yonnielovesveggies
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Nasturtium and sage - encouraging bushiness - beginner Qs

Hi folks

My nasturtium and sage plants, which I grew from seed, are both at about 3 inches tall.

The nasturtiums each have about 6 - 7 leaves on the plants. The sage - roughly the same amount of leaves.

Is it now time to start picking the leaves off to encourage bushiness? And if so, is there an art to this?

Thank you in advance for any answers!

Yonnie

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rainbowgardener
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It seems a little soon to start pinching them back. You want the plants to get well established with a healthy root system, so they need the energy they are getting from the leaves.

When they get a little big bigger, you can pinch/clip the growing tips off down to the next leaf node.
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yonnielovesveggies
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oh.. ok.. I'm a bit too zealous :). Thanks RG!

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PunkRotten
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I hear you are not supposed to prune sage at all the 1st year. But for Naturtiums I don't know. I got a few plnats going now. I have some in my front yard they get only like 2 hours of Sun and they are a bit leggy. But the ones in my backyard, which get about the same amount of sun are shorter but more bushier.


But they are 2 different varieties too. And I been noticing that caterpillars are loving it my plants are getting attacked.

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Kisal
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I grow nasturtiums every year, but I've never pinched them back. If you planted the standard 'vining' type, it will develop into lovely long vines. As long as it gets plenty of light the leaves will be close together along the vine, creating a nice 'bushy' appearance. If you planted one of the dwarf/bedding types, I just let them grow. They manage to become very lovely little bushy plants without any intervention at all by me.

One thing about nasturtiums is that they don't do well if you fertilize them. Mine, however, are in the ground, and I guess yours must be in containers, right? Container grown plants might need a light feeding (about 1/2 the strength recommended on the label of whatever product you use for fertilizer) when they reach the size yours are now. Nutrients can br washed out of the soil in a container, which rarely happens to in-ground grown plants. BTW, I find your planting schedule a bit confusing. I plant my nasturtium seeds in March. Most people plant them when it's time to plant peas, either February or March, or even much earlier, depending on the weather patterns where you live. Why are yours just now coming up? Did you just recently plant them? :?

Anyway, in addition to not doing well with a lot of fertilizer, they also don't need a whole lot of water. Certainly you should give them enough so they don't ever wilt, but nasturtiums don't seem to need as much as most flowering plants. I guess I would say give them plenty of sunlight and plenty of water, but be careful not to overwater. :)
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yonnielovesveggies
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Thanks for the advice Kisal!

I don't have a planning schedule. :) I just figured as I was planting inside, any time would be ok to put the seeds in - I did it about a month and a half ago. The nasturtiums are growing slowly.. I'm worried about them because a few of the leaves are growing yellow and papery.

I've been cautious not to over-water as you've advised... I'm wondering if the yellowness and dryness is due to under-watering.

I've read that nasturtiums are practically impossible to kill... I hope not to be the exception to the rule. Is the occasional yellowing normal?

THanks again!

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PunkRotten
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I water the nasturtiums in my back yard that are in-ground everyday. I do not see any signs of over watering. As for the ones in my front yard I water every 2-3 days and I see no signs of over watering either. I give them a good soak too. I could probably go several days with no water and I am sure they'd be fine. They do not get tons of intense direct sun though.

What variety are you growing? Could you explain if they are in pot or not and what kind of soil and size of pot. How much sun are they getting?

yonnielovesveggies
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Thanks Punk Rotten

THey're potted - as are all my plants. They are in potting mix. The container is about 15 cms deep and 35 cms long. They get full sun at a south facing window.

Any advice would be appreciated.

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jal_ut
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I do not grow nasturtiums, so can't comment there. On any of the other herbs in the mint family, I figure the best time to harvest is just before they bloom. Sage is perennial and will come back if you cut the whole plant off. I would not be in a hurry to prune sage at all the first year. Let it have its leaves to build up the roots. Of course if you just can't wait to taste it, pick a few leaves. :) Three inches is a bit too small to prune at all. IMO.
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