sniffs
Cool Member
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue May 03, 2016 12:29 am
Location: Southern California, Zone 10a/10b

Pruned my peppers...

I've been reading/watching a ton of videos about pepper plants and how to prune them and why to prune them. My stalks were pretty flimsy and were already starting to flower at the top of the plant. I took the plunge and snipped where I think would have been best.

*biting nails* I hope I don't kill both plants.. :()

https://goo.gl/photos/SneYHTExBcB72kkH6

AnnaIkona
Greener Thumb
Posts: 803
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 1:20 am
Location: Canada zone 8b

Re: Pruned my peppers...

Very interesting...I have never pruned my pepper plants, but I've heard lots of people do it. I should give it a try this year.
Zone 8b, Canada

sniffs
Cool Member
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue May 03, 2016 12:29 am
Location: Southern California, Zone 10a/10b

Re: Pruned my peppers...

I only did it because i've been watching a ton of videos by a guy on youtube that goes by Ray, his channel is called VoodooGarden and he prunes all his peppers. He shows before and after and not only is the stalk much thicker afterwards(to support the weight of a ton of pods) but he doubles or triples the amount of thick stalks that grow off the main talk to yield even more pods.

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Pruned my peppers...

I've never pruned pepper plants either. You didn't say where you are located.


The main reason I would want to prune peppers would be if I lived in a semi-tropical kind of area where they could be perennials. In that case the plant structure would be more important.

You didn't leave your baby plants very many leaves. I think that means they will be slowed down for quite some time. Another reason why this only seems worth doing if you have a very long growing season. If your garden is going to shut down in mid-Oct, these little babies may only have started producing very much in late Aug or Sept.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

sniffs
Cool Member
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue May 03, 2016 12:29 am
Location: Southern California, Zone 10a/10b

Re: Pruned my peppers...

I live in Southern California where the summer months are real warm and we have what are called "Santa Ana" winds which would easily snap weak stalks in half..

NJ Bob
Cool Member
Posts: 84
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2015 1:08 am
Location: Central NJ, Zone 7A

Re: Pruned my peppers...

Haven't done it yet but I have enough plants started where I can experiment this year.

User avatar
Lindsaylew82
Mod
Posts: 2116
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 1:26 am
Location: Upstate, SC

Re: Pruned my peppers...

How much sunlight are your plants getting every day?

And by sunlight, I mean full sun outside or an appropriate lighting fixture inside.
Lindsay
Upstate, SC
USDA Zone 7b/ Sunset Zone 31

sniffs
Cool Member
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue May 03, 2016 12:29 am
Location: Southern California, Zone 10a/10b

Re: Pruned my peppers...

They get all day sun light and when it's night time, I bring them into my portable greenhouse but lately it's been real overcast and it's supposed to be that way for the next few days.

However, I recently started digging in my light bulb box(I pre-buy just incase) and noticed that I have 2700K CFL's and 6500K CFL's so i'll be creating a permanent lighting solution for them.

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11241
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Pruned my peppers...

I grow a lot of peppers and I only prune them to rejuvenate them especially if they are in 1 gallon pots. They need to be pruned after the first fruits ripen in 1 gallon pots. They are usually stressed by the small pot and have some disease issues. I cut them back repot and feed them and they are good to go. If I have them in the 20 inch pots or in the ground, I don't prune them unless they look bad. I did pull most of my peppers last year because of bacterial spot but a couple of them I just cut them back. The super chili I cut back to the ground grew back nicely and spot free. Some of the other peppers had peach scale so it was kinder to just pull them out.

I have not regularly pruned seedlings unless they were damaged. I get a lot of hot peppers. Bell peppers don't produce much anyway and they are not long lived so I don't prune those either.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27667
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Pruned my peppers...

Considering your location, you'll be Ok but know that their development is considerably set back every time you prune like this while the root system is immature. As far as I know, that guy started doing this with seedlings way back in November or December. You need to devote a fair amount of winter indoor real estate to nurturing the plants into massive growth so they will produce in the summer.

The way I do it is to cut back mature plants from previous year, mostly so I can cram them in tiny containers in nearly dry, dormant state, and later crowd them under the lights to save space. 2nd year plants will start blooming at first hint of spring, and take off once they are planted in fresh potting mix in size appropriate containers or in fertile ground.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

sniffs
Cool Member
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue May 03, 2016 12:29 am
Location: Southern California, Zone 10a/10b

Re: Pruned my peppers...

I think the root system on these is doing ok.. I can see the roots poking out the bottom water drain of the pot.. I definitely need to transplant into a bigger pot but with the drastic cut i just did, should I give them some time to settle down or do peppers not suffer root shock like other plants do?

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11241
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Pruned my peppers...

All plants shock if you damage the roots. If the roots are poking out of the bottom, I just take the plant out of the pot and score the roots along the sides. I may or may not tease some of the roots out of the bottom. If I don't wait too long I don't have to tease. I repot in a bigger pot. Most of the time I am lucky and there is no setback. sometimes it does setback and wilt for a day. It will delay fruiting if it sets back but usually doesn't if it does not wilt. I do this pretty regularly so I know what I can get away with.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

Rue Barbie
Full Member
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2016 4:10 pm
Location: Southern California, Zone 10

Re: Pruned my peppers...

I wasn't intending to, but a ground squirrel or bunny pruned a few of my peppers. The side buds are beginning to grow, so we'll see what happens.

sniffs
Cool Member
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue May 03, 2016 12:29 am
Location: Southern California, Zone 10a/10b

Re: Pruned my peppers...

So I made a huge mistake last night. So Cal was scheduled to get some rain so I figured it would be a list mist.. holy crap it turned out to be like a thunderstorm. Drenched all my plants.

All my plants soil is completely soaked.. I woke up at like 1am to pouring rain, i run downstairs and am literally tilting my pots to pour the water from the top of the soil.

I bring them all in and place under a fan.. my tomatoes fell over, my squash fell over, my peppers look a bit wilted. I now have them inside under some CFL lights with a fan blowing on them.

What should I do? repot into dry soil or see if the warm CFL's and fan can dry the soil and hope they survive?

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27667
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Pruned my peppers...

Give them a chance to recover. Don't go disturbing the roots. It's more likely they weren't hardened enough to all that pounding. You could sit the pots on something dry and absorbent -- trays of sand, UltraSorb, sawdust, newspapers, rags and old towels, etc.

Gently support the tomatoes as they perk up so they don't grow into wonky directions -- I would use thin bamboo or sticks tying on with strips of cloth or if you have them I really like the sponge coated wire for tying tomatoes as well as tomato clips. I also save paper covered produce twist ties -- the really long kind that they use around stuff like broccoli and celery, etc. as well as plastic coated double wire coffee bean bag stays.

I would let the squash try to right itself. They are easy to damage. If needing support plop up with something. Peppers should recover. Remove too-damaged leaves that don't.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

sniffs
Cool Member
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue May 03, 2016 12:29 am
Location: Southern California, Zone 10a/10b

Re: Pruned my peppers...

They've been sitting on folded up paper towels that I'm replacing every few hours which become soaked.

Thanks for the advice.. I'll keep an eye on them and keep switching out the paper towels.

sniffs
Cool Member
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue May 03, 2016 12:29 am
Location: Southern California, Zone 10a/10b

Re: Pruned my peppers...

So all my plants survived the heavy rain. The tomato plants look stronger than ever and are all sticking straight up. The peppers all survived really well.

Here's what the Shishito and Jalapeno looks like now,

https://goo.gl/photos/FEWrxMQCu77EvEMJ6

and

https://goo.gl/photos/4ftPZRf4nPFXEW5x8


(and for those interested heres what my tomatos look like. https://goo.gl/photos/coBBMu4cUckEF36W6 )

User avatar
Lindsaylew82
Mod
Posts: 2116
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 1:26 am
Location: Upstate, SC

Re: Pruned my peppers...

I know we've already been over this buuuuuuuuut.... You are gonna have to uppot these. And, you are gonna have to take the pot of several tomatoes down to just 1 tomato plant. And, you are going to have to give the one remaining plant a very large pot if you're going to keep it potted. The 3 or 4 in there are going to get rootbound VERY quickly, if they're not already.

And they still need more sun. Lots more.


If you don't do these things, you will likely have some issues, sooner than later.
Lindsay
Upstate, SC
USDA Zone 7b/ Sunset Zone 31

sniffs
Cool Member
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue May 03, 2016 12:29 am
Location: Southern California, Zone 10a/10b

Re: Pruned my peppers...

Bigger pots!! I should just tattoo that on my forearm. The pots I have them in currently are 2.5 gallons but I'll definitely get bigger ones.. I know you mentioned the 5 gallon ones so I'll look into those..

What's the plant size different between the 2.5 gallon ones and the 5 gallon?

Also those tomatoes are waaaay underpotted. There's 7 tomato plants in that one pot.. What I've read though is that Tomato's can be grown from cuttings, so I'm guessing if I cut each one as low as I can to the soil and replant, they'll grow roots from the stems.

RadRob
Full Member
Posts: 55
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2016 6:39 pm
Location: South La.

Re: Pruned my peppers...

Don't cut the tomato plants, it will take a while for them to start growing roots again before they take off growing. Tomato plants are tough so don't be afraid to hurt them. Take them out of the container and set them in a large container of water and wash the soil off, separate and then replant. They will take about a week before they start putting on new growth. I do this all the time with all plants I have to separate and never had a problem with damaging plants. Make sure you use at least a 5 gallon pot, anything smaller will stunt the plant. Check on building an earthtainer for small spaces, they work really well.

https://www.slate.com/articles/technolog ... atoes.html

sniffs
Cool Member
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue May 03, 2016 12:29 am
Location: Southern California, Zone 10a/10b

Re: Pruned my peppers...

ok that thing is freakin crazy. I'm extremely interested in making one now.

sniffs
Cool Member
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue May 03, 2016 12:29 am
Location: Southern California, Zone 10a/10b

Re: Pruned my peppers...

Not to hijack this Pepper thread, but I transplanted the 7 small tomato plants into separate containers. They all look real healthy early in the morning.. thick stalks, nice color on the leaves.. but if I leave them out during the day when it's full sun I notice that the leaves curl up. I take them out of the sun and by the next morning the leaves are back to normal.

I've read a few things that cause this, stress being the major factor and they are in survival mode so they curl up to protect themselves.

Before I transplanted they received full sun all day long and they never curled up.

I'm keeping them nicely watered.. Anything else I can do or is it just a waiting game?

User avatar
Lindsaylew82
Mod
Posts: 2116
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 1:26 am
Location: Upstate, SC

Re: Pruned my peppers...

They will likely recover in a few days time. While they are tough, 7 plants is a lot of roots to get tangled, and they were pretty big "starts" so, I think there was probably some substantial root damage done, even if you were VERY careful. :wink:

The extra watering won't hurt. I would give them a few days to let the roots recover, maybe give them back the dappled shade. Slowly increase to their full sun spots over a week's time. I would NOT feed them or fertilize them until they are showing signs of full recovery. You may not see much growth right now, but they will start growing again once the roots have recovered. Mulching the tops of your pots would help with water retention as well!

Hope they recover quickly!
Lindsay
Upstate, SC
USDA Zone 7b/ Sunset Zone 31

Rue Barbie
Full Member
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2016 4:10 pm
Location: Southern California, Zone 10

Re: Pruned my peppers...

Rue Barbie wrote:I wasn't intending to, but a ground squirrel or bunny pruned a few of my peppers. The side buds are beginning to grow, so we'll see what happens.
It's been about 3 weeks since the tops of my pepper plants were critter pruned. Remaining stems were more than adequate in size with some being 6 inches. The pruned plants, interspersed in the same bed as non pruned plants, all the same variety, are not growing nearly as fast as the unpruned ones. They have small side branches growing, but just have been severely compromised in my opinion. These plants are in full sun, also in SoCal and will take more than a month to catch up to their untrimmed brothers.

There is still much of the season left to go, but from what I have seen thus far... never again will I prune peppers at the start of their lives. Sometimes plants really do know what is best for their own growth and reproduction. :)

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11241
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Pruned my peppers...

Sniffs. If the leaves are curling up in the middle of the day it is probably physiologic leaf roll and a normal response to heat.

I keep tomatoes in 18 gallon buckets. It is large enough for them to be watered once a day with minimal issues with BER or midday wilting. The tops are in the sun but the containers are shaded by the plants around them so it keeps the pots from heating up. If you can get burned by your pots in the middle of the day, then you should know what your plants feel like. If you cannot shade the pots or group smaller pots around it, double pot, it helps to insulate if you put your pot inside a larger pot or you put insulation (styrofoam) around the pots. I cut up the old potting soil bag and use it as a weed block and mulch in the pot and it helps retain moisture and prevent splash back on the plants.

If you get scorching 100+ degree weather and your plants are in pots and not too tall yet, I suggest you move them to a spot where they will get afternoon shade or put some kind of shading up.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

User avatar
Lindsaylew82
Mod
Posts: 2116
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 1:26 am
Location: Upstate, SC

Re: Pruned my peppers...

Sniffs. If the leaves are curling up in the middle of the day it is probably physiologic leaf roll and a normal response to heat.
Normally, I would agree, but he seperated 7 biggish plants from 1 pot and transplanted them. I would think it's likely transplant shock, and not PLR.
Lindsay
Upstate, SC
USDA Zone 7b/ Sunset Zone 31

sniffs
Cool Member
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue May 03, 2016 12:29 am
Location: Southern California, Zone 10a/10b

Re: Pruned my peppers...

So the leaf roll stopped. In the early AM I've been foliar spraying under the tomato leaves and my plants are huge now. Once I separated them into larger pots and shoved in a 6-18-6 Jobe's tomato organic food stick, they sky rocketed in size. Each one is about 3 feet tall now. I've had to get the tomato cages to prevent them from falling over.

And as for my pruned peppers, they are waaay bushier than any of my other peppers and already starting to produce flowers. They aren't as tall as my other peppers because of the pruning but they grew side shoots out and are real healthy.

Coincidentally I've read that since Peppers and Tomato's are in the same family, that you can use these tomato food sticks in peppers. I've shoved a few in the soil and wow.. the 2 pruned peppers are super bushy and already flowering.

Asica
Senior Member
Posts: 240
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2015 5:11 am
Location: California (Los Angeles)

Re: Pruned my peppers...

When you first posted about cutting your pepper, I did the same thing. But mine are in the raised garden. So the one without the haircut have already fruit, but they are less green and bushy. The haircut pepper is much healthier looking but no peppers yet. This is interesting experiment.

sniffs
Cool Member
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue May 03, 2016 12:29 am
Location: Southern California, Zone 10a/10b

Re: Pruned my peppers...

Here's what they look like as of a few minutes ago.

Shishito
https://goo.gl/photos/tT2ASrrC9Uc1wurH6

Jalapeno - It hasn't started flowering just quite yet but I can see the little flower bulbs appearing.
https://goo.gl/photos/vZTezk4iV8zNrYEu6

sniffs
Cool Member
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue May 03, 2016 12:29 am
Location: Southern California, Zone 10a/10b

Re: Pruned my peppers...

Nearly a month later and both plants look real healthy and are producing fruit.

Shishito
https://goo.gl/photos/1eHUdAeMmDXL1pUdA

Jalapeno
https://goo.gl/photos/rUbxSi3dpd32kA1o8

User avatar
Ruffsta
Green Thumb
Posts: 424
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2011 7:17 pm
Location: Rhode Island - USA (6B)

Re: Pruned my peppers...

sniffs wrote:I only did it because i've been watching a ton of videos by a guy on youtube that goes by Ray, his channel is called VoodooGarden and he prunes all his peppers. He shows before and after and not only is the stalk much thicker afterwards(to support the weight of a ton of pods) but he doubles or triples the amount of thick stalks that grow off the main talk to yield even more pods.
yeah, i've watched most if not all of Ray's vids.. we chat now and then.. (been awhile tho) - he also goes by Praxxus55712. anyways, he does offer some excellent tips that i use myself.
I am proudly CROWDFUNDING to open my own bistro: Devil's Cut Bistro

sniffs
Cool Member
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue May 03, 2016 12:29 am
Location: Southern California, Zone 10a/10b

Re: Pruned my peppers...

Yeah he's got both channels, one indoor and one outdoor. Excellent tips and his voice is soothing to listen to. I also have watched nearly all his videos lol..

Return to “Pepper Forum”