What is the best way to prune a chilli plant? So far i removed half the flowers and most of the leaves to encourage more fruiting - will this work or just kill the plant?
No..pruning will not kill it...by removing half the leaves, you mean you cut back the entire plant right? As long as you cut back just above nodes you are fine. With pinching you remove the very newest growth (soft or medium pinch/newest leaves or first 2 sets of leaves) to encourage branching beneath that point. By pruning (or a hard pinch) you are still removing the growing points to encourages branching but just 'harder'..if you cut back really hard they will just take longer to develop fruits.
If you prune the top of the plant, you should also prune the roots.
Ok, thanks. How much of the roots need to be pruned? I just removed any roots that were growing out of the pot. And when i pinched of most of the leaves, i didnt break off any branches or unopened flower buds, only the leaves. So as far as i know, no "growing points" or nodes were damaged. I'll post a pic soon...
Prune an amount of roots approximately equal to the amount of leaves/branches you pruned....it keeps the plant in balance.
C. galapagoense 11/12/03
Same plant 1/1/04
I have been pruning my plants this winter just as John's above and they are doing very well. The root pruning allowed me to also loosen and adjust the soil mix which they seemed to like. The new growth is excellant and the plants end up producing fruit much sooner in the season than new plants statred from seed. Last winter I just cut back without root pruning. This year with the equal pruning they look good and healthy.
Are chillies annuals or perrenials? Because if they are annuals and i cut them back too hard they probably wont have enough time to sprout back before dying off anyway... here's a pic of my 'pruning' job...
Here is a link that might be useful:
I just brought my Burmese chillies (brought from Burma) in from the cold and put them into pots. By doing this, the roots were automatically pruned in effect as I had to break them to get the plants out of their bed. They are lanky for about 18 inches, then spread out into an umbrella of branches with loads of flowers but only a few fruit. In previous years the original plant had literally hundreds of fruit. At what point should I cut back their currently lush, budded/flowerd but mostly fruitless branches?
Are these Burmese chillies hot? I think I've heard Thai cuisine is generally hotter, but that could be wrong. Do you have any pictures?
I recently was wondering about how best to overwinter my indoor chili plants and decided to simply leave them as they are, removing leaves as they appear dead or withered. That seemed to be the general Google consensus. However, the talk here has made me start to second guess myself. Should I prune before the new growing season? I did not prune the plant at all last year.
Here is a link that might be useful: Eight Square Metres
The large plant looks kind of scraggly and if it were mine I would trim it back a bit. I would also put it in a larger plant.
Put it in a larger pot--annoying that you can't edit posts
I'm also pruning my chili plant at the moment, I've got about 20 flowers on the plant and it's showing no sign of stopping growing up and out. It's in a pot and there's another smaller plant in with it so I don't want it getting too big.
I was at a garden center and saw they had their chili plants cut well back so that there were not that many leaves and only about 6 chili peppers on the plant and was as big as mine.
So my questions are:
(1) How many chili peppers can a plant support and what's the best number?
(2) Should I leave a lot of leaves on the plant?
(3) Where should I be pruning?