red chili peppers - no fruit (started from seed)

gw409(6)September 16, 2012


new york-east coast zone

this spring i started the plants from dry/strung/bird beak sized red hot chilly pepper seeds (southern Italy)

some planted in the ground, and some planted in 5 gallon pots, very close spacing. some of the plants are 3 feet tall and flourishing but hardly any fruit! all get heavy afternoon sun exposure. any ideas on what might be lacking or wrong?

i started the seeds may first which i think was about a month too late? also i heard at the end of the growing season the plants can be hung upside down and stored indoors and planted next year, is this true?


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Never herd of that 1 before someone may be pulling your leg as soon as the plant dries out loses its leave i would think its toast but could be wrong i have never tried it might have just gave me a new idea though if i was to bring all my 1000s of plants in and hang them from the ceiling would look like a major jungle would only leave maybe a 2 ft crawl space ...hehe

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 6:41AM
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hookilau(long island NY)

I'm also in NY (long island). I think the possibility for your plants to set fruit this year is done, at least in our neck of the woods. You should've likely seen flowers in July for harvesting now. I have a wee little pepper in a teeny pot that has only now set fruit. I saw flowers about 4-6 wks ago. Anyhow.

I think your problem of too much foliage & very little fruit could be due to too much nitrogen. Barring poor stock that is. If memory serves correctly, high nitrogen will give you plenty of foliage but not necessarily support fruit production. Makes for very healthy house plants, lol.

I *have* heard about hanging plants at the end of the season, but not to overwinter. If you end up with a ton of unripened fruit & the season is closing fast & you're not overwintering, you can hang the plants in a cool shaded place (like a garage). The fruit will then ripen, kinda the same way blushing tomatoes can be picked & allowed to ripen on the counter or the vine, but your plant will surely die.

I'm planning on overwintering this year. This past weekend, I pruned 2 trees really hard. They were about 3 feet high & just as wide in containers. This weekend coming up, I'll dig them out, bare root & plant in a gritty mix. This year is an experimental one as some of my peppers did not produce useful peppers for me, I use 'em for cooking and everyday consumption, so I want 'em hot & full of complex flavor.

Do a GW search for overwintering hot peppers & you'll get pics, info & guidance. My suggestion is to sort out where they'll get the most light first, then pick the best plants, have a backup (air dried seeds labelled WELL, trust me on this) in case one gives up the ghost, cut back hard & leave a couple of leaves, watch & treat for pests (you WILL have them) and water sparingly. Cold & wet sucks for us & them too 8) Good luck!


    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 8:30AM
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