Keeping the garden tidy requires a few deft moves with the right tools, and, time and again over the seasons, shrub rakes are... Read more »
Entire books have been written on the science of making compost, but it isn’t as hard as people think. In five easy steps, you... Read more »
Weeding, pruning, and raking all make a huge difference in the appearance of a garden, but, to finish the job, you have to rou... Read more »
The Fiskars® aluminum shrub rake features a slim head with uniquely tapered tines that are perfect for reaching into tight spac... Read more »
Our Eco Bin Composter features an easy-to-assemble, easy-to-use design that can simplify and speed the composting process. It i... Read more »
Our HardShell® Kangaroo® Gardening Container is perfect for all your outdoor cleanup needs — whether you’re gathering yard and... Read more »
Are school fundraiser ideas keeping you up at night? A unique handmade art piece that represents your school is sure to be a p... Read more »
Creating beautiful and personal touches does not have to be difficult, especially when you have great designs to work with! Read more »
Recycle and give a new life to some of your old T-shirts Read more »
Teresa Collins is a top craft celebrity who has been featured numerous times on My Craft Channel, HSN, QVC and DIY network, wel... Read more »
Our unique Tag Maker with Built-in Eyelet Setter features an innovative design that makes it easy to create tags perfect for gi... Read more »
By creating a few simple tags, you won’t be caught at the fabric store not knowing what fabrics or yardage you have in your st... Read more »
A brocade drawstring pouch can be a beautiful and luxurious accessory or gift. Read more »
Transform a simple hoodie into a super simple unicorn costume and take the stress and pressure out of making a complicated Hal... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Serrated Fabric Shears sense blade separation an... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of crafting and mixed media tasks, our Amplify® Mixed Media Shears sense blade separation and force th... Read more »
Try some new punches out and make some cards to celebrate World Card Making Day! Read more »
A personalized Duck Tape® crown is quick and easy to make with your Fiskars® Duck® Edition Scissors. It is a fun way to cele... Read more »
Our Preschool Training Scissors features a special training lever that opens the blades after each cut, helping children learn... Read more »
Children love our Designer Non-stick Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the colorful handle patterns that make cutting fun and the non... Read more »
Our Designer Non-stick Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those ol... Read more »
Transform a basic jacket into something personal and unique. Read more »
Create a simple reusable calendar to plan all of your back to school activities. Read more »
Creating a miniature collage with your Fiskars® Duck® Edition Scissors is a great way to use up any last bits of Duck Tape® yo... Read more »
Designed for long, easy cuts down strips of Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that preve... Read more »
Designed for all-purpose cutting through a range of craft materials that incorporate glue, tape and other sticky adhesives, our... Read more »
Designed for tight, precise cuts through a range of craft materials that incorporate glue, tape and other sticky adhesives, our... Read more »
Most plants tend to stay healthier and better looking if we prune out, say, an entire branch rather than just the tip end of it. There are a number of reasons for this, one being that the tip bud of a branch or shoot controls the growth of the parts below it. If that tip bud is removed, a plant’s means of controlling growth is also removed, and all sorts of things can go haywire. However, with a little understanding of plant growth, utilizing tip pruning (aka tipping or pinching) techniques can help us create bushier plants with abundant flowers. But, before you begin tipping everything in the garden willy-nilly, consider the following carefully.
Respect that tipping is a technique best used on the new growth of herbaceous perennial and annual plants. It is not a method recommended for woody plants; tipping can severely, negatively impact many woody plants, including trees and shrubs.
For perennials, be sure to consider when each blooms. Perennials that bloom in winter or early spring rarely can be tipped, re-grow and set flower buds before their ephemeral growing season ends. Late summer and early autumn bloomers, on the other hand, grow for the entire spring and summer before flowering; these are ideal candidates to tip. A few great candidates for pinching: hardy and annual fuchsia, tall garden phlox, tall sedums and asters or mums, which specifically set flower in response to shortening daylight hours.
Remember that by tipping out the taller growth on these plants, the plant’s growth may remain somewhat shorter than it would be if the plant were left uncut. However, when the buds below the cut point open, the plant will become bushier, with more potential points for flowers to form. This is great if you want to fill in a empty bed space or get the plants in a hanging basket extra bushy, but it can backfire if you need your perennial to grow tall in the middle or back of a flowerbed behind other plants.
If you decide to try tipping your perennials, allow them to emerge from the soil and grow a few pair of leaves before you begin cutting them. When you do begin tipping them, pinch out the top few pairs of leaves. Make your cuts directly above a leaf, which is where new green growth will emerge from a bud tucked into the base of each leaf. When growth is supple in spring, cuts are easy to make with your fingernails. As it toughens up during a growing season, try using a pair of Micro-tip snips for accurate cuts. Buds that get damaged when you make your tipping cuts may die back or grow a deformed branch.
When deciding to tip back a perennial, you may choose to tip on shoot a few inches higher or lower than the pinching point on another shoot. This is called cutting to “alternating heights”. By doing this, your plant will grow to mixed heights and widths with flowers forming at different levels. Or, you may choose to tip the entire plant to uniform heights to create a rounder overall final form when the plant blooms.
As the season progresses, a late season bloomer can be pinched back multiple times. Each tip that is removed will be replaced by two or more shoots, which will emerge from the remaining buds below where you made your prior cuts. Then, once those new shoots have grown at least a couple of pairs of new leaves – usually within 7-14 days of the time you pinch -- they may be tipped as well. However, never try to re-tip a branch by cutting it at point below a prior pinch point. Only pinch newer growth that has emerged from other buds as a result of the original tipping.
Determining when to stop pinching back your perennials isn’t terribly tricky. You may simply get tired of doing it. Or, you may decide that the plant has filled in the space sufficiently, so additional pinching is no longer required. Or, the season may be on the wane, which means if you don’t stop pinching, the plant will never have time to set flower buds and bloom. Generally speaking, for late summer bloomers or fall bloomers, all pinching should end right around summer solstice – or if it’s easier to remember, make it the 4th of July. This is when the growing season plateaus and then begins to wind down slowly toward the fall Equinox and then winter. If pinching ends at about this time, late bloomers should still have sufficient time to put on a strong set of blooms to usher out the glory of summer.