Morning Glory: How to pinch out?


My morning glory seedlings finally started growing.
I read somewhere “If you grow your own bedding plants from seeds, you’ll need to pinch them back while they are young. Pinch them when they have two sets of true leaves, removing the top one-half (1.25 cm.) to three-quarters (2 cm.) of an inch.”

Now please see the pic.

Pic-left) It’s already crawling… I’m not sure if I can still pinch out the top for a half inch

Pic-right) These seedlings are slow in growing.. then the leaves turned to purple… Is it sick or something? Should I pinch some out?


Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners with questions about your morning glory seedlings. The common morning glory (Ipomoea purpurea), native to Mexico and Central America, is a twining vine grown for its attractive flowers and broad heart-shaped leaves.

Pinching plants is a way of pruning that encourages lateral branches and creates a bushier plant. When you pinch off the new growth, ideally you want to cut the stem as close to above the leaf nodes as possible. This link gives photos along with detailed information on how to pinch back new growth.

The more you oinch back the plant the bushier it will become. You can pinch back the plant on the left in order to promote lateral growth, however if you are planing on the plant reaching a certain height then wait to pinch back the growing point.

Morning glories grow best in full sun (6-8 hrs) in moderately fertile, well-draining soil. The seedling on the right appears to be lacking nutrients. I would feed your morning glories with a low-nitrogen fertilizer ( 5-10-5) every four to five weeks throughout their growing period. Make sure to follow dilution recommendations on the packag. For more information on how to care for morning glories see this link.

Good Luck with your morning glories.