The Q&A Archives: Pinching back seedlings

Question: I am starting some vegetable and a few annual seedlings. I heard that some seedlings need to be pinched back, but I don't remember when or how.

Answer: Seedlings need to be handled carefully so the growing tips are not damaged. When plants begin to grow new stems from the main stem - the ones that put on new leaves, those can be pinched back to make the plants bushier. Don't pinch plants back when they're really young, or they may not survive. It's difficult to tell without seeing your plants, but I'd suggest waiting to pinch them back until after they begin to look recognizable, rather than like generic seedlings.

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