Pinching is the selective removal of plant parts to achieve a specific goal. Any pinching you perform should be for a definite reason and should remove no more than necessary to achieve your objective. Often, people fail to understand that many flowers and shrubs require little pinching to thrive and achieve good form. Some simply require the proper training when young.
You should not pinch in a manner inconsistent with the natural form of the plant. Even if you are unfamiliar with a species, a visual examination of the plant should give you some idea of its growth habit. The reasons to pinch are several and may include: crown raising, training young plants, and influencing flowering and fruiting.
It’s important to remember; some flowers should never be pinched. Those that grow from a rosette of leaves, such as statice, don’t benefit from pinching and will, in fact, become misshapen if you do pinch an emerging stem. Others get too tall and lanky if you don’t pinch them; chrysanthemums and dahlias are good examples.
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