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Location: Aiken SC
Posted: Jun/09/2006 3:52 PM PST
Can you guys that have experience with annuals that will over winter please add to a list plants that you are able to do this with. I read that forum on Coleus but I don't know when you say pinch them back exactly what you mean. (I guess that's before it flowers) Lets just make this a school for the newbies!
Location: SW Georgia
Posted: Jun/09/2006 4:10 PM PST
When someone tells you to pinch back to encourage a plant to bush out they simply mean to take a stem an cut/prune/pinch down about 1/3 or 1/2 of that stem off just above a node/joint (where new leaves will form off the stem). This will force the plant to develop more stems hence a bushier plant. Hope that makes some sense.
Here is an example: victoria blue salvia, lady in red, coral nymph, etc. gets really tall here. If I want it to be shorter and I have a lot of stems which have gotten out of hand for the area it is in, I will take every 3rd stem and cut it back about half way down. Then the next week I will go back in and take another 3rd of its growth. This will continue until I have all the stems cut back to get the appearance I am aiming for. By doing this not only am I getting a short plant, but it will encourage the plant to get busher/fuller in appearane and will wind up with more blooms in the long run although I have essentially cut them all off if they were present when I began cutting/pinching. Another thing this will do is the plants energy is forced to concentrate on producing more growth so it can bloom, instead of being leggy and concentrating on blooming. Overall it will make a much healthier and bushier plant. trudy