Weak Stems On Peppers

qasrevengeMay 14, 2011

Had this problem last year as well with my Ghost Peppers. Plants have been growing well, getting window sunlight, and this year I've even put an oscillating fan in the room in an attempt get their stems stronger.

Still, I try to take them outside to get a little more sun and first decent breeze flips their leaves over or knocks them down. Have already lost a few this year to wind damage. Their leaves are huge in comparison to the stem.

Should I teach them weight-lifting, or some sort of core training maybe?

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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

They need increased light....gradually get them into more light.
Huge leaves are usually an indication of lower light, although it can indicate
very high nitrogren, too. As far as wind goes - can you provide a windscreen?

No way around hardening the plants off. You'll have to do it more gradually.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 12:46PM
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You could put them in a cardboard box, so they can still get a little sun(not too much at first)but be protected from most of the wind. If the very tops are moving even slightly from the wind it will help them become stronger. I find that if I put my plants out on a cloudy day, they will still wilt if it's the slightest bit windy even though the soil is moist. It really takes a lot of moisture from the leaves, so it's best to go slow and watch them carefully.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 12:47PM
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More light when they are babies and the fan will help make them strong from the get-go. Other than that, the wind outside can be quite strong. It seems like no matter what, I have a few tomatoes / peppers that need a little help when I put them out, whether from wind or rain I always end up staking / tying a few up within the first few days if not immediately. I just use a fluorescent light inside as close as I can get it. If I were to use an HID light of some sort, I'm sure they would be more stocky, but, that's something I just don't feel like getting into.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 1:03PM
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Thank you for the responses. I think I've got an idea how to get it down.

Oh, and that would be the mother of all cardboard boxes. I have twenty in 5 gallon buckets. ;)

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 1:12PM
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esox07 (4b)

Also, make sure you are not experiencing Damping off fungus. This is a real problem with young plants and is usually the result of too much water and too little air circulation. The plants get very weak right at their base and want to keel over very easily. I know it is temping to water them whenever you think a leaf may be wilting but it is best to wait to water until you know the soil is all but dried out. And for youngsters, the method of watering from the bottom up is usually considered the best way to water.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 4:11PM
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If my plants seem to be getting too tall and top heavy with skinny stems, i pinch off the top leading growing tips to promote the plant to push out new growth from lower on the plant so the plant will bush out more and give the stem a chance to thicken up.

Im growing 20 types of peppers and all are doing well. Ive noticed that some species tend to have upward growth more rapidly then others and a good pruning of the tops of these helps em out.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 4:21PM
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"Oh, and that would be the mother of all cardboard boxes."
HA! Yes, that would be. I pictured small plants on a windowsill!
Can you get small tomato cages for them? Then, cut the bottom off of a kitchen trash bag and slip it over the cage. I think you could do the same with a few stakes/sticks around the perimeter of the bucket. It wouldn't be pretty, but it would help cut down on the wind damage.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 6:46PM
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That's actually a very good idea noinwi.

I ended up using various family member's houses with better lee areas then mine. It's working well and they are getting stronger by the day.

Next problem will be the deer after I put them in the ground.

Thank you again to everyone for the responses!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 9:36AM
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Hi qsarevenge for the deer problem try liquid fence

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 12:28PM
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I would use a stick to hold them up until they are fully outside and growing well. After a few weeks of direct sunlight the stems will get stronger.

You are simply growing them with too little light and too warm. if it was real cold they would not grow so you would not have a tall plant with weak stem.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 12:53AM
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