How-To

Tip: How to Pinch a Plant

Video by Kara Demos

Pinching a plant almost feels mean. It has just put out all this nice new growth, and you’re taking it away. But the rewards are worth the sacrifice. Many plants benefit from a good pinching in spring. They become stronger, bushier plants as a result, because when you pinch back one stem, two stems will emerge from the node left behind. You might even be able to root the stems you pinched off, which means more plants for you. If you’re doubtful, try this simple experiment: Buy two identical coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides cvs., Zone 11) plants in spring. Pinch one plant, but leave the other alone. Compare the two plants in August, and decide for yourself.

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