How to Deadhead Petunias

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Never leave dead flowers on the ground. The dead flowers can cause diseases and insect infestations.

Petunias are annual flowers that blossom in the spring until the first frost in the fall. Petunias grow in flowerbeds and pots and range in a wide variety of colors. Deadheading a petunia extends the time that the flowers will grow blooms. It will also increase the number of blossoms on the plant, so that it looks healthier, and removing the dead and dying blossoms will prevent seed maturation.


Step 1

Examine the petunias weekly after they produce flowers. Find flowers that appear to wilt and stems that do not contain petals because they have dropped. The stems may already contain seedpods.

Step 2

Hold onto each stem below the spent flower. Pinch the flower head off the plant or use pruning shears to cut them off at a 45-degree angle. You can add the spent flower head to a compost pile or discard it in the trash.


Step 3

Remove spent blooms as they appear throughout the growing season.

Step 4

Cut the entire plant back when it appears leggy and overgrown. Cut the top 3 to 5 inches of the petunia off with garden shears.



Angela LaFollette

Angela LaFollette

Angela LaFollette was born in raised in West Virginia, but she currently resides with her husband and children in Minnesota. She is food freelance writer and blogger as well as a full-time stay at home mother. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Marshall University. Angela's work has appeared on many online publications like Yahoo!, eHow, and Leaf Group.