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Pinch Me! #GardenSense

deadheading petunias
Photo by Nicki Dugan Pogue courtesy of Flickr https://flic.kr/p/2RNemr

“Pinch me!” You’ve heard this phrase from people in disbelief. “Pinch me, I must be dreaming!” Have you ever heard it from your flowers?
Now is the time to take notice to spent flowers and new buds.
Spring bloomers begin to store energy to form buds for next year’s show. You can help plants like azaleas and peonies by pinching off or shearing spent flowers. Hostas and coleus flowers should also be removed.
Summer blooming annuals like petunias, coreopsis snapdragons, zinnias, impatiens, and salvia benefit deadheading. New buds form on the side of the stalk where the old buds bloomed. Deadheading helps keep the entire plant healthy by removing decay. This up close and personal practice helps identify bug infestations and possible disease threats as early as possible.
Exercise your finger pincers while reviewing this Pinching Q & A.

Where can I safely pinch a stem?
Pinch a stem just above the leaf nodes.
How low should I go?
Prune back up to 1/3 of the plants total mass. Remember that the lower the plant is pruned, the bushier it will became.
Should I pinch flowers off herb plants?
Yes. Removing flowers saves vital volatile oils for flavorful leaves and stems. When flowers remain on herbs they tend to become bitter.
Keep up this practice throughout summer for beautiful plants all season.

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