When should I pinch out sweet peas? How to boost 'beauty and fullness' of summer flowers


Sweet Peas, also known as lathyrus odorous, are strongly scented, colourful flowers which are perfect for a fragrant, bright summer garden. The flower seeds are usually sown in either October to November or late January to April, then planted out in April.

According to Gardening Know How: “When it comes to pinching out sweet peas, there are two schools of gardeners, those who claim pinching sweet peas back ruins the natural form of the plant and sacrifices the size of the bloom, and those who believe that to pinch sweet pea plants early in their growth adds beauty and fullness and the additional blooms make up for diminished size.”

If you are new to growing sweet peas, Gardening Know How recommends experimenting to determine whether this process works for you.

The experts said: “If you’re a beginning gardener or just new to growing this lovely vine, you might want to experiment by pinching sweet peas in half your bed and allowing the rest to grow naturally.”

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According to Gardening Know How: “When it comes to pinching out sweet peas, there are two schools of gardeners, those who claim pinching sweet peas back ruins the natural form of the plant and sacrifices the size of the bloom, and those who believe that to pinch sweet pea plants early in their growth adds beauty and fullness and the additional blooms make up for diminished size.”

If you are new to growing sweet peas, Gardening Know How recommends experimenting to determine whether this process works for you.

The experts said: “If you’re a beginning gardener or just new to growing this lovely vine, you might want to experiment by pinching sweet peas in half your bed and allowing the rest to grow naturally.”

How to pinch out sweet peas

Sweet pea seeds can be planted directly into deeply loosened soil as soon as the ground can be worked.

Garden Know How said: “Once the peas have sprouted to three to four inches high, the seedlings should be thinned to five or six inches (12.5 to 15 cm.) apart.”

To pinch out wait until sweet peas have grown to between four and eight inches high.

Then take the growing tip between your forefinger and thumbnail and snip the growing tip off using your nail as your blade.

This process will force plant hormones called auxins to move to the side or auxiliary tips.

Gardening Know How claims the production of these auxins will encourage “growth and for new and stronger growing tips”.

The more often you repeat this process, the more often your sweet peas will produce blooms.

This is why the process is often favoured by those who enjoy decorating their home with vases of cut flowers.



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