The Q&A Archives: Pruning China Doll

Question: My china doll plant is at least 5 to 6ft tall. But only 2 main stems. Even though I clip the top, it still won't fill out. Can you please help?

Answer: You can help your plant become bushy and dense by pinching out the new growth several times during the year. When you pinch back the tips of the stems it forces growth further down on the stem, which helps the plant fill out. If you're unsure of your pruning talents, try cutting one of the main stems down by at least two feet. Then watch to see where new growth appears. When the new growth is 3-4" long, pinch out the very tip. In a few weeks you'll see two new stems appear just below where you pinched out the tip of the branch. Allow these to reach 3-4" in length and pinch the tips out of these stems. Eventually the plant will fill in if you keep pinching back the new growth before it reaches 6-8" in length.

Best wishes with your china doll!

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