Pinching off


Old 05-13-02, 10:15 AM
M W is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: san diego, ca, us
Posts: 137
Pinching off

I have been told to do this on more than one occasion, and it has become apparent....I don't know what they are talking about.

My local nursery guy told me to help fill out my shrubs, texas privet & photinia & camelias , that I need to "pinch off" the tops to help them fill in more. Is that "cut off" the tops to "encourage" the plant to grow sideways and not straight up?

thanks for your help.
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Old 05-13-02, 04:10 PM
howiek's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Acton, Ontario, Canada - Zone 6b
Posts: 413

Lots of jargon in every industry...

Pinching off usually refers to taking out or cutting the terminal budshoot on each branch or branchlet of a plant. If you look at most plants, they are growing mostly from the tips of the branches - if you pinch or cut off the end shoots, it encourages the side shoots on the same branch to grow more, thus filling out the plant. You can do this individually using your thumb and forefinger nails (thus the term Pinching back) or use pruners or trimmers to do the job faster (but with less finesse)

Hope this helps

Old 05-15-02, 10:31 PM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Maryland zone 7
Posts: 1,716

Great advice from Howiek. There is one thing I would like to add and that is that most camellias don't need to be pruned or pinched. You can trim them to shape them if you like.

Here's a site you might find useful.

Here's another on pruning.


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