A grower told me that if I snap off the buds that are there in the fall, the rodies will grow fuller. Those buds are too late to produce flowers this year, right? It makes scense. Does this work?
Are you thinking of the practice known as pinching (done in the Spring) to make the shrubs grow fuller maybe? The flower buds that are out there now will be the ones that open in Spring, not in the current growing season.
Agree with Luis, the buds you are seeing now are next Springs flowers, not growth buds. Pinching those won't encourage more dense branching, it will only remove next years flower display.
In order to encourage branches to form, pinch terminal leaf buds - not the round, fat, blunt-tipped flower buds. Do this as growth/terminal leaf buds begin to elongate in Spring during or immediately after bloom. This should force shoots to develop from dormant eyes in the lower leaf axils. A plant hormone is produced by leaf buds which inhibits development of dormant buds along the stems - flower buds do not produce this hormone.
I just bought 16, 5 gallon rodies. I snaped the buds off of one, I'm so glad I didn't do the rest. Thanks so much for this information! I'm going to look for the terminal leaf buds.