Pinching Plants - Knowledgebase Question

Detroit, MI (Zone 5B)
Question by joiful777
December 26, 2006
I have been told that plants are to be pinched in order to stimulate fullness, but where exactly do you pinch a plant? Also, does it work with all plants? Thanks


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Answer from NGA
December 26, 2006

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What you've heard is true, pinching or pruning will help a plant develop a full, dense appearance. It works on most plants; pinch soft-stemmed plants, prune woody stemmed plants. Wherever you pinch or prune, you'll force growth behind the cut. On most stems there are leaf buds lying dormant at the leaf scars (places where old leaves once grew). When you pinch or cut the tip of a stem off, new growth appears where there are dormant leaf buds, which helps make the plant appear fuller. Where you prune depends upon how short you want the stem (don't cut it too short or you'll remove all the latent leaf buds). Pinching usually means removing just the tip of a stem with your fingernails.

Hope this clarifies things for you!

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