Ask a Question forum: Sweet Pea Seedlings wilting??

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Name: Ann
PA (Zone 6b)
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AnnofPA
Mar 20, 2016 10:04 AM CST
Hi, All!

I've had my sweet pea's in a cold frame situation for a few weeks. There were 3-4 sets of leaves on them so I pinched them back yesterday. Now today, I bottom watered them and noticed when taking them out of the watering tray almost all of them were wilted looking. Does pinching them back cause this? Did I over water them? They've been doing great up until this point. I'll admit I didn't use sterile scissors to pinch them back, I used my fingernail.(oops??!) I'm tempted to think it was the watering, but I can't say if they were wilted prior to that for certain. I'd like to think I would've noticed the limpness of the leaves but I can't say for sure. Thoughts? It's in the 40's and overcast again today, so heat isn't a factor. Thanks!!
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Mar 20, 2016 1:01 PM CST
My only thought is that when you pinched their tops off, you pulled up on the plant a wee bit so distubed the roots. Peas have very fine rooting systems. I know you shouldn't weed around them. Hopefully they will recover.

Daisy
Name: Ann
PA (Zone 6b)
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AnnofPA
Mar 20, 2016 2:30 PM CST
Thanks, @Daisyl! I hadn't even thought of that. Whatever I did wrong, they seem about 80% better. Hopefully by tomorrow they'll be fully recovered : )
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Mar 20, 2016 3:02 PM CST
I'm glad to hear they are getting better.

Daisy
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
Peonies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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CarolineScott
Mar 20, 2016 5:19 PM CST
Sometimes it just takes patience?
Name: Rob Duval
Mason, New Hampshire (Zone 5b)
Region: New Hampshire Vegetable Grower Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1 Tomato Heads
Annuals Hostas Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Spiders! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US
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robertduval14
Mar 20, 2016 6:38 PM CST

Plants Admin

I've never pinched back pea plants...is there some benefit to this?
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Georgia Garden Sages Organic Gardener Beekeeper Vegetable Grower
Seed Starter Cut Flowers Composter Keeper of Poultry Keeps Goats Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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abhege
Mar 20, 2016 6:43 PM CST
I was wondering the same thing?
Name: Ann
PA (Zone 6b)
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AnnofPA
Mar 20, 2016 6:44 PM CST
It causes them to branch out and produce more flowers.
Name: Judy
Simpsonville SC (Zone 7b)
Plant and/or Seed Trader Peonies Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I helped beta test the first seed swap
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SCButtercup
Mar 21, 2016 4:27 AM CST
I am not growing ornamental sweet peas this year but a close relative, sugar snap peas. This year I planted an extra row of sugar snap peas just to pinch back, the young stems and greens are edible and great for adding interest and flavor to cold salads. But the advice I heard was to wait til peas are close to 12" tall to start pinching back, going down about two rows of leaves. The plant will produce more stems and leaves and you can turn back again. I am not pinching back the snap peas that I'm growing for veggie crop. So I will see if this pinching stimulates branching.

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