Deadheading a Petunia

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Petunias need a little help blooming—when their flowers wither, you should remove them so you coax the plant to make even more blooms. Some plants don’t need deadheading, but petunias just aren’t one of those plants—they do need it, and it helps them thrive and grow. It’s also good to stay in the sanitary gardening habit of keeping dead off your plant. You don’t need a lot to deadhead your petunia, just a little bit of know-how and observation.

Step 1 - Determine Need

Take a look at your petunia. Notice how the flowers grow in clusters at the ends of stems. It’s that stem from which you will remove your wilted or dead flowers. Are the flowers wilting, or do they just need a little bit of water? Have they been consistently wilting there, or is it a recent thing?

Once you figure out that the flowers are just in need of removal, you can get your hands washed and ready to deadhead your petunias.

Step 2 - Pinch Off

You don’t need a tool to deadhead your petunias, because their stems are soft enough for you to use your finger and thumb, or your fingernails.

Simply pinch below the base of the flower cluster, right at the stem, and pinch it hard. Then pull it off. If you need a little help, scissors are acceptable, but not necessary. You can also opt to use toenail clippers if you so desire.

Repeat this process as necessary for all of your petunias in your garden.

Step 3 - Stay Clean

After you’ve deadheaded your plant you should take all of the refuse and throw it away or compost it, if it’s not diseased with anything. You can also add it to a mulch mix for other plants in your garden if you so desire. As long as you take all of the dead matter off and away from your petunia, you’re already practicing sanitary gardening habits.

You’re all finished! You just helped your petunia plant grow even more flowers than it was before by clearing the way for new blooms to flourish in the places of old ones. Do this all year long, as necessary. Don’t forget to deadhead your other plants, too.