Saturday, July 13, 2013

What is "Pinching a Plant" Exactly?

I, constantly, read in gardening books and magazines to pinch a plant.  Now, I know how to "pinch" something.  Feeling, I am misunderstanding the article, I look in the glossary.  It promptly tells me how to pinch, in the traditional sense.  I am still lost.  How does this effect a plant?  My sarcastic side thinks, I should blow it a kiss for the insult.  How does pinching a coleus or bougainvillea help?  
I read to pinch coleus.  This is what I found on the web that did clarify it a bit.

What I have determined is that "pinching" is like deadheading, except for removing a flower, you are removing the tips.  It is, at least, my conclusion.

This is what I found on bougainvillea
I did learn that bougainvilleas bloom only on new growth.

And finally, I found this video.  I think my conclusion is pinching, isn't really pinching, it's more like pulling tops off..but that is my take.


NellJean said...

Pinch -- cut off the tips of a green plant like coleus. The reason for pinching is twofold. If a coleus isn't piched while young, it makes a tall plant with a single stem. Pinching makes it bushy.

The other reason to pinch later is to take off coleus blooms which are not attractive and will cause coleus to go to seed and get all leggy.

I don't pinch with my hands if there's any kind of secateurs, snips or even a knife handy. Save your thumbnail.

If you pinch a good-sized plant, try rooting the pinchings.

NellJean said...

... and I don't 'pinch' my Mexican Bush Sage. I take the hedge shears to it and just whack off the tops.

I left a list of winter blooms on my post where you asked about it. I forgot to say that Camellias bloom from Late November (C. Sasanquas) through April. (C. japonica). Not ever Camellia starts and ends blooming at the same time.When freeze kills open blooms, lots of tight buds are left to open come a warm day.

NellJean said...

One more thing: I saw this blog post and thought you might like to read it. Outlaw Gardener is a friend of my friend Alison.

Italian Garden under Construction

The garden belongs to a friend of Outlaw Gardener and the description was written by her.

Janie Jurkiewicz said...

In respect to coleus, I know exactly what you are talking about...they are forming some type of stalk now that I will cut off this morning.

In my case, starting things from rootings has been more of miss than hit from me, but I have gotten better...and most success was achieved in late fall, in the greenhouse...I will def check out the already looks like its right up my alley.

Janie Jurkiewicz said...

Wow, Nell, the blog you posted has the very same taste I do, thanks!