P P P
Any plant which lives longer than two years in its
native environment. Examples include most shrubs (e.g. roses,
potentillas, forsythias). Surprisingly, some plants which are
commonly thought of as annuals (e.g. tomatoes) are actually
perennials. This is because tomato plants will live for many years
in their native environment, but in temperate areas (parts of the
USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) the winter cold kills them
off each year. In these circumstances, they are normally referred to
as "perennial grown as an annual".
To pinch out, remove the very top part of a shoot by
pinching it with the end of your thumb and a finger. Try to make the
cut as clean as possible rather than squash it off. You can cut the
growing tips off with a pair of secateurs if you can't get the hang
of it with your fingers.
Take a fuchsia for example. If you buy one and just let it grow
without pinching out, you will end up with a tall, leggy plant that
is not bushy. But if you pinch out the growing tips regularly this
will encourage more side shoots to grow and you will end up with a
more bushy attractive plant.
"Pricking off" is the process of removing individual
seedlings from a tray full of seedlings and placing them in
individual pots, normally around 12cm / 4�in in diameter.
Seed is often sown in trays in order to reduce the area they occupy
during the germination process. Germination frequently requires high
temperatures and heating to those temperatures is costly.
Pricking off occurs at different times for different plants. A rule
of thumb is to prick off seedlings when they are about 2cm /