VIDEO: How to Trim Petunias to Keep Them Looking Pretty

by | Updated: Nov 14, 2022

How to properly deadhead petunias

If you have petunias, you may be wondering how to keep your petunias looking good, especially when the blooms start dying.

In this week’s video, you’ll:

  • See exactly where to trim your petunias, so your plants look pretty and you encourage them to keep giving you new blooms.
  • Find out when you DON’T need to prune your petunia plants.
  • Discover what to look for to make sure your petunias aren’t “going to seed.” When your petunias start making seeds, it takes a lot of their energy.

Click the video above to watch.

Prefer to read?

Simply scroll down for the transcript.


How to Trim Petunias to Keep Them Looking Pretty

Are you wondering, “How do I maintain my petunias?”

“When the petals die, what am I supposed to do?”

That’s what we’re going to talk about in today’s tip.

Hi, I’m Ann with Go West Gardener.


Inspiring new western gardeners to find their green thumbs with flowers.

I love that you’re wondering how to maintain your petunias because taking a few small steps can make a big difference between colorful, showy flowers versus having stringy, kind-of-boring looking petunias.

Let’s dig in.

Petunias can go through a cycle of blooms.

They flower, that flower bloom dies, and then new flower blooms show up on your plant.

On many petunias, though, you need to manually remove the dead blooms in order to encourage new ones.

This is known as deadheading.

And yes, it’s more than just picking off the dead petals.

Here’s what I mean.Think of your petunia bloom as a torch holding a flame.

This little stem is the torch, and your petal is the flame.

So, when petal dies, people often do one of two things.

One, they remove the dead petal (the flame), but they leave the little stem (the torch).

Or two, they may just wait for the dead petal to fall off.

Here’s the problem.

You may create a little seed pod where the flower was.

It looks like a green kernel.

Do you see it here? It grows in the center of the torch.

This is known as “going to seed.”

And while going to seed sound like a great thing, it means your plant could stop giving you new flowers.

And we want colorful blooms.

So, here’s what you want to do instead.

You want to cut off the entire torch, trimming back to the nearest main stem.

Right here.

Now, some petunias have been bred, so that they can’t go to seed or they mostly deadhead themselves.

Like the “tidal wave” variety.

You’ll see this name on the plant tag when you buy it.

In theory, this means you don’t have to remove the dead blooms.

When you look at the little torch, you SHOULD see a brown center.

But if you see a green center, Mother Nature has found a way to go to seed, and you may want to trim off that torch down to the stem.

If you liked this tip, you’re going to love the tips in my free mini-training:

The Top 5 Mistakes in Flowerpot Gardening (and How to Easily Avoid Them) >>

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See you next time!


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Ann from Go West Gardener with her flowerpots and garden

Hey there, I'm Ann

I’m a master gardener, western garden journalist, blogger and Colorado girl. I help flower gardeners in the intermountain west create more beauty with less effort. More about Ann >>

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