My 77 day old (from time of germination) Carolina Reaper at 9 inches in height, is in the sprouting to pre blossom stage as you can see in the photo. Any comments or theories as to how this can occur at such a premature stage?
A lot of young plants at this age will do this, I have several that where like this. I pinch/cut the blossoms/flowers off them of at this age. The growing energy needs to go to the plant right now, not to producing as it is to young/small. I would pinch off for better productivity later in the year. JMO
What grow zone are you in? Are they still inside? Have they been hardened off yet?
I am in zone 9 and my plant is still inside. I will follow your advice and pinch off the premature blossoms,but I would like an explanation as to what "hardened off" means if you could find the time to reply...Thanks much!
I believe hardening off refers to the process of slowly introducing the plants to daylight. Since the sun is more brighter than anything you're going to have inside your house, your plants aren't going to be able to handle a full day of direct sunlight right away. You can help the plants to get use to the sun by putting them out for a couple of hours a day in a shaded area, then slowly increasing the amount of time and sun they get.
I've seen a lot of other people mention that you want to harden them off before transplanting them to a bigger pot if you're planning on keeping them in pots. Otherwise you'll obviously be hardening them off before transplanting to the ground.
If I've mispoken, please correct me.
Hardening off is as TechnoChimp said above. However, I would do it different (I am no expert my any means). First question I really have if they are still inside and that big, do you have a fan on it blowing? If not do that NOW. The fan will help strengthen the stalk and get it more prepared for the outside winds and it helps with the growth. I put an oscillating fan on all my plants for 2-3 hours a day ( this is just what I do so take this advice with a grain of salt...)
When it comes time to harden of, I take the plants outside on a nice/calm day and start with 5 minutes at a time, in shaded/partial shade (No direct sun for the first 30 minute total day). Each day I increase that time until I am up to an hour or so a day. Once this is done, you would be safe to plant outside as long as the temps are good during the day AND night.
This is just what I do and it works great for me.
if you're in zone 9, you could probably have them outside by now.
plants will produce buds early sometimes, for many different reasons. I have a tabasco plant that seems like some sort of dwarf anomaly (the plant the seeds came from never got taller than a foot, but produced at least 300 ripe pods), that is already showing buds at only 2" tall (granted the plant has 8+ sets of leaves already).
I'd wait until the buds are slightly bigger that way it's easier to pluck them. or you could let it try to produce pods to see if it's growing true.
Yeah. There are credible reports that Reapers aren't stable yet, so an early pod would let you judge whether this plant is a "true" Reaper. If it isn't you might want to pull it and devote your energy to something else.
Not to hijack this thread, but I believe if you use some 6500K lights you may not need to introduce direct sunlight at such small increments.
My 36 plants I still have were introduced to sunlight a full 4 hrs, and then 6 hrs the next weekend, with no burning effects at all.
I have another 36 plants at a local nursery that had no hardening off time at all from my basement, and they were immediately subjected to full days of sunlight in a green house (slightly protected i guess, 12+ hours) with no ill effects at all. They are flourishing actually, Reapers, 7-Pots, Morugas, and Fatalii Reds. Just my two cents worth.
This post was edited by kclost on Wed, Apr 2, 14 at 15:43
Precocious flowering is often due to plant stress.
A green house and direct sun are two different animals. The ultra violet rays from the sun is what your plants have to get used to both glass and filter them out. Exposing plants to direct sun for to long when not used to UV rays can cause major damage and it is very important to harden off your plants correctly. Don't rush things I put my plants in the shade for a week before even exposing them to any direct sun lite and even then see the effects of Uvs.
I must be lucky then. I'll take it slower.
Thanks for the advice pepperdave. My plant has been in a south facing bay window with direct sunlight for a total of 66 days of growth (since sprouting) . I will place it in indirect sunlight for about a week prior to transplanting in my raised garden in a greenhouse/visqueen setting. does anyone have recommendation for the perfect mil thickness of visqueen for a transparency vs. strength ratio??
I am in zone 9 and all my plants are outside now. Have been for over a week. Also, all my plants were putting out flowers a little early too. I left them because I believe if the plant can support them it will, if not it will drop them. Sometimes early flowering can be an indicator of stress. Maybe they are a little on the rootbound side and telling you they want more room.
Hey thanks for the advice punkrotten. And I have in fact left all the flowers on and intendnto plant all my pepper plants this coming weekend when my greenhouse is constructed which is probably wise because I am still seeing frosty nites here in North Fork @ 2600 ft. elevation! By the way, I am using a 6 mil visqueen on my greenhouse...any comments from anyone???