Need help with wave petunias

I've been given a hanging basket of beautiful wave petunias and have a question. The flower stems have grown way below the basket (say at least a foot or more) but the center of the basket has few flowers and much larger leaves.
Should I pinch the flower stems back - and how much would be wise? TIA
Dora snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com
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doG, I hate petunias. Pretty as they may be en masse, I still hate them with a passion.
Why?
Because they simply must be pinched. Let the seed pods form and you are out of blossoms, simple as that.
Get right up close and personal with your hanging basket and see where the seed pods have formed in the leaf axils from past flowers. Take them all off. Yes this means going over the whole thing and pinching every single seed pod off every single stem. If ts a 10 or 14 inch pot, that will take you a while.
Once you've finished that, get ready to be Freddy Scissor-Hands , you will cut off at least 6 inches of every stem. Feed it heavily, by Mid July it will look good again.
Is there a short-cut? Yes. Take the basket down and ruthlessly shear everything back to the basket rim. Feed it heavily and by Mid July it will look good again.
When it looks good again, be vigilant about pinching spent blossoms, routinely groom the plant snipping off the growing points encourage branching
By mid august you'll have to do the whole thing over again, and at that point you'll be forgiven in my notes for dumping the entire basket on your compost heap.
I'm sure your gift was a sincere thought from someone who cares very much about you, and I'm sure the florist delivered a spectacular hanging basket that delighted you with bloom and POW, but petunias just need A LOT of help to stay POW, and that brings me back to <doG I hate petunias>
Sue Western Maine

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"Sue in Western Maine" wrote in message > doG, I hate petunias. Pretty as they may be en masse, I still hate them

You're right - a Mother's Day gift from my son. It's gorgeous and I feel honor-bound to toil away on this for his sake. It takes me a while to pull off all the faded flowers each day so I'll set a week aside and tackle the seed pods! Right now, I'm itching to use the scissors. Boy, Sue, what a lot of maintenance; I see what you mean. Thanks for all the information, though - I really appreciate it.
Dora
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