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

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
References in periodicals archive ?
Caption: Pinching back shoots on tomato plants encourages them to become stockier and bushier.
Pinching back the tops of young plants encourages the shoots to branch, creating a fuller plant.
Otherwise, when plants reach 20cm tall, the stems will need pinching back to encourage flowering potential.
Pinching back the flowers as they form will result in larger leaves and better harvests.
On a visit last year, a few students were gently pinching back the young poinsettias, whose leaves were just starting to turn red, timed for perfection for the rush only a few weeks away.
Plants must receive minimum care -- grooming of dead flowers, pinching back of too-long stems and fertilizing as needed.
Get ahead of those extra inches by pinching back new growth on annuals and perennials to encourage more branching and blooms.
Occasional pruning and pinching back wayward growth will help shape the plant, unless the desired look is to be an overgrown jungle of greenery.
"We want to take, for the good of English football, the biggest and best squad we can take to the tournament next summer (if we get there) to win it and that might mean pinching back Theo Walcott from the seniors!
6Pot on fuchsias, geraniums, begonias, cannas and heliotrope as soon as pots become full of roots, pinching back where appropriate to induce bushy plants.
Allow the shoots to get several inches long before pinching back. This forces new growth from the bud.
Begin training one or two plants in 4-inch pots by pinching back one side to make it flat enough to fit against the trellis.
I always thought that pinching back the garden chrysanthemum was done to delay a sporadic bloom throughout the summer.
I seemed to know instinctively how to care for the plants, i.e., pinching back to cause the plant to bush out more, how to encourage roots, how to make compost tea ...