I'm no "gardener" but I like to plant from seed and watch things grow. I am trying to learn a bit more as I go along.

I planted the zinnias in the photo below a couple of months ago, started indoors and then transplanted. My porch garden only gets a few hours of direct sun so maybe that is why they are not further along.

My question is about "pinching back" – and if there are some plants that don't like it. I pinched back #1 and #2 in the photo over a month ago. #1 clearly didn't like that. #2 rallied but is much further behind #3 (the, ah. . "control group").

Is it just simply that a zinnia isn't a "bushy" type plant so pinching back is not appropriate and even detrimental?

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1 Answer 1


Most annuals respond well to pinching out, especially when you're growing from seed, but the problem you have is that your seedlings have been in their shallow tray too long - seedlings should be transplanted into pots when they have their first or second set of true leaves,so they can form a good root system prior to planting out or putting into larger pots. Further info on pinching out zinnias here https://homeguides.sfgate.com/happens-trim-zinnias-back-44409.html

  • Thanks. That "shallow tray" IS their pot. Plastic shoe bins with holes drilled in the bottom for drainage. @ 4"- 5" of soil – probably too shallow
    – spring
    Jul 12, 2019 at 15:42

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