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How to Pinch Dahlias for more Blooms

Pinching dahlias in Spring is an easy way to get more blooms from your plants. I show you step by step how to pinch Dahlias to get more blooms. 

Pinch your Dahlias for more blooms. It is tough to do, at least for me, when you see all that beautiful growth but in the long wrong you will be glad you did!

I confess I avoided growing Dahlias for year as having to dig the tubers each Fall seemed like too much work.  But I have found they are well worth the effort and now I love them, I know you will too if you give them a try!

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If you love dahlias and want more then visit my Dahlias from Cuttings post.  It is an easy and free way to propagate your favorites. 

Why Pinch Dahlias?

Dahlias will grow just fine without pinching. Now that has been said then why do I pinch back dahlias? 

Because it results in not only more blooms from a single plant but it also makes them busier and sturdier. You want them to be sturdier since the big fat blooms can make the plant top heavy.  

dark pink dahlia growing in garden, Flower Patch Farmhouse

When to Pinch Your Dahlias

When your dahlias begin to grow in Spring let them get to at least 12 inches to 16 inches tall with 4 sets of leaves on the stalk.  This is a rule of thumb but no law so if your plant has gotten a bit taller don’t despair it is not too late. 

dahlia growing in a pot

How to Pinch Dahlias

Find the top sprout on the stem between two leaves and cut off with your pruners or pinch if off with you thumbnail.  This one is lower on the plant but that will work too.  I was trying to get the best photo for you.  If you look to the left you will see the other stems pinched off farther up. 

dahlia stem being cut back or pinched with pruners

Closer up on this one you can see it towards what your dahlia plant will look like once pinched.

close up of dahlia stem pinched back, Flower Patch Farmhouse

A few weeks later you will see this…

new growth on pinched back dahlia plant

New growth on either side of the pinched area on the dahlia stem.  That means instead of one bloom you will get two. 

How does Pinching Dahlias work?

By pinching or cutting back the dahlia stems you are stimulating the plants energy to producing more stems and leaves instead of flower buds. In the video I state I leave one stem alone so it will produce a bud sooner while the cut ones will take a bit longer. 

Instead of tall, lanky plants you will have bushier, stronger ones that will be easier to maintain. The big plus is you will get more blooms from each plant. 

pink with yellow center cactus dahlia, how to pinch dahlias, Flower Patch Farmhouse

Dahlias for a Cutting Garden

The most fun is dahlias are the perfect plant for your cutting garden.  The more you cut the more flowers it will produce! When they are in full bloom cut flowers frequently for bouquets.  Just like pinching, cutting the flowers stimulates new growth and flowers keeping the dahlia healthy and blooming! Win, win. 

Even though pinching Dahlias make them sturdier you will need to proved support like a stake, or wire cage, obelisk etc. 

I hope you give dahlias a try in your garden. They will reward you for years. 

Happy Gardening!

More you will enjoy
How to Propagate Dahlias from Cuttings
Choosing Dahlias for your Garden
easy Dig up Dahlias for Winter

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Propagate Dahlias from Cuttings, Dahlia cuttings are a quick way to get more of what you love.
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kate

Friday 25th of September 2020

I tried doing this and didn't get as many blooms as when I don't pinch them. They just grew big and green and bushy but no blooms.

Pamela

Friday 25th of September 2020

There are many variables that can cause bushy growth with no blooms but pinching them is not one of them. All flower farms that grow dahlias to sell as cut flowers utilize pinching to get more flowers. Some things that can cause bushy growth with no flowers is over watering, too much fertilizer, not enough fertilizer, too much heat, not enough sunlight etc. Also the variety of dahlia can be a determination. So if you feel you do better without pinching then, by all means, don't pinch.

Sally

Friday 7th of August 2020

Thank you so much for this information. I will start pinching my Dahlias today!

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