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Pinching out

How are you supposed to know which seedlings/ young plants, need to be pinched out. It is never mentioned on the seed packet and rarely in books.


  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 16,578

    Most of them but if you tell us what you’ve got, we can tell you yes or no?

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 8,550

    Agree with Lyn, I pinch out almost everything.

    Did they tear it out with talons of steel
    And give you a shot, so that you wouldn't feel?
    And washed it away as if it wasn't real?
  • Hi, I have dianthus, Penstemon ,salvia Amistad, all cuttings. just sown, calendula art shades, zinnia and cosmos. Thank you for replying.

  • I would like to know the answer to this, too. I have a clematis seedling that's starting to look a bit leggy but I'm not sure if I should pinch it out or leave it to grow a bit more. It's got 8 leaves, 4 together at the top and another 4 beneath those with about 2cm of stem between the two sets of leaves. Should I take out all 4 of the top ones?
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 22,258
    The usual way to bulk up clematis is to plant it deep every time it's potted on so check yours for roots at the base of the pot and if they're showing, pot it on but bury it up to the lowest set of leaves.  This encourages new shoots to form from below.  Keep doing this until it's big enough to plant out - always deeper than before and make sure it nevers goes hungry or thirsty.   
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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