pinch back

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pinch back

To prune a plant by removing the main stem with one's fingertips to allow two new stems to sprout and flourish in its place. A noun or pronoun can be used between "pinch" and "back." A: "My avocado tree just isn't becoming very full as it grows." B: "Have you tried pinching it back? You'll want to pinch back the plant if you want it to grow big enough to bear fruit.
See also: back, pinch
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

pinch something back

to pinch off a bit of the top of a plant so it will branch and grow more fully. You should pinch this back so it will branch. Pinch back the new leaves at the top.
See also: back, pinch
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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