Plant Structure, Function, and Use

Shoots, Stems, and Leaves

How can a gardener make certain plants and fruit trees “bushier”?

Many houseplants, annual plants, and fruit trees exhibit a phenomenon in which the terminal bud produces hormones inhibiting the growth of axillary buds. This allows the plant to grow taller, increasing its exposure to light. Under certain conditions, the axillary buds begin to grow, producing branches. This can occur when the terminal bud is pruned (“pinched back”) on certain plants and fruit trees, stimulating the axillary bud growth and producing bushy, full-looking plants.


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