A   fuchsia   will   naturally   grow   upwards   (or   sideways)   on   one   stem   and   whatever   you   do   with   your   fuchsias   i.e.   hanging   baskets,   tubs.   borders, etc. they will need pinching out to produce a bushier plant which in return will produce lots more flowers than a plant left to it’s own devices. Fuchsias   come   in   three   types   of   flowers.   Singles   have   a   corolla   made   up   of   4   petals.   Semi   doubles   have   5   to   7   petals   and   doubles   have   8   or more.   A   single   flowered   cultivar   will   generally   throw   more   flowers   than      a   semi   double   which   in   turn      will   throw   more   flowers   than   doubles.      If buds   are   showing   in   the   tips   to   be   pinched   out,   then   singles   and   semi   doubles   will   flower   roughly   6   weeks   after   the   last   stop   and   doubles   8   to   9 weeks.   If   there   are   no   buds   then   you   can   add   two   weeks   to   these   times.   I   say   roughly   as   a   lot   depends   on   the   weather   and   your   own   growing conditions.  
Some   cultivars   will   throw   side   shoots   naturally   but   most   need   pinching   out   to   force   these   side   shoots   into   action.      The   growing   tip   is   pinched   out   carefully.   Even   if   you can’t   see   the   side   shoots   in   the   leaf   axils   under   the   growing   tip   at   this   stage   they   will   be   there   and   should   avoid   being   damaged.      I   avoid   using   knives   for   this   job   as   it is   all   too   easy   to   slip   and   do   more   damage   than   good.   Please   do   not   use   fingernails,   despite   the   term   pinching.   Below   left   are   the   tools   I   use.   Below   right   is   a   young plant   with   the   tip   removed   after   3   pairs   of   leaves.      Removing   the   tip   after   3   or   4   pairs   of   leaves   is   a   general   guide.   It’s   important   to   pinch   out   as   soon   as   the   growing   tip is   big   enough   to   handle.      Don’t   wait   until   the   plant   has   developed   5   pairs   of   leaves   then   cut   it   back   to   4   pairs,   that   is   wasted   growth   that   could   have   been   put   to   better use in producing side shoots.
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Below   we   have   three   examples   of   plant   growth   due   to   pinching   out.   On   the   left   is   one   that   has   had   one   stop   resulting   in   the   side   shoots   developing   to   the point   where   they   in   turn   are   ready   for   a   stop   to   encourage   even   more   side   shoots.   In   this   case   above   3   pairs   of   leaves   but   the   choice   is   yours.   You   could keep stopping above a pair of leaves but will end up with a smaller tighter plant. The   middle   shows   a   plant   after   it’s   third   and   final   stop.      It   will   now   be   left   to   flower.   Be   sure   to   do   all   the   stopping   at   the   same   time   and   look   for   any   hidden shoots, especially coming from the roots, its surprising how these will grow through if missed. On   the   right   is   a   hanging   pot   with   three   plants   of   the   same   cultivar. After   each   plant   has   had   it’s   first   stop   then   all   three   are   treated   as   one   plant.   stopping   as needed. You can see the side shoots developing, massively increasing the flower power. Pinching   out   delays   flowering   time   and   you   could   keep   stopping   all   summer   but   end   up   with   no   flowers   that   season.      This   is   a   method   used   by   some exhibitors to obtain a good sized plant in the second year..  
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Growing On Young Plants
Growing On Young Plants