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Grow Petunias from Cuttings

Let’s grow petunias from cuttings! A budget friendly way to get more petunias to fill your containers, beds and hanging baskets. 

Want to know how to grow petunias from cuttings? If you are like me and garden on a budget buying annuals every year can seem counter intuitive. Or you have a particular petunia you love and want more of it.

Why grow petunias from cuttings

Since my source for inexpensive 6 packs of annuals is no longer I have relied on grocery store choices and I even picked up petunias at Wal-Mart. My petunia seedlings failed this year, bummer, but I am going to start more seeds soon.

Reviving your potted petunias and other annuals that may look like they are ready to give up the ghost. Refurbishing potted annuals is not hard but the rewards are more luscious blooms for the rest of the summer through Fall.

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So I decided to get started with what I have and make more. This is not a way to get full lush plants quickly. You are going to have to be patient and enjoy the blooms later in the season (unless you start in February). But the satisfaction is worth the wait.

A great time to start petunias from cuttings is when you prune up or refurbish your leggy petunias in mid-Summer.

Prepare pots of soil

I re-used a six pack container, filled it with the potting medium and watered it well. Many times I use these small 2 to 3 inch plastic pots I got on Amazon, they have lasted me for 10 plus years and are the perfect size for cuttings.

3 inch plastic pots for cuttings

I didn’t use them this time as I was in a hurry and just grabbed the closest thing I had which was the 6 pack container.

Choose Petunia to take cuttings from

This is one of the petunias I will take cuttings from today. I bought this one in a 4 pack from Wal-Mart for $3. I bought these in early April and potted them up to grow on so they would be large enough to take cuttings from.

pink petunia to take cuttings to grow petunias from cuttings

In the video you also see another I take cuttings from. The step by step video is at the end of this post.

Choose stem to cut

You want a stem that will be long enough. You want almost 3 to 4 inches of cutting to stick into the potting medium. See the DIY potting soil I use here.

The longest stem on this petunia is the one with the big flower blooming. I hate to cut it off when it is so pretty but oh well.

Follow it down as far as you can and find a spot right below a leaf node.

stem of petunia for cutting

Take your Cutting

Using bypass pruners or a cutting tool of your choice, cut just below the leaf node.

cut petunia stem below leaf node

Remove leaves from petunia cutting

Lay the petunia cutting on your flat surface or potting bench, remove leaves and side shoots.

petunia cutting on potting bench

You can pinch them off with your thumbnail or use a sharp knife to sever the leaves from the stem.

cutting leaves off petunia stem

It looks pretty sad without all the lovely leaves and flower but soon this little cutting will be sprouting new growth and then later more beautiful flowers.

Rooting Hormone or not?

Dip the bottom end into rooting hormone. This is a good rooting hormone for petunias. (some say you don’t need rooting hormone for petunias, I think I will experiment with that and get back to you)

Put the rooting hormone into a small container, do not dip straight into the bottle as it can spread plant disease and/or fungus. Here I am using a small glass votive with a small amount of rooting hormone in the bottom.

dipping petunia cutting into rooting hormone

Tap the excess hormone off.

Stick cutting into planting soil

Using a tool large enough around to create an indentation. I used a sharpie, it is nice and fat which creates a good size hole to fit the cutting into.

using Sharpie pen as divot tool

The soil being wet keeps the soil from caving in when removing the sharpie.

Now slide the petunia cutting into the hole left by the Sharpie and press the soil in around it gently yet firmly.

sticking petunia cutting into soil

So far I have 3 cuttings from 2 plants. These were not large plants yet so I finish up by grabbing another petunia to cut from.

cuttings in 6 pack container

Place in a cool place.

I use these domed lids over the planting trays to keep the cuttings from drying out too much.

Others claim this leads to fungus and rot and they prefer a misting system. But who has that kind of set up other than professionals?

For me these lids have worked great and have ventilation on the top. I couldn’t find the exact same ones on Amazon to link for you but these are close. I have used and abused mine for 10 plus years so they have been worth every penny. Mine started out clear but have ambered over the years.

lid over cuttings to help with humidity

I have these cuttings in the greenhouse and while that works while it is still cool out it is now getting too hot. I will place them on a table under my deck where they can get bright light but not direct sun and it stays cooler there in the warmer months.

Expect to see roots in 3 to 4 weeks. Before you know it you can fill a tub or container with your beautiful petunias.

Galvanized tubs and buckets container garden

Be careful, propagating plants this way can get addictive. Fair warning!

grow petunias from cuttings and fill a galvanized tub

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Happy Gardening!

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pink, white and fuchsia petunias in container

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