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Shape up your container: pinching

By: Garden Gate staff
Some common container plants, like the coleus here, are fantastic growers. But the flip side is that they can get a bit leggy and start taking over the entire container.

shape up your container: pinching

Some common container plants, like the coleus here, are fantastic growers. But the flip side is that they can get a bit leggy and start taking over the entire container. Cutting or pinching back isn’t vital to the plants’ survival, but it leaves foliage and flowers looking, and growing, much better than they would without the attention.This technique is simple, takes just minutes and works really well on foliage plants that are growing out of bounds.

Snap off overgrown stems about a third or half the way back, just above a healthy set of leaves. Not only does this give the plant a neat and tidy “after” appearance, but it also encourages a less leggy, more bushy habit — perfect for containers!

Here are some plants that benefit from pinching: • Browallia Browallia speciosa • Coleus Solenostemon hybrids • Dichondra Dichondra spp. • Joseph’s coat Alternanthera hybrids • Licorice plant Helichrysum petiolare • Persian shield Strobilanthes dyeriana • Sweet potato vine Ipomoea batatas

For more great container tips and recipes, check out Containers Made Easy! Volume 3 at right!

Published: July 20, 2010
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