Morning Glory pinching questions.

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

Hi all,
I was wondering if anyone has any experience with pinching JMGs into a "bush" form. I have read the linked information and it all applies to pinching for a small trellis. I am currently tying the Andon style and would like to try the more compact bush style. I dont have any experience with pinching any type of plant as I usually let everything go natural, however because of this forum I am faced with so many plants and so little space :)(LOL) Any advice would be helpful. BTW I wonder if I did something wrong on the Andon style as my JMG is very small and compact. Leaf sparse and short. Almost like a bonzai. I dont know if I am allowed to say this here but I have purchased seeds from some of the DG members on ebay and I will never purchase from someone who is not a DG member again, 100 % germination and strong healthy plants.

scio, oregon, OR(Zone 8a)

IMHO you cannot "pinch" a climbing MG into a "bush" MG. They are two different growth patterns and are exhibited by different species. You can train a climbing MG to circle a trellis and pinch off the excess. Jesse, do you have any photos that you can share. I might be getting hung up on the descriptive wording.

Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

I pinch my MG's, but that's just me. I am not trying for a 'bush', but rather to contain the plant until it's time to send them outdoors. I should think you could pinch the growth tips out, and when time comes to plant them outdoors, let them grow wild. If you decided to 'pinch', I recommend you use a new razor blade and some alcohol, and 'slice' the growth tips out. You won't damage the plant or spread diseases with a razor blade. Scissors damage the plant's tissues.

I don't have a clue why your seedlings have sparse growth and leaves. Beth or Ron could perhaps give you some ideas.

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

Thanks guys,
Pinching is the wrong term, more like cutting. I took this from one of the member provided links in this forum. "This planting style is called KIRIKOMIZUKURI. without the use of supports, the vines are cut
so that the total form looks like a miniature" I have seen pictures of JMG cut so that they appear to be more bush like, not so much as a miniature but semi tall and full. I hope this helps. As for my small problem plant I will try and post a pic. Thanks again.

Taft, TX(Zone 9a)

Kay, do the scissors' think apply to all plants when pinching...I just keep the alcohol spray bottle around and pinch everything with tiny scissors???? even clean up my AV's with these tiny scissors...

Netcong, NJ(Zone 5b)

jwrmo - couple things...
Some people may have more experience with inducing Ipomoea nil to produce a less viney and more bushy form than I do, as I tend to allow the tips to remain unpinched... although keeping the roots in a small container and controlling the nutrients closely can yield the relatively short plants that are mostly seen in the Japanese asagao these plants the sideshoots are kept to a minimum and the energies are intended to be concentrated into only one or a very few blooms >this helps produce the giant show flowers seen in the asagao shows...although most of these type of super giant blooms would completely flop over if not supported by carefully training the understory of branches and leaves to act as a support for the superlarge flower(s)...

The control of the lighting is critical to the short show plants seen in initial dark period followed by growing under constant light...

Maybe MGJapan can contribute some additional clarifying information to the science of the short show plants that are often displayed in the Japanese asagao shows...

If you are going to cut any plant tissue it is better to use a razor as this produces a very clean cut without causing the 'squashed' cells left behind by scissors...squashed cells induce tissue degrading enzymes that cause tissue necrosis and invite pathogens...think of cutting through a banana that still has the peel on it using a scissors or a very(!) sharp knife...the scissors 'smush' the tissue and the area will turn black from the tissue degrading lytic enzymes..

There are different cultivars of Ipomoea nil and some have more of a tendency to elongate or to stay smaller and more compact...pinching the tips causes auxins to accumulate in the axial area and this can sometimes double the number of blooms and can sometimes also temporarily inhibit the gibberellins from elongating the stems...

Some Ipomoea nil have more of a tendency to short internodes and consequently to produce a 'stiffer' bush like form...the dwarf types are usually more bush-like and e.g., Ipomoea hederacea is a stiffer vine generally than Ipomoea nil...

The Minibar Rose tends to have a stiffer form than the usual Ipomoea nil...

There seems to be at least several different cultivars that have been marketed as "Minibar Rose","Cameo Elegance", "Beni Chidori", "Tsubame" and others with similar flower and leaf characteristics...although some seem to differ in the tendency to remain relatively small or to grow long...

See the threads here for some previous discussions of these types

Hope this is of some help...



This message was edited Mar 2, 2009 12:52 PM

Taft, TX(Zone 9a)

Thanks for all the help in this thread!! Love the morning glory sites!!!

Netcong, NJ(Zone 5b)

If you are using scissors with razor sharp super thin needle-like blades like on micro-surgical instruments then the cut would be just like using a razor...there are some bonsai suppliers in japan that might carry cutters for specialized asagao bonsai...



Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

Thank you for the information. This is a helpful forum. I guess I need to get more familiar with the varieties in order to attempt to "shorten them". I was not aware that by cutting them they would produce fewer flowers. I would still like to try it but it is nice to know what to expect. I think I need to do a little ( alot actually) more research on JMGs. I will take the information given and ponder the possible results. Thanks again


Netcong, NJ(Zone 5b)

jwrmo - Did someone say that pinching them would produce fewer flowers(?)...not I >(!)

"...pinching the tips causes auxins to accumulate in the axial area and this can sometimes double the number of blooms..."



Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

OOPS My Bad :)

Houston, TX

The Kirikomizukuri method is a way to control the plant's growing habit. I think Jwrmo's refering to 'the compact bush style' is just another applied method of controlling the plants growing habit. Instead of cutting the vines, train them to wrap around the trellis using plastic tie straps while letting the plant grow. In fact the whole plant surrounding the trellis will take on a bushy look. Once your plant achieved the desired appearance you start cutting the vines thus controlling the plant's growth. It's the same technique used for growing bonsai plants. You force the plant to grow and look a certain way. Hey practice makes perfect

Japanese put more into the display and appearance of plants. Also see Ikebana the art of flower arrangement.

This message was edited Mar 7, 2007 8:57 AM

Norfolk, VA

I will have to try more pinching for my morning glories this year, I'm just wondering if I can get a large flowered JMG to to be very bushy. I usually let my morning glory climb up top of the trellis and then I pinch off the terminal bud and shoots come out from the auxilary buds which stimulate growth and produce more flowers. I just wanna know if this is possible for the large flowered strain of the JMG.


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