willis, TX(Zone 8b)

Thanks for your input. Mine are planted in beds; some are Wave petunias and they cascade. However, they are too leggy. They are not supposed to get leggy or need deadheading, but since I don't care for the way they look I think I will try cutting back.

I have never grown any from seeds. Are they easy? I live in the Houston area and have seen seeds on the Web that I really like but never find here. Especially double petunias that are purple and white.

Again, thanks!

Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

Hi Kokomo I think the problems with you trailing Petunias is that you are not letting them trail, they are on the ground and that is too flat a surface, try cuttings as you are not happy with them anyway.
Patunia seeds are easy so long as you dont keep them too wet till they have really germinated, I water from under in a shallow basin of tepid water rather from above, when the compost feels damp, I drain them off, dont let them sit in water as they get damping off fungus very easy, you only get a few seeds per packet here where I live, it is best to sew in a pot rather than a tray, I dont cover mine with soil but a little perlite is best,OR fine horticultural sand, indoors and away from direct sun or they will fry, be gentle when you prick the seedling out as the stems are easy broken, I wait till they really need pricked out, if too tiny, they break, hope this helps and you grow your own next time. good luck.

Rockport, TX

re: begonias

I received a potted begonia as a gift, but I wondering if you can have any success planting them in a flower bed. The soil here in Rockport is SAND.

Any suggestions will be appreciated.

Fort Payne, AL(Zone 7a)

I've cut back wave petunias once in the summer and they came back thicker than ever. Never tried rooting the cuttings though. Seems like I was told to only cut 1/3 of the shoots and then wait, cut another third, and so forth. Good luck.

Banks, AL(Zone 8a)

Great info. I just got shockwave putunias. They are really growing and blooming. I may have to trim them soon........gn

Browns Mills, NJ(Zone 6b)

you can pinch back petunas to promote more sideshoots. you can also root some stems in water, just make sure there are no leaves in the water, leave 2 or 3 on the stem. And also, the petunas that I have planted in the ground have given me volunteer seedlings for the next season. I have a bunch of plants this year from last years plants.

Frankfort, KY

The petunia is one of those flowers that looks so nice when you bring it home but a month later is about as appealing as a dead dust mop. Keep the blooms pinched off, but don't just pull off the flower. You must always pinch away that tiny seed pod at the base of the flower or the stem will die back as the seeds ripen. Plants that become too leggy by midsummer can be cut way back, and they will bloom until fall.

Central, WI(Zone 4b)

I have had accidental success with doing cuttings. A stem would break and I would just stick it in the ground where it would stay moist. Never formally tried it though.
The pinching back that mygypsy rose suggested works great on the regular upright ones. Will definitely get a bushier plant. Haven't done that on wave ones but would think would just get shorter.
As number of people pointed deadheading really essential with petunias for most blossoms and prettiest display.
I started 'Tidal Wave' wave petunias from seed this year and they are doing fantastic. The seeds were really tiny though even though they were pelleted so the initial planting in each cell was a bit time consuming.
There are so many cultivars of petunias now that if you find you don't care for the ones you planted this year could try another next.
Happy Gardening!

Kwajalein, Marshall Islands(Zone 11)

wfbanker - I just read this thread and realized that no one answered your question...you probably should start a new thread and title it Begonia help or somthing that will get the attention of begonia experts. It was just lost in here. I do apologize on behalf of all of us....don't like to leave people out.

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