How to propagate petunias from stem cuttings

Written by misty barton
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How to propagate petunias from stem cuttings
Petunias grow in every colour except orange. (Voyagerix/iStock/Getty Images)

Petunias are versatile garden plants that look lovely when in bloom. They are also completely edible. Available in nearly every colour, the bloom is used as a garnish for finger foods in some areas. This annual flower is extremely frost resistant and can, if sheltered, spend winter outdoors in some areas. A gardener wishing to propagate petunias can do so by starting them in the early spring from seed or by starting them from a fresh cutting.

Things you need

  • Petunia plant
  • Soil
  • 15 cm (6 inch) pot
  • Water

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  1. 1

    Prepare a pot with a mixture of light, porous potting soil.

  2. 2

    Pre-moisten the soil. Mix it so that it is moist throughout, but not saturated at any point.

  3. 3

    Cut a section of green growth from the parent plant. New growth will work best. The cutting should be 5 to 7.5 cm (2 to 3 inches) long, taken from directly below a leaf node. A good cutting will include three to six nodes. A node is the point from which a plant leafs and is often just a little bump on the stem if leaves have not yet emerged from it.

  4. 4

    Remove all but three or four of the leaves. These leaves should be left at the very top of the cutting.

  5. 5

    Remove any flower buds or seeds from the cutting. These elements will sap large amounts of energy from the cutting if they are allowed to remain; removing them ensures that the plant can grow a healthy rooting system.

  6. 6

    Prepare two more cuttings in the same way.

  7. 7

    Place three cuttings into the prepared pot. About 2.5 cm (1 inch) of the cutting should be placed below the soil.

  8. 8

    Pack the soil tightly around the cutting. Compact the soil to remove all air pockets.

  9. 9

    Water the cuttings thoroughly after they are set.

  10. 10

    Place the pot in a window that does not receive direct sunlight or outside in the shade.

Tips and warnings

  • Allow two weeks before you start checking the roots. If you intend to move flowers to an outdoor garden or a different pot, the plants are ready for transplanting when the roots reach a length of 2.5 cm (1 inch).

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