Pinching - Knowledgebase Question

Port St. Lucie, Fl
Question by alcaracu2
October 14, 2009
Please explain how and where to

Answer from NGA
October 14, 2009


Poinsettias are traditionally cut back in January or February to renew the plants. You can cut the stems down to 4" on a small plant or leave them 12" on a large outdoor plant. When new growth appears, allow each stem to develop about 4 sets of leaves and then pinch out the very tip of the stem. New stems will develop below where you pinched and when those stems grow another 4 or 5 sets of leaves, pinch out the very tip of each stem. Pinching encourages new shoots and leaves which will help your plant become full and bushy. You should pinch it back throughout the spring and summer months, but stop pinching by the first of September. The foliage will then turn red as the weather gets cooler and the nights get longer. After the holidays, cut the plant back and pinch it back all spring and summer. If your plant is leggy (with leaves only at the top), you can cut it back now to make it fuller, but it is too late in the season for the new growth to turn the traditional holiday red. You may want to just leave your plant alone for now and begin your cutting back and pinching back in January or February. Hope this clarifies things!

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