The Q&A Archives: Pinching Back Starters

Question: I have started several flowering plants from seed in my spare room. Do I need to pinch them back after they get their second set of leaves? Will that help them get bushy or is it just if they are leggy?

Answer: Pinching helps promote bushy plants, but don't be too quick to pinch back your seedlings. When they've developed two sets of leaves, transplant them into small individual pots. If they're getting leggy or spindly, it's an indication that they're not getting enough light. Expose them to about 14 hours of artificial light each day. You can safely begin pinching back just before they're set outside in the garden. Continue to pinch back faded blooms to encourage new flowers after the plants have established themselves in your garden.

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