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Cutting Back Petunias

I want my Petunias to bloom more fully and I have read that I should pinch them back. Where do I pinch and how much?

Hardiness Zone: 6a

By sharcady from Indianapolis, IN

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May 24, 20090 found this helpful

Pinch off the flower just below the blossom but if the stems are dried out cut them back to where the dry area ends.

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May 25, 20090 found this helpful

I live in California and I just whack my petunias way back with my pruning shears to about 2 inches. I do it several times a year They come back great.

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May 25, 20090 found this helpful

What I always do is just remove the blooms when they start to shrivel up. This is what I have always been told to do. Otherwise the petunias quit blooming.

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May 29, 20090 found this helpful

I was told from a local nursery that on your petunias you cut them back 1/3 when you plant them and then again in July. It takes them a little time to grow back out but they get so thick and bushy, their beautiful. Pattysue

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By 1 found this helpful
June 4, 2011

How do you pinch back petunias to keep them from being so "leggy"?

By Sue

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June 17, 20110 found this helpful

As a flower dies, pinch that stem back to just above a leaf. If it is already leggy, just pinch back just above a leaf wherever and it should branch out and keep flowering.

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May 24, 20090 found this helpful
By Ellen Brown


I have beautiful hanging baskets of (mainly) petunias on my northeast facing porch. They are beginning to look rather ragged now (almost mid July). I faithfully water, use liquid fertilizer each week and have even added some high quality potting soil to the baskets. I believe I once read something about cutting back petunias around this time. Any suggestions?

Hardiness Zone: 5b

Bellanell from Pleasant Mount, PA



I realize that by now you have solved your Petunia problem, but here is some advice that you and other Petunia growers might find useful for next year.

Around mid-summer, Petunias usually start to look a bit scraggly and some of their flower production starts to diminish. To counteract this, shoots can be pruned back to about half of their length, even farther, providing you do not remove all of their leaves. To force new flowers, fertilize your Petunias with a liquid fertilizer and give them plenty of water. Removing spent flowers (deadheading) will also help improve their appearance and stimulate further blooming.


About The Author: Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at


Cutting Back Petunias

Guess what? It is time to give those petunias a haircut! They have been blooming for several months by now (at least where we live, California) and are becoming rather leggy and pooped looking! Just trim the plants back to about 3-4 inches long. Feed them like you have been and you will have new flowers in a few weeks and that will take you through end of September! Hope this helps. It works for me so I hope this helps you too! (07/10/2008)

By Liz

Cutting Back Petunias

Be sure they are getting lots of afternoon sun. (07/11/2008)

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