Pruning and Pinching flowers

What you’ll need

  • Pruning shears

step 1: Pinch for a Bushy Plant

While they are still small, pinch the tips off annuals and perennials to make them bushy. Pinch all the tips off when they are 8 inches high, and again after they grow another 3 inches.

step 2: Disbud for Better Flowers

To grow big, showy flowers, pinch all but the center bud from any plants that grow flowers in clusters. The center flower will get all the energy and become a showpiece.

To make a pretty spray of flowers, do just the opposite, and pinch out the center flower. The secondary flowers in the cluster will all develop at the same time, forming a nicer spray than if the center flower had developed first.

step 3: Deadhead for More Flowers

Remove spent flowers as soon as they fade. This not only makes the plant look better, but frees the energy that would have gone into making seeds to making more flowers. In addition, some annuals die after setting seed, so deadheading keeps them growing.