Petunia is one of the most popular and widespread horticultural crops. The plant has many different varieties, differing from each other in color, size and shape of flowers. Petunia, like any other crop, must be properly cared for so that it lives as long as possible, remains healthy and looks flawlessly bright. Let's take a closer look at how to correctly pinch this flower so that it is lush.
Petunia is a very beautiful and delicate plant that comes in a wide variety of varieties. You can meet these flirty flowers of various shades not only in different dwellings and gardens, but also in city parks and squares. Charming petunia flowers can decorate almost any environment, which is why they are so common.
This spectacular plant must be properly cared for. It is very important to follow all the existing rules for caring for petunia so that it grows beautiful and healthy. So that this beauty blooms well and is quite lush, flower growers usually resort to such a procedure as pinching.
This procedure can also be called pinching. This implies the removal of the upper parts of the young shoot. According to experienced flower growers, it is with petunia that this work is simply necessary, since it makes it possible to make the bush more compact, lush and branched. If you do not engage in the correct formation of this plant, then it will be able to give development to 1-3 stems, and soon it will outgrow and lose its aesthetic appearance. After a while, the unkempt petunia will completely fall under the influence of its own weight.
Pinching the petunia is also done so that lateral shoots can easily form on it in sufficient quantities. The flower will begin to bloom profusely, but not vertically, but moving in width.
Based on this, its flowering will be solid and very active, since each of the shoots located on the side will begin to sprout flower buds.
After competent pruning of the central stalk, petunia of any variety acquires a new growth point, due to which it begins to grow in different directions. This creates more new branches and buds. Pinching a petunia always contributes to the development of a lush and attractive bush that is difficult to ignore.
If we are talking about flowers grown from seeds purchased from amateurs, then they need to be pinched in 100% of situations. As for the modern varieties of this plant, which were bred by breeders, pinching need not be done. The seeds of such petunias, of course, are significantly more expensive, and they are usually produced by well-known and large manufacturers.
The right time
Many flower growers (both experienced and beginners) are well aware that it is necessary to pinch a petunia so that it is more magnificent and blooms gorgeous, to the delight of flower growers. However, many breeders of this charming flower are wondering when exactly it is necessary to do this business in time in order to achieve the expected result and a beautiful bush.
The pinching will serve to lignify the remaining part of the flower stalk. Because of this, the leaflets become larger and more saturated in color, and a large number of fresh buds will wake up after them. But this simple trick will work only if you resort to it during the active growing season of the plant. In order for a large and strong plant to turn out from a small sprout, which will please the eye with its appearance, it is important to carry out the pinching procedure on time.
Please note - on already overgrown bushes, this procedure will not be able to give the expected effect.
Experienced flower growers advise to wait until the time when about 6-7 leaflets are created on the seedlings. It is during this period that it is necessary to pinch the petunia in order to give impetus to the growth of new stems. If you postpone this moment for later or just skip it, then the plant will begin to actively stretch out, and it will no longer be possible to achieve a magnificent spherical shape from it.
But do not think that pinching is carried out only once in the entire life of a flower. In fact, this procedure will need to be repeated in the future. Usually, pinching is repeated not at the moment when the flower is at a certain age, but when the length reaches the mark of 12-15 cm. In petunias planted in the ground, shoots are usually pinched as soon as it becomes necessary (as a rule, the need arises after 7- 10 days). If you notice that the bush has begun to lose its neat shape due to overly elongated shoots, then you can pinch the tops again. In this case, petunia will transfer all its strength to flowering and will form brand new flower buds.
Pinching petunia is required correctly if you want this plant to look lush, healthy and blooming in the end. You can do it yourself. The main thing is to rely on step-by-step instructions, if you have not done this before. We will analyze in detail how to pinch this petunia according to all the rules.
By the time of the first pinching, the length of the shoots usually reaches 7-10 cm.At this time, 2-3 pairs of leaves are already present on them. To make the correct pinching, it is permissible to use small nail scissors, or even to do everything with marigolds. It will be necessary to remove the top of the shoot, coupled with the immediate growth point above the topmost leaf.
Some growers make it easier - they simply remove part of the stem along with the leaf at the top. After that, the petunia begins to actively bush, releasing a large number of new shoots from its sinuses.
New varieties, as a rule, do not need to be pinched, let's see why.
- In today's varietal flowers, branching is at the genetic level. They can be immediately distinguished from the old type plantings.
- Already at the stage of formation of the second pair of leaves, it will be possible to see the manifestation of small lateral shoots emerging from the axils of the foliage.
- This is especially true for ampelous petunias, as well as for cascading novelties. With such cultures, no procedures need to be carried out, since the formation of the necessary elements occurs by itself.
The second pinching is most often done about a month after the first. This procedure is especially active in the abundant flowering of petunias. At this time, the lateral shoots are noticeably lengthened, so it will be necessary to cut them already so that branches of the next order can form. Pinching here must be done on the upper part of the shoots, so as not to hurt the already formed buds.
Further pinching will take place during the period in which the flower will be transplanted directly into the flower bed (if it is planned to grow it there). Disembarkation should be carried out towards the end of May. It will take a little time for the flower to take root. As soon as the bushes get used to the new place, pinching can be done.
Each of the shoots should be shortened over 5-6 leaves. The apical buds are removed with a secateurs or simply with your fingers. It is desirable to treat the sections with wood ash or powdered activated carbon. This is necessary so that a dangerous infection does not penetrate the tissue. As a result of the next pinching, the growth of the petunia will slow down, but the plant will not become weak, on the contrary, it will only be stronger and stronger.
As soon as the stems grow on the sides, the bush will take on a beautiful spherical shape.
As you can see, the scheme for pinching a petunia is quite simple and straightforward.
Growing petunias at home is not the most difficult task. The main thing is to provide this beautiful plant with proper care. After pinching for abundant flowering, the flower will need to be given due attention so as not to lose sight of the possible problems that the petunia may face.
So that after pinching the petunia does not lose its decorative qualities, some manipulations will be needed.
- It will be necessary to promptly remove faded buds, as well as seed pods, if they are suddenly intertwined. The plant will spend extra energy on them - you cannot leave them.
- A wilted leaf on a plant always looks very bad and sad. In a similar situation, the petunia is not pulled out, but pinched together with a peduncle.
Since this flower often tolerates pinching, it is imperative that it be given high-quality and suitable feeding for it. Petunia is considered a "voracious" crop that requires a lot of fertilization. But this care cannot be neglected, because without additional fertilizing the flower stems will be too thin and weak.
Experienced flower growers recommend using mineral compositions such as Tsvetochnoye, Kemira Lux, Letnee as top dressing. They contain a full set of useful components necessary for the growing season and the subsequent stage of plant flowering.
- After pinching, you need to use special growth stimulants for the flower. Such processing contributes to the fact that the creation of new shoots will be faster and more productive.
- It is permissible to use ordinary household fertilizers, which are based on yeast, hydrogen peroxide, banana peels or ash. All combinations must be applied exclusively to pre-moistened soil, so as not to cause serious harm to the petunia root system.
- Do not forget about the timely and correct watering of the petunia. This flower loves water. If the weather is hot outside, petunia is watered 2 times a day - in the morning and in the evening.
Petunia is a perennial that loves warmth, therefore it is grown in our climate as an annual flower. If you really like a certain variety, you can save it if you wish. For this, the flower must be kept at home until spring, so that the petunia will give life to new flowers through cuttings.
It makes sense to use this method for hybrid varieties, the seeds of which do not retain the properties of the mother sprout.
If you decide to do the pinching of petunias on your own, then you should consider that there are the most common mistakes that flower growers make while doing this procedure. Let's analyze them.
- Pinching too weak or not yet rooted bush cannot be done. If the flower has not grown and looks painful, then you should wait with pinching. First, figure out the health of the flower. Perhaps the light is not enough for him or the top dressing you are making is not suitable.
- Under no circumstances should an unsterilized instrument be used. If you use scissors untreated in advance, there is a chance of introducing a dangerous and aggressive infection, which will eventually become a provocateur of a serious flower disease.
- Do not use blunt or poorly sharpened tools. If the scissors are not sharp enough, then you can accidentally squeeze the vessels in the stalk, which can lead to terrible consequences for the petunia, up to its death.
- If after all the shoots the seedlings have greatly outgrown and even managed to release the first flower, then you should not be upset. You need to gently pinch the bush without affecting about 4-6 leaves. It is also advisable to cut the released flower - you do not need to feel sorry for it, since new and larger flowers will quickly appear in its place.
- It should not be allowed that there is stagnation of water in the soil where the petunia is located. The ground should be loose and airy and let air through perfectly. Otherwise, the rhizomes of the flower will begin to decay rapidly.
- You do not need to do too early pinching - do not rush to the procedure. If the seedling in its size has not yet reached even 5 cm, there are less than 4-6 leaves on it, then pinching can have a negative effect on the plant.
And some more useful tips from experienced gardeners.
- No need to pinch overgrown seedlings. Always watch the seedlings.
- The top of the flowers must be cut off during the pinching so that at least 5 leaves remain below.
- If you move petunia outdoors, you need to pinch it 3 days after jigging.
- Make slices so as not to harm the sprout. Proceed carefully.
- So that the buds grow larger and more lush, the petunia must not be forgotten to additionally feed, turning to special high-quality fertilizers.
For information on how to pinch a petunia correctly so that it is lush, see the next video.