that is the question. It's a one year old tabasco. Please give me your opinion.
That depends on when you plan on getting that guy outside. If you are growing zone 7b, I would assume that will be soon and in that case, I wouldn't prune it. It looks healthy and vigorous now. If it won't be going outside for a couple months, you might want to trim it back a little.
I think I would trim it back and clean up the trunk a bit. It would cause it to sprout new leaves / stems making it more compact/bushy which will be better in the long run, IMO.
I would second the prune choice as well. I see about half way up the main trunk there some small branches starting starting out (not just leaves, but branches). I would prune the entire top back to just above those branches.
Like T said, it will cause the plant to bush out more, making it more compact and sturdier. If this is going outside, it can really help when a windstorm kicks up during the summer storms to prevent it from breaking in two.
I know that seems drastic, but you could probably chop this thing off virtually to the ground and it would spring right back.
Yah, you guys are a lot more brave than me. I just couldn't bare to cut that poor thing down that far...but in reality, I realize it would probably be the best thing in the long run.
I have a three foot tabasco I have done nothing with. I have left outside and it has seen temps here in Louisiana since the end of summer in the mid 20's for days at a time to low 70s so far. Again I have done nothing to it but look at it. I have watered maybe 2 times in the last 6 weeks. It is doing great and producing new leaves and has shown signs of buds. I would not prune it at all IMO.
I say leave it alone.
Convincing arguments all. I must admit I'm leaning towards the pruning though. Maybe I can get the cuttings to take root!!!
rodnebridges, I like the idea of rooting the cuttings; waste not want not. Tabasco is hardy; cuttings should take root very well. When is it going outdoors?
Okay, for better or worse,here it is! You'll note I decided to leave the Side leaves on though. I couldn't be that diabolic....yet.I plan to grow everything inside this year we had a long hot summer with plenty of 100+ degree days last year and it sent my plants into dormancy. By the time they did put out, it was damned near the first frost. Plus I have a neighbor who I'm pretty sure swiped one or two of my potted ones last year too. That's good to know LeafEricson, I've already got the cuttings in small pots!! I'll let you know what happens !!
rodnebridges, your kinder than I would have been. I would of chopped it down to half of that.
Then again your growing indoors so it wont blow over in the wind.
I probably wouldn't have pruned it back that much, but, anyway... I thought you were going to grow outside. Part of the benefit of overwintering is having a mature plant rather than a young seedling to get a head start when the weather warms up. The goal is to get some pods set before the high temps of Summer set in. If you have the outdoor space, I'd give it another try. You can always move them back in later if it doesn't work out.
No worries either way. This is a year of experimentation for me !
Okay, here is a Tabasco the from the same batch of seeds that I haven't tampered with (recently). I will keep them under the exact same conditions for the growing season and see which does best !
Yeah, I would have chopped it back even farther than you did, but what you've got there will likely end up giving you a better plant in the end, especially if you intend to keep it indoors.
Okay, almost two weeks later and this guy is bouncing back pretty hard !!!
I find that every time I prune a plant in the winter, it goes on about a two week spurt of new growth as long as the growing conditions are semi-reasonabile.