A method to increase flower production and to ensure that you have flowers throughout the season
Soft pinching of the first growth following winter pruning will ensure that you have roses throughout the season and will increase the production of flowers.
How and when to do the pinch: The stem is pinched (break the stem out with the thumb and forefinger) at the point when the bud is about grain size. At this stage the length of the stem is about 10 to 20 cm. The pinch is done just above the middle of the stem (three to 5 mature leaves are left on the stem). The stem must be soft enough to break out with thumb and forefinger. A clean pinch, which leaves no stalk behind, is preferred.
Soft pinches and production: This method will increase yields (two buds may break instead of a single bud response) and the growth will be staggered. The expected flowering period of the pinched stem will be delayed by 2 to 3 weeks. Stem length may however decrease.
Staggering of production: By doing selective pinching the timing for flower periods has now been established for the rest of the year. One method is the pinching of about 20% of the shoots from each plant in one week and another 20% the next week, leaving the balance of 60% to go straight into bloom.