You may need to prune your pepper plant to remove unhealthy foliage and help the healthy peppers grow. The main reason to prune peppers late in the season is speed up maturing the fruit that are sill on the plant. While we do recommend pruning, it is by no means required. Be careful not to prune out a central stem’s growing point if you want that stem to grow out further. Different types of pepper plants can produce a wide variety of different kinds of peppers but, in general, these plants require relatively similar basic care. You get slightly fewer fruit but those fruit will be bigger. [1] Prune away the infected leaves and remove them from the garden to prevent further infection. From the entire plant, carefully snip off the flowers and any fruit too small to have a chance to fully ripen before the frost. Most pepper plants will have no issue producing a healthy harvest without pruning. Approved. Pepper plants are very sensitive to excess moisture. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Read More: Should I Pinch Off Pepper Flowers? This involves learning why we prune our plants, when to prune, what tools to use, and which parts of the pepper plant should come off. It can also be harmful to prune at the wrong time. Use pruning shears to remove thicker portions of the plant if you can't pinch them off. Avoid ‘blinding’ the main stem. In this case, several readers have written to tell us that this article was helpful to them, earning it our reader-approved status. and allow for fuller foliage. So let’s go through exactly how to properly prune pepper plants. That being said, the studies did find that if you prune peppers early in the season, the quality of the fruit was improved. Even in the coldest regions, late fall and early winter can surprise with a warmish day full of sunshine that makes gardeners antsy. Wear gloves when pruning your mature pepper plants. Early growth pruning is the most common type of pruning. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. This will encourage stockier and fuller growth. This is not ideal for most pepper plant varieties, and thus we can prune away some of the plant. Keep a close eye on your plants. Some growers claim that pruning peppers is unnecessary, so feel free to experiment and let us know the results. One of them is that pruning pepper plants will help to improve the yield on peppers. Pruning pepper plants is a simple method of reshaping your plants. As your plant matures, look for smaller stems that grow in toward the center of the plant and cut them off beneath the lowest node on each stem. These leaves can also provide shade for incoming fruit. As a plant grows larger, the stems develop more and more nodes, shooting off more leaves, flowers and stems along the way. By removing these stems, you will help direct the remaining energy from the plant towards ripening the existing pods. Pepper plants may not produce tasty peppers if the plant gets too big, so cut your plant back when it’s roughly 1 foot (30.5 cm) tall. We will look at the benefits of both of these. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Cut back any smaller branches, including any suckers. Ideally, do it twice a year: once early in the season to promote higher-quality peppers or a greater yield, and again late in the season to encourage the plant to put most of its energy into producing bigger peppers. Use your fingers or small scissor cutters when first pruning your pepper plant. Let’s look at the idea of pruning bell peppers and see if it is sound. Be careful not to damage the main Y of the plant as this is the backbone of the plant. This way, the pepper plant can recover and begin forming new growth more quickly. Steve Masley has been designing and maintaining organic vegetable gardens in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 30 years. Gloves can reduce the strain, wear, and tear on your hands from using a pruning tool. Once you have chosen which parts of your plant to prune, it’s time to make the cuts. By taking away certain branches, you allow the plant to focus growth and energy elsewhere. X 19 June 2019. First of all, we should make it clear that there are two ways for pruning bell peppers. By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube. If you started your plants early enough and have plenty of sunshine and growing time ahead, then we do recommend pruning early flower buds. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 146,480 times. Pruning away flowers should only be done early in the growing season (March-May in the Northern Hemisphere). 19 June 2019. This can cause damage to the plant, making healing take longer. Plant now 3, "I was looking for info on growing and overwintering chilis. Most pepper plants have an overall Y shape and branches then create smaller and smaller Ys off of the main stems.