The most asked question is " What is pinching "?
Simply, it is pinching off the tip leaves to force branching below. Most fuchsias are fine if you allow two sets of leaves before pinching the tip. Some varieties are better pinched after one set of leaves have developed on the branch. This is what encourges the branching. More branching means more flowers.
There is a season of bloom for all fuchsias. Most of them bloom in the summer months in our area. I know ... what about those beautiful full baskets we can buy during Mother's Day? Those have been grown in a greenhouse. They still need pinching in order to produce new branching. If you don't pinch, there won't be any new flowers and by the time summer comes the plant may be spent for the season.
We purchase the plant starts in the early spring or from cutting taken in the fall or early spring. These are pinched after one or two sets of leaves have grown, up until we need them to begin producing flowers. The mantra is 'two sets of leaves, pinch, two sets of leaves, pinch...' It's pretty simple.
For our club show there is a schedule we try to follow but the weather may increase or decrease the growth rate. If it's a colder spring the plants don't grow much until later. If it's warmer they may take off like weeds. This is something we discuss during our meetings.
Penultimate means second to the last. The dates below are examples of the penultimate pinch dates bases on the type of fuchsia one is growning. You may or may not have time to pinch a final time. It all depends on how it is growing. These dates will give our plants time to put on flowers before our judged show in August.
August 11th 2012 SKFS Show Pinch Dates
Triphylla’s 111 Days Before Show April 21 90 Days Before Show May 13
Doubles 101 Days Before Show May 2 80 Days Before Show May 23
Semi-Doubles 91 Days Before Show May 12 70 Days Before Show June 2
Singles 81 Days Before Show May 22 60 Days Before Show June 12
In : Pinching