Skip to Content

When To Pinch Dahlias? 4 Key Takeaways!

Sharing is caring!

Pinching dahlias in the spring is a simple strategy to increase the number of blooms on your plants. I will show you how and when to pinch Dahlias to get additional flowers step by step.

Pinch dahlias slightly above a pair of leaf nodes when they are rapidly growing to make them bushier and more resilient. Do you want to see it completed? Continue reading this article for more insight on this matter and to know the exact timing of when to pinch dahlias.

When To Pinch Dahlias 1
Should I pinch it now – via Reddit

What Is Pinching? Why Do We Do It?

You may have heard the term “pinching out” concerning your tomato plants or dahlias. Although it is frequent among gardeners, putting this approach to good use requires some consideration.

Pinching out, in its most basic form, is a way of pruning young plants to induce branching that will later bear more fruit or flowers, hence boosting production. The plant will branch out to form new stems and branches by essentially pinching off the highest part of the stem right above leaf nodes or buds.

Pinching has a handful of other advantages as well. To begin with, pinching keeps your plants from becoming overly lanky. Eventually, you’ll notice that you have a more robust central stem if you encourage growth in the lower branches.

Second, for plants grown primarily for their leaves (e.g., herbs), regular pinching will keep plants from going to seed too soon, keeping the foliage glossy and full. Pinching plants with attractive foliage, such as coleus can achieve the same effect.

Pinching Out Quick Tips

  • Under the pinching point, be careful not to damage the leaf nodes. Pinching with your fingertips or finely pointed snips/secateurs is the most gentle method.
  • Make sure you don’t pinch out too quickly. Wait until the plant has achieved an adequate height and has enough growth to withstand the pruning.
  • Know when to call it a day. The more you pinch out, the longer it will take for flowers/fruits to appear. Pinching too hard might result in bushy plants with crowded blossoms.

How To Do It

Because the early growth is so fragile, you can easily remove it by squeezing it between your fingers, although snips are also an option. Avoid damaging the leaf nodes with any method you use, or the plant may struggle to develop new branches.

You can perform the same thing with the new branches if you like, but don’t get locked in a pattern that leads to over-pruning. Instead, to prevent illness from entering the stem, pinch near the leaf nodes. Once the plant has reached the proper shape, stop pinching it and let it flower freely.

Pinching out on older plants can be harmful to their health. Thus it’s preferable to do it on young plants. When it comes to pinching out, the timing varies depending on the plant, so if you’re not sure, double-check.

Pruning too soon can hinder some plants’ growth, and removing too many leaves from a young plant might leave it penniless — the plant requires enough foliage to photosynthesize and thrive.

Last year, I began pinching out my dahlias way too early. While the plants did become bushier, the stems were stunted, and the blooms became so crowded that many pests sought sanctuary.

Some of the blooms never fully opened, and I wasted a lot of time attempting to correct my errors. The moral of the story is to not pinch too early and to know when to quit pinching!

When To Pinch Dahlias 2
The Power of the Pinch! – via Reddit

When To Pinch Dahlias?

Before pinching, wait until the main stem is roughly 12″ tall and has at least four sets of leaves. A squat and tightly bushy dahlia plant can be achieved by pinching out the stem while it is still short.

When the flowers begin to bloom, they will pack together, resulting in pests and diseases due to a lack of air circulation. It will also be more difficult to notice the lovely blossoms.

The rest of the procedure is the same: right above a group of leaves, pinch out the highest tip of the stems. Cutting and deadheading the flowers after they have bloomed also helps to foster vigorous growth and other blossoms.

When Not To Pinch Your Plant

Not all plants benefit from being pinched back, and some can be killed if pinched too much.

Plants that naturally grow to be bushy don’t need to be pinched out. Instead, all you’ve done is slowed down the natural growing process, which could lead to a lower yield. Tumbling tomatoes, for example, are a fantastic illustration of this phenomenon.

Pinning out monocotyledons will not assist the plant, and it may even stop its growth or kill it completely. This is due to the fact that this sort of plant stores its energy in a different way, and pinching removes the developing tip.

Grass, alliums, and most flowering bulbs such as tulips, daffodils, and lilies are monocots. Monocots normally survive the pruning process and send up a new stem to replace the one that was removed. But you’ll only get one; there won’t be any bushy growth.

So we must cut the stem of chives, a monocot allium, to harvest it and then wait for the stem to recover.By pinching or pruning back the stems of dahlias, you encourage the plants to produce more stems and leaves rather than flower buds.

Plants that are bushier, stronger, and simpler to maintain will replace tall, lanky ones. The biggest advantage is that each plant will produce more blooms. The most enjoyable aspect is that dahlias are an excellent choice for your cutting garden.

The more blossoms it produces, the more you cut! So cut flowers frequently for bouquets when they are in full bloom. Cutting the blooms stimulates new growth and flowers, just like pinching, keeping the dahlia healthy and blooming! Win, win, win.


Knowing when to pinch Dahlias is essential when gardening. This will help you in producing better plants for your garden.

Best of luck!