How to Prune Mexican Petunias
Mexican petunias (Ruellia brittoniana) are considered invasive plants in some areas since they easily spread seed and grow. Because pruning encourages more blooms, some experts, such as those at the University of Florida Nassau County Extension, do not recommend pruning Mexican petunias. However, if you want to encourage fuller plants that bloom more and you have them under control (e.g., they’re not near your neighbor’s yard), you can certainly prune them, if desired. Otherwise, just allow Mexican petunias to die back in the fall and then regrow in the spring.
Cut off dead, damaged and diseased Mexican petunias anytime. Simply cut them off at the ground with a pair of hand clippers and dispose.
Wait until the late fall when the plant begins to die from a hard frost. This is the time to prune Mexican petunias, if desired.
Prune them to the ground. Use hand clippers or, if you have a lot, a pair of pruning shears will work as well. Discard the cuttings so you do not attract small animals and bugs to hibernate or take home in your garden bed.
Prune Mexican Petunias
Pruning is about much more than simply cutting leaves and stems off a plant; it's about what happens after you make your cuts. When the tip of a stem is cut, a phenomenon called "apical dominance" occurs. However, pruning Mexican petunias is entirely up to you, and really just depends on how quickly and how much you want your petunias to flourish. Pull off withered blossoms with your fingers. Look for the growing point on the stem of the plant and pull off the tip of it with your fingers. This will thicken the plant by causing more flowers to bloom from the same plant. Cut off dead and dying petunia plants in your flower bed.
- Hand clippers or pruning shears