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Pepper Pruning Question

Posted by luisito8m 9 (My Page) on
Fri, Mar 9, 12 at 10:55

Pepper Lovers,

I pruned my entire Cayanne pepper plant, to the fullest of its extend. I removed ALL leaves, ALL peppers keeping only the pepper structure (stem).

I would like for my pepper plant to grow a thicker and longer stem, I was wondering if I need to chop down (prune) the steam entirely or what should I do?

If u need a pic let me know, I can upload it when I get home.

Cheers!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Pepper Pruning Question

When I prune back (to pot down and bring in for the Winter), I leave at least a few leaves/branches. I have never gone all the way to a bare stem. At this point, I'd wait for some new growth before cutting back any more. As far as thicker stem, that comes with time. If you trim the top, it will cause it to bush out more, not grow taller. Trimming the lower branches would effectively lengthen the stem.


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RE: Pepper Pruning Question

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Fri, Mar 9, 12 at 13:02

Yep, what tsheets says. It would be tough to make it grow taller although it probably will grow taller a very slight amount each year just part of regular growth. But the problem with peppers is that they normally make a "V" branch and half the plant grows one direction and half the other. The trunk doesn't normally continue straight up from that point and the breaks into another V at some point. You dont get long trunks that grow basically straight up with branches coming out from it along the way.. If it did, then you could prune lower branches making the trunk taller and forcing growth upward.

Here is a photo of my two Hot Hungarian Wax Peppers that I cut back last fall. See how they grow to "V" in succession. Each branch of the V itself ends in a "V". If you try to prune for height, you will get a zig zag trunk. As far as I know, most varieties grow this way.

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Bruce


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RE: Pepper Pruning Question

You can prune whatever you want........it's hard to kill a chile

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RE: Pepper Pruning Question

Yes, you can prune a chili to the extreme, and it might grow back stronger than ever. But, when you prune so drastically, there is also an increased risk of it not making it. So, while you *can* prune it that much, I wouldn't *recommend* it.


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RE: Pepper Pruning Question

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 10, 12 at 11:59

Yes, I would always leave a few leaves and probably not crop the root ball quite that much. Between the stress of pruning and transplanting, you do run a fair risk of killing it. You can always continue trimming it throughout the winter.
Bruce


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RE: Pepper Pruning Question

Pruned lots of chiles, never killed one. It's hard to kill a chile plant.

Tepin:

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RE: Pepper Pruning Question

Those Tepin pics are what got me over the fear of pruning and over-wintering a few years back.

But, I have killed plants before. Pruned them way back, and some grew back, others never came back. So, I am a little more careful now and leave a few leafy branches.


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RE: Pepper Pruning Question

One way to create a thicker stalk is to bend it slightly until you get a kink with out snapping it open, then stake it back up so the branch is straight again. The stalk will thicken up as it repairs itself. A strong fan can also help with a sturdier stalk. Neither of which I would do after a severe pruning. Not sure you can force a plant taller then it's genetics except by starving it of light and having it stretch, but I don't think that would do much for yield. Also cutting ALL leaves off is excessive. I've never done that, but I would think a few leaves are needed to get the plant up and running. Peppers may be natively a perennial, but they don't have storage organs such as tubers or bulbs. They are perennial by keeping foliage all year.


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RE: Pepper Pruning Question

There should still be a supply of nutrients in the stem. Long as they left a fair bit of that it should be able to start producing new leaves again. Peppers are really hard to kill after they get going, after all.


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RE: Pepper Pruning Question

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Tue, Mar 13, 12 at 12:27

Yes, Greenman28 tells his story of a pepper plant left in a container in his dark garage all winter where the temps got below freezing several times. There were no leaves on it and the above ground part was basically dead. But after getting it back out in the warms spring sun, it fired back up. It was just dormant and like Capoman said was just living off it's root system all winter. Josh had said that as long as the root system doesn't freeze, they it should come back.
Bruce


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RE: Pepper Pruning Question

Interesting how tough they can be. I still don't think it's the best method of overwintering a pepper though. I've got one that I left a few small leaves on and it stayed healthy in a window without growing... until recently. First signs it's picking up is the leaves are getting larger.


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RE: Pepper Pruning Question

Thanks for all the advice guys, it has been helpful. i decided to prune it because leaf damage was pretty bad and extensive due to winter, my pepper plant look beaten up.

Wow Williard3, I love your pepper plant!! Looks amazing!!

Later, I will be posting pictures of my pruning, I think it went well..


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RE: Pepper Pruning Question

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Tue, Mar 13, 12 at 16:52

Capoman, Josh also says that he never had an aphid or spider mite issue with that plant all winter long.
:)

Bruce


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RE: Pepper Pruning Question

My Cayanne Pruned.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Two days later, I could see leaves coming out.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic


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RE: Pepper Pruning Question

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Tue, Mar 13, 12 at 21:48

Pruned or defoliated. Haha, I like that. I bet you will bet that thing to be pretty tall cutting him back the way you did. Keep us up to date and let us know how this thing does.

Is this a plant that you just now pruned? Must be nice to grow year round.
Bruce


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RE: Pepper Pruning Question

Bruce, too funny! It would be interesting to compare overwintered peppers that were defoliated against ones that had some foliage left on them. Has Josh done this? I've usually found that early growth results in seedlings and cuttings will give a good indicator of later health and vigor. I suspect that the slower start a defoliated plant would likely have against one that has healthy leaves all winter would affect the long term vigor of the plant. Sounds like an experiment for next winter. I'm always up for a good experiment.


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RE: Pepper Pruning Question

willard3--what do you have that pepper plant in? looks great!


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RE: Pepper Pruning Question

I grow in hydro.


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RE: Pepper Pruning Question

My thoughts are this. And this is only my opinion. If you leave a few leaves on, the leaves the plant keep the plant in a positive energy state. The few leaves left can still manufacture and store food to kickstart other growth. If a plant is totally defoliated, then it will have much more reliance on stored energy in the stems and roots. One example is the vitamin B1 stored in leaves (that I think is stored nowhere else) that is sent down to the roots to accelerate their growth. Then there is also the possibility of foliar feeding to help get started. Does this sound reasonable? Also, the transpiration of the leaves is required to draw water and nutrients from the soil. Without leaves, the plant would definitely have to go backward, using up precious reserves creating a negative energy state, before it moves forward again. I can only see that as a setback in comparison.


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