I don't know what to do next

courtesyflushMay 21, 2013

I have 3 siling labuyo plants growing in the kitchen in front of the patio door. One of them is almost 30" tall. All of these plants began life outdoors last year. I believe they came out of the ground around the 2nd week of June. I brought the only seven plants that sprouted indoors just before the first frost. The biggest at that time being only 5" tall and some being about an inch tall. I promptly loss 4 of the smallest ones to fungus flies, which are gone now. The remaining 3 survived the winter indoors and even grew just a little. When the light cycle began to lengthen they took off and started really growing. I thought I was doing them a favor by placing them outside for a few hours here and there, but all I seemed to have accomplished was to get them infected with mites, which I am killing as I write.

In my mind the plants do not get enough light and are putting on height just to get more leaves in an effort to try to gather enough energy to finally fruit. I can't expect that I could put them anywhere, outside or inside, where they would get the amount of light they want. I don't want to work with artificial light sources.

Enough history.

Being essentially a year old already with no sign of flowers, should I just cut them back, forcing them to branch or just let them continue, all propped up with sticks? Am I wasting my time? Should I just let them die?

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Never say just let them die. That just ain't right:)LOL

You could cut them back, clean out the roots and put them in a new container with some fresh soil . Then gardually move them to full sun. The more sun the happier your plants will be.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 1:40PM
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esox07 (4b)

Romy6 echos my thoughts. I am assuming that "siling labuyo" are a variety of pepper. But repot them, then gradually introduce them to the outside slowly as long as your current climate is amenable to peppers. (not too cold this time of year for most people). Pruning them back a little might be a good idea as well. But with proper care and some luck, they will be bearing fruit in no time.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 2:40PM
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Thanks for the replies.

Siling Labyo is the 1/2" long "native" wild hot pepper in the Philippines. Quite hot at about 80 to 90K Scoville units. I'm sure brought to the Islands by the Spanish in the early 16th century along with the Siling Haba, a pepper that is in the same family but is slightly larger.

Ahh, if there were only adequate sunshine on my property... I'm afraid all the big trees get the lions share. Where they are they can get a few hours of sun through the window, and outdoors the most I could give them would be maybe 4 hours and that gets less as the seasons change. No garden for me.

I can tell these things would like to be in the sun and they really do have an admirable will to live. But I am limited in what I can do for them.

So, to recap your answers, I should cut them back, re-pot them and put them outside.My next questions would be the following,

Does the fact that I have very limited sunlight change your instruction to cut them back?

How many sets of leaves should remain if I cut them back?

Can I, should I, cut them back and re-pot them at the same time?

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 3:45PM
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Limited sunlight will cause them to grow slower but they will still be okay. I would leave as many healthy leaves as possible. If is looks good I would not cut back at all. Unless it is just to tall and keeps falling over. The more leaves the better. You can cut back and repot at the same time.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 3:58PM
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I think you have it figured out.

Have they branched at all?

Even 4 hours of sun outside and the rest of the time dappled light / shade would be better than indoors. But, they won't be able to take it unless you build them up to it. Start them in shade, then gradually get them direct sunlight. Even an hour in direct sun can hurt a plant that is used to being indoors, so keep a watchful eye at first.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 10:44PM
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The tallest one, almost 30" tall has been a strange plant. It was always the biggest one and till just a couple of months ago it consisted of only one stem with just sets of leaves along it's length. Remember these plants have been indoors since last fall. Then this spring that single stem began to grow and over a couple-o-three weeks it grew several inches, several small branch like growths have appeared on it and a real branch appeared way down low on the plant. This "real" branch has since out grown the original stem by many inches, sometimes growing much more than an inch a week. This branch is straight and leggy and by itself is 28" long. Just in the last week both stems have shown the very tips to be branching. The other 2 plants are just one stem and don't appear to be branching at all.

It's been cloudy with a little rain and very little wind, so they've been out on the deck all night and are out there right now.

If that tall branch branches, I don't think it could ever stand on its own. I'm sure it would topple now if I were to take the supporting stick away.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 10:57AM
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Yeah, sounds like you're in a tough spot with really no choice. I wouldn't want to trim it back below the first branching. But, if it can't support itself at that point that isn't good either. I guess you gotta do what feels best, it's a judgement call.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 11:33PM
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