How to Fix Leggy Petunias Quickly

Raul is an Editor at BalconyGardenWeb and an expert in flower and herb cultivation based in Phoenix, Arizona. A frequent speaker at horticultural events, he is also an active contributor to Facebook flower groups. Holding an MBA degree, Raul blends his gardening skills with strong leadership and analytical abilities.
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Learn How to Fix Leggy Petunias Quickly and make them appear fuller using these top hacks and have bushier blooms in your yard!

 Not happy with the way your plant is blooming? Here are some quick hacks on How to Fix Leggy Petunias Quickly to make sure they flower in all their glory!

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How to Fix Leggy Petunias Quickly

1. Give them Favorable Growing Conditions

Petunias are easy-growing perennials and don’t ask for consistent attention. But if you notice leggy growth, check whether they’re getting sufficient water, sunlight, and fertilizer. Keep in mind that stressed plants tend to drop leaves to grow tall and reach towards the sun.

These flowers do best in the temperature range of 55-85 F (12-30 C).

2. Water Carefully

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Petunias can withstand heat and can recover from underwatering quite easily as compared to overwatering. However, do make sure that the plant is never going completely dry as it will make it leggy.

Avoid overwatering the plant because it can result in root and crown rot. Follow a simple rule of watering thoroughly, and then allow the 2-inch of topsoil to dry out before you water the plant again.

3. Give Enough Sunlight

Petunias growing in the shade suffer from a leggy growth. According to the University of Minnesota, petunias require at least 5 to 6 hours of sunlight and they will have much better growth if placed in full sun the entire day. You can fix your leggy petunia by keeping them in a sunny area.

4. Deadheading and Pruning

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To fix a severely leggy petunia, you might have to cut the whole plant back to around one-half its present size—the pruned plant recompenses by blooming bushier, beautiful, rich blossoms than previous ones. Pruning further helps the stems to develop fully.

Deadheading is one more essential remedy to save leggy petunias. Remove faded and spent blooms so the plant can put energy into producing more flowers and not seeds.

5. Fertilize Wisely

If you notice excessive growth of leaves but fewer or no flowers, then it is the result of high-nitrogen fertilizer. Also, check yellow or falling leaves as it indicates over-fertilization.

  • In such cases, stop fertilization till petunias heal and become healthy. They will take up to 3-4 weeks to recuperate.
  • Water the plant thoroughly to rinse fertilizer from the soil—for petunias planted in a flower bed, water the soil till the top 2 inches turn moist.
  • For container-grown petunias, let the water ooze from the drainage holes many times.
  • Wash the foliage with water if liquid fertilizer is sprinkled on it.
  • Avoid over-feeding the flowers as it will also make them leggy.

Check out amazing petunia care tips here

Key Takeaways

  • Always prune your petunias on time to make sure the plant is not becoming leggy.
  • Notice whether the plant is under or overwatered and correct the situation accordingly.
  • Keep the plant at a location where it gets bright sunlight for 5-6 hours.
  • Feed the plant with a balanced fertilizer once in 3-4 weeks during the growth period. Do refer to the label for dosage and instructions.
Key Takeawa

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  1. Does the full sun apply to petunias in Austin area? It gets really intense in July and August. What about leaves turning brown and crunchy? Should I take those off as well?
    Thank you.


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