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SuntannedSwede April 13, 2017 10:10 PM

Pepper is 5 inches tall and flowers are budding
I have never grown peppers before so I'm not sure if this is normal or not- I have noticed that several of my Matchbox chili plants are starting to put out buds. At the moment they are about 6 weeks old and only about 5 inches tall, they are under a grow light.

I know they are supposed to be small plants, but is this too early for them to be developing like this? Should I pinch the buds? I have no idea how to post pictures, but they are about 3mm in length.

Thank you in advance for your time

dmforcier April 14, 2017 12:08 AM

I just let them develop normally, i.e. without interference.

Some people will tell you to pinch the early flowers. You could try it on some, I suppose...

SuntannedSwede April 14, 2017 12:33 AM

Just realized I posted this in the wrong forum, my bad. I'll let them be then, thank you

kayrobbins April 14, 2017 06:52 AM

I pinch the flower buds off until the plants are at least 12 inches tall. At the early stage I want all of the plants energy going to growing nice sturdy plants. If the plants get off to a good start you will have plenty of peppers. In my experience if they produce fruit while they are small the plant is not a vigorous.

oakley April 14, 2017 07:29 AM

I pinch off any budding when young, then prune off the entire top growing tip when it is
apparent at ten-12 inches and an easy snip leaving 1/4 inch.

It is working for me at this point. Fast forward two-three weeks and i have a sturdier
plant with a nice wide canopy growing out, not up and leggy. I don't want any fruit
setting this early.

Beginning to harden off this weekend in the shade, warm weather 10 day forecast.
(zone 6a at this location)

Worth1 April 14, 2017 07:41 AM

I think it depends on your growing conditions and where you live as to what you do.

oakley April 14, 2017 09:55 AM

Yes, Texas is much different that Canada and the NorthEast.
I gave up on peppers 10yrs ago. Pick up a few at my local nursery, (not BigBox),
every year and get a few on each of a few plants.

Starting my own this year and doing more research for my climate. Just trying a
different approach. I only clipped a few at first...then went ahead and did them all.

I do live in a very international city and have a dozen varieties very cheap by the pound.
Year round. Just want some other varieties this year.

SuntannedSwede April 14, 2017 03:43 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Hmm, I don't know anybody that grows this variety in my area so maybe I will pinch half of the plants and leave the rest. It has been growing in an 18 oz. solo cup, so as you can see its still quite a small plant.

Thank you all for your helpful tips, I guess we'll see how well it turns out

dmforcier April 14, 2017 04:40 PM

Noone else is growing them because they're apparently exclusive to Fedco Seeds. Frankly, I don't see a compelling reason for the variety - other than the short 75 DTM - but to each his own. Cayenne heat but they don't even mention the taste.

Fedco is short on specifics, other than that the plant is "squat" and the 2" pods grow upright. Accordingly, I would not pinch the tops.

Very good looking plant, btw. You may be developing a pepper-green thumb. :D

Deborah April 14, 2017 07:06 PM

What a pretty plant! It's so perfect it looks fake.

SuntannedSwede April 14, 2017 07:29 PM

Yeah it certainly doesn't seem to be very popular, which is peculiar given all the time and effort on the part of Ms. Bailey to develop it out of Super Chili. I don't have a greenhouse yet so I figured it would produce enough hot peppers to be worthwhile in our short growing season.

It sure is a pretty plant, I wish I could take credit for how well they are doing! I broke all the rules, no soilless starting mix, no warming tray, I just soaked the seeds overnight and poked them into some Miracle Gro potting soil.

I will continue to monitor the plants and will provide an update later in the season for anybody else interested in growing 'Matchbox'

dmforcier April 14, 2017 07:58 PM


Originally Posted by SuntannedSwede (Post 631932)
It sure is a pretty plant, I wish I could take credit for how well they are doing! I broke all the rules, no soilless starting mix, no warming tray, I just soaked the seeds overnight and poked them into some Miracle Gro potting soil.

So you just lucked into the way things are supposed to be done? Uh huh. I'd say 'good instincts' are in there somewhere.

BTW, MG Potting Soil is not good for pots (ironically). Too dense. You want Potting Mix. Or just go with whatever your good instincts dictate.


SuntannedSwede April 14, 2017 10:30 PM

Oh you're right- I double checked the bag and it is potting 'mix' as opposed to 'soil', I didn't know that they were different products, thanks for the heads up. I won't be bamboozled the next time I need to buy some mix

SuntannedSwede October 22, 2017 08:33 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Well the season is over now and I feel that I owe the forum an update on those precocious peppers- I did not end up pinching any of the early flowers and by the middle of August this is what the plants looked like. I wish I had a picture of them at the beginning of September, most of the peppers were a deep red and there were new ones growing all the time. All 8 plants or so did really well, especially since they were overshadowed by some of the tomatoes. Very productive, compact plants that did well in zone 3a. The only reason I wouldn't grow them anymore is because I just did not like the peppers. The early ones were of variable heat, later peppers were more consistently hot. They were on average about an inch and a quarter long, and full of small seeds. I consider them now a mostly ornamental variety.

Thanks again for all the help!

EDIT: I am embarrassed of all the weeds in those pictures, I ended up with a new puppy unexpectedly and I didn't have time to stay on top of them!

Worth1 October 22, 2017 08:52 PM

Not even close to having many weeds not at all.

Looks great.


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