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Seedlings-To Pinch or Not to Pinch?

April 19 2017 at 11:26 PM
Joni  (Login Yodlei44)
Hummingbirder 2008

What seedlings do you or don't you pinch and when? Just curious & also looking for a few answers.

My Eccremocarpus scaber seedlings have a lot of space between the sets if leaves. Since this is a vine, I assume no pinch?

How bout Zinnias or Cosmos? The main stem is very tall & some are starting to get their true leaves & they are flopping even though the light is directly over them.

How bout greggii/microphylla type Salvias? They grow similar to the Eccremo seedlings.

I haven't pinched my tomatoes or peppers in the past but pinch out the Y's after they are already big & in ground for a bit. Never had a problem with their growth.

Also don't pinch Scarlet Runner beans or Ipomoea luteola which have done fine in the past. (I assume no pinch for vines?)

These are the only seedlings I can think of that would be approaching this stage.

Elwood, IL
Zone 5
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Ward Dasey
(Login WardDas)
Hummingbird Member 2005

Re: Seedlings-To Pinch or Not to Pinch?

April 20 2017, 11:23 AM 

I never tried to pinch vines and I don't pinch Zinnias or Cosmos although I suppose you could. Salvia like greggii/microphylla are another matter, those usually get pinched. I do my best when it comes to Zinnias, Cosmos, Tomatoes and annual vines to time their starting so that they don't get too large ahead of time. It is not like there is any advantage to larger older plants. My Zinnia, annual vines etc. are just now getting true leaves and ready for transplant into individual cells. In a couple of weeks they will be in the ground I hope.

Indy Steve
(Login SteveWnindy)
Hummingbird lover 2007

Re: Seedlings-To Pinch or Not to Pinch?

April 20 2017, 10:38 PM 

Depends on the type of plant , certain salvias, cupheas get pinched once they get going good, you know when that will be.
Martinsville In.
Zone 6

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(Login tbyrnes)
Hummingbird Member 2006

Re: Seedlings-To Pinch or Not to Pinch?

April 21 2017, 8:33 AM 

Are the seedlings well rooted? If so, you can pretty much pinch any of them to get a desired shape. I'm sure you know that pruning any green leaves tends to slow down the growth of roots and therefore the growth of the plant.

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Ilena Zone 5
(Login Cheddarchick)
Hummingbird Lover 2016

Re: Seedlings-To Pinch or Not to Pinch?

April 24 2017, 8:36 PM 

Great question!!! What about nasturtiums???? I have never grown them before...I have them in pots with my Canna lilly know what to do with them...
Ilena Zone 5 Elkhorn, WI

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Ward Dasey
(Login WardDas)
Hummingbird Member 2005

Re: Seedlings-To Pinch or Not to Pinch?

April 25 2017, 8:53 AM 

It might not be a good idea to pinch nasturtiums or any other annual vine for that matter. In fact there is not general rule to go by with annuals - some yes, some no. On bushy annuals like zinnia and cosmos there could be some point to pinching them but only if they have gotten tall. Doing it too early could damage the growth of the plant be removing too many leaves. The truth is they will branch anyway whether pinched or not.

Pinching tomatoes and peppers, never tried that. No matter what I do the tomatoes will be 6 plus feet tall by the end of July and who knows with the peppers? There are so many pepper diseases these days that I never know what will happen with them. At home we've gone to full quarantine, resolved to only plant the ones we have started and never bring in a plant from a local nursery. I searched the internet trying to find a pepper resistant to the 9 kinds of leaf spot and ended up having to spend $22.00 for a single packet of seeds, a bell called Turnpike. The only other pepper that appears to be surefire against leaf spot is Serrano. It is a very ornamental hot pepper and gets almost 5 feet tall. It packs a bit of a punch which I don't mind and it is reliable.

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