A special type of pruning in which LEAF BUDS at the ends of new growth are REMOVED with fingers or small clippers.
To increase FLOWER production and to SHAPE the plant. Fuchsias bloom on the TIPS of the CURRENT YEAR’S growth.
Pinching greatly increases the number of new tips where blossoms will develop. Without pinching a few very long branches will develop with 1 or 2 blossoms at the end of each.
As soon as a new shoot has 1-3 sets of leaves, pinch off the tip just below the last set.
At the point where the leaves are attached to the stem (node), two new branches (laterals) will form. When each of these laterals has developed 2 or 3 sets of leaves, pinch their tips. Four new laterals will develop (2 per lateral per pinching). Pinching each of those 4 results in 8 and so on.
Stop pinching when you want to see flowers. Single blooms will flower 6-8 weeks after you stop. Double blooms may take 12 weeks.
A fuchsia stem (as shown opposite) is a small single stalk of the current year’s growth which has NO growths other than flowers (and leaves) showing in the leaf axils (or nodes).
A spray is a stalk of current year’s growth which has one or more smaller side shoots with or without flowers.
A branch is a spray with other sprays growing off it (typically it is a mixture of past year’s growth and current year’s growth).
For most competition purposes:
Flowers should ideally be present in the axils of the main stalk and side stalks of a spray. For a stem, flowers should be present and any small side shoots should be removed. For both stems and sprays, the growing tip should be present. Neither stems nor sprays should be large.
Branches are not usually permitted for showing purposes