March 8, 2016
How and why to clean spent blooms on petunias, even though you don't have to
Petunias are amazing. Like all annuals, they only grow for a few months, and then you have to plant them all over again the next season. Here in the Phoenix, Arizona area, they bloom profusely throughout the winter, which is wonderful to see, especially for a kid from Minnesota, like me.
There's really nothing as simple as getting beautiful blooms from petunias. You plant them, give them some water, and stand back. Really, that's all you have to do. They are even "self-cleaning", which means that the spent blooms will fall off naturally, so you don't even have to fuss with them.
But I like fussing with my plants, so I periodically wander around and clean my petunia blooms. No, you don't have to do that, it just makes the plant look nicer, and encourages more blooms. Besides, it gives me something to do when I just can't seem to concentrate on my work, which is getting to be more and more these days! It is so nice out there!
Of course, you have to recognize what spent blooms look like. You don't want to be pulling off blooms that haven't started yet! But it's pretty evident - the spent blooms are all limp, and starting to turn brown and shrivel up, and the blooms that are just starting are small and puckered up tightly.
You only need your fingers for this - the spent blooms just pretty much fall off. You don't need snippers.
So, even though you don't have to, you can clean the spent blooms on your petunias. For me, it gets me away from this darn computer, gets me out into the fresh air, and lets me see, and smell, the beauty of the petunias.
Posted by Brad Hall