How to Vegetatively Propagate Petunias


Petunias are fast-growing, summer bloomers that are available in a vast selection of varieties, including a rainbow of bright colors, double and single types, big blooms or demure miniatures, and upright or trailing types. Although petunias are usually propagated by seed, vegetative propagation is a fast and inexpensive way to grow a new petunia plant from an existing plant.

Step 1

Cut a 2- to 6-inch stem tip from a healthy petunia plant, using pruners or a knife with a sharp, clean blade. Make the cut just below a leaf. Remove any blooms or buds from the stem.

Step 2

Pinch off the leaves from the bottom one-half to two-thirds of the petunia stem. Dip the cut end of the stem in powdered rooting hormone.

Step 3

Plant the stem cutting in a container filled with commercial potting soil. If the container doesn't have drainage holes in the bottom, poke three or four holes with a sharp knife. Water the potting soil with a spray bottle until the soil is damp, but not soggy.

Step 4

Cover the container with a clear plastic bag and secure the bag with a rubber band. If necessary, place a few small sticks in the bag to keep the plastic from touching the petunia leaves.

Step 5

Put the petunia stem cutting in a bright spot away from direct, hot sunlight which can scorch the stem. The stem should root in two to three weeks. Tug lightly on the stem. The stem has rooted if you feel a slight resistance.

Step 6

Remove the container from the bag. Place the new petunia plant outdoors in a shady, protected area for three or four days.

Step 7

Remove the petunia from the container and transplant the petunia to its permanent home. Petunias should be planted in full sunlight and well-drained soil.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruners or knife with sharp, clean blade
  • Powdered rooting hormone
  • Container with drainage holes
  • Commercial potting soil
  • Spray bottle
  • Clear plastic bag
  • Rubber band
  • Small sticks


  • Washington State University: Propagating Herbacious Plants from Cuttings
  • Gardener's Supply Company: Annual Flowers
Keywords: vegetatively propagate petunias, stem cuttings, petunia plant

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.