The Q&A Archives: Dead-heading Petunias

Question: I have been faithfully pulling dead blooms off of my petunias. I think I was doing it wrong. I was just grabbing the bloom and pulling it off but not the green just behind it. Was I supposed to pull the green too? The reason I ask is I found what appears to be many, many seed pods bursting open. If they are seeds will they grow and bloom? What would the approximate germination time be?

Answer: When you deadhead petunias you should take some of the stem, too, just to keep the plant from getting leggy. When you remove spent blooms you encourage the plant to produce new blossoms. Seeds from petunias will germinate in 10-21 days, in soil that's 70F to 75F degrees. The seeds need light to germinate, so sprinkle them on top of moist potting soil and press them in with your hand, rather than covering them with additional potting soil. You can save your seeds for next year by allowing them to dry thoroughly and then putting them in an air-tight container and storing them in a cool, dark place.

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