Can I save my leggy sweet peas?

David Hurrion gives his tips on remedying sweet pea seedlings that have become leggy, and explains when to pinch out.


Too little light can result in leggy sweet pea seedlings. David Hurrion explains why pinching them out at this stage is best avoided, and reveals what you can do instead to ensure beautiful, fragrant blooms.


The normal advice is to allow your sweet pea seedlings to produce four sets of leaves, before pinching out the dominant tip. This prevents them from becoming too leggy, encourages sideshoots and more compact growth, which results in more flowers on your plants. If they've already become leggy, though, then pinching out the seedlings will set them back and delay flowering by about three to four weeks. Where you're growing sweet peas on a framework of canes, then an alternative to pinching is to train the long stems along the ground to an adjacent cane, before tying them into place and growing them up that support.


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