Give Your Plants a Pinch
Thursday, 24 May 2012 00:00
By Chirs Cohan
Spring and summer is when plants are actively growing. Frequently pinch your plants throughout the season to efficiently remove suckers, shorten branch growth, take off extra tops, and redirect growth. This regular effort will reduce shock to plants. It is also a useful way to thin out fruit. Armed only with a pair of paws, simply connect thumb and forefinger and pinch off the intended plant growth. Just let drop and move on to your next victim, you garden decapitator, you.
PJM Rhododendron push forth sweet, tender, lime-green new growth right after they drop their fluorescent purple colored flowers. It is clear what is new growth. Pinch back by half to ensure plant shape and loads of flowers next year.
Fall-flowering asters and Montauk daisy must be pinched aggressively and several times a season to ensure robust mounds of late summer flowers. Otherwise, they become a staking chore and floppy disappointment.