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Old December 18, 2016   #1
Starlight
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Default Pinching Plants

I was reading in another post where somebody said for their pepper plants that they pinch off the central stem when they have 3-4 true leaves on their seedlings.

I was wondering, does anybody else do this? Does it help produce more peppers and also does the pinching set the plant back and if so, for how long?
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Old December 18, 2016   #2
Rajun Gardener
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I wouldn't pinch it off at that stage of growth, let the plant grow till it forms a "Y" and then prune it below the Y. You'll get 3 times the production from pruning than you will if you let it grow. Not all peppers are the same so this works on some but not others.

It will set the plant back so be warned if you live in a short growing season. There's many vids of pruning on youtube if you're not sure.


Edited to add: Just saw you're in AL so no worries, prune it and you'll me surprised. You do have to keep them fed and watered to get good results but you'll be rewarded with more than you need.
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Old December 18, 2016   #3
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I dont do it and see no reason to, not in my climate.
To me it would be like pinching babies.

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Old December 18, 2016   #4
greenthumbomaha
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[QUOTE=Rajun Gardener;605278]I wouldn't pinch it off at that stage of growth, let the plant grow till it forms a "Y" and then prune it below the Y. You'll get 3 times the production from pruning than you will if you let it grow. Not all peppers are the same so this works on some but not others.

What types of peppers would you suggest be pruned this way?
Does size of fruit play a role? DTM of the first pepper? Which peppers did not respond with an increase in productivity? Thanks.

- Lisa
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Old December 18, 2016   #5
AlittleSalt
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Star, I've never heard of it. I'll have to look it up.

Two videos a before and after:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swdK2I2CjKU

After
https://www.youtube.com/watch?annota...&v=gJHQVHHbBOo

To me, the pruned pepper plants look worse.
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Old December 18, 2016   #6
Rajun Gardener
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I don't know all the the varieties but I tried it this year with cayenne and Bananna peppers it didn't work, the super hots and Tabasco went crazy.
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Old December 18, 2016   #7
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Robert, pruning improves production.

Pruning vs none, look at the plant size https://youtu.be/9ngeV6Rs5tE?t=34

check out the end of season pepper count https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zetxfpcooXc
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Old December 19, 2016   #8
carolyn137
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I never pinched pepper plants,be they hot,cold or intermediate as to hotness.

They aren't like tomatoes where some pinch, but tomatoes send out new branches in great profusion,peppers don't, at least in my experience.

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Old December 19, 2016   #9
dmforcier
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Also called "topping". We did a non-scientific test on GW(**) a few years ago; several growers, several varieties, topped vs. un-topped siblings, nominally identical growing conditions.

Lessons learned:
* Topping produces squatter, fuller plants, which may or not be desirable (in the thread mentioned above it was to keep the plants short so they continue to fit under lights)
* It does retard development some, which may or may not be a problem
* It does not affect overall production: some examples were better some worse. Seemed to be within the 'natural' variation between individual plants.


** Might have been on C2C, the post-GW board.
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Old December 19, 2016   #10
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I treat different pepper plant varieties - differently.

If it's a smaller ornamental pepper plant, I just let it grow however it wants. The same with short bushy pepper varieties.

Ones that grow taller like Jalapeno, Serrano, Banana, Tabasco, etc. I trim them like a tomato plant = trim the lower branches. They look more like a pepper tree. The Tabasco peppers picture that I use for my av over there << are trimmed that way.

I have never pinched blooms or done anything like in the videos on this thread.
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Old December 25, 2016   #11
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Mos peppers have a tree-like growth habit. They branch out as they grow. Som do grow real tall, like Bishops Crown, Lemon drop, Aleppo. Are they Baccatum ?
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Old December 25, 2016   #12
Starlight
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Thanks for all the information. : ) Think I'll just let them grow and maybe try pinching an extra one or two and see what happens. I'm hoping to try and get some bells this year. Crossing my fingers for sure.
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Old April 30, 2017   #13
SteveP
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I topped 2 pepper plants this morning. I guess I will see how they do. I usually only plants 3 pepper plants and have never tried topping them. This year I bumped up to 6 plants. One was very spindly and researched utube and watched a few videos and decided to try it.
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