You definitely have to prune more with annuals. A little pinching is needed once a week but not on every plant. Go through your garden and the plants that need pinching, you will want to pinch them. But remember, pinching a plant back promotes new growth meaning you get more flowers. Many people think they can't pinch that back, they have so many flowers, they are so beautiful. They don’t want to pinch it. But here is an example. If you pinch this dragon begonia although it has a flower, don't worry about the flower disappearing you are going to have many, many more flowers that will appear. The terminal growth that will come out will have new flowers so you have to pinch to keep the plants in balance. Pinching them back importantly helps avoid plant diseases, which can be a real concern for the garden. By pinching plants back we are creating sturdier, more compact plants. And that keeps everything in place, it allows us to see the plants that are around, particularly the more aggressive plants. We don't want plants crowded out. We have gone through all the trouble of selecting these beautiful plants that work well together, they are not all going to grow at the same pace so it is just part of maintaining their space, the area we want them to occupy. Disease pressure can also be pretty intense in a garden especially when everything is planted so closely and pruning is a wonderful way of making sure that we get adequate ventilation and enough sunlight to hopefully prevent fungal issues.
By Stacey Hirvela, Proven Winners ColorChoice®
Photographs courtesy of Proven Winners ColorChoice®
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