If you are growing chilli plants, you might be wondering if pruning will improve the yield. Gardeners prune pepper plants by cutting off specific parts of the plant to intensify their shape and make them more abundant.
There are three times when growing chilli plants that you might choose to prune: First, at the beginning of the season to improve the quality of the peppers; second, in the late season to accelerate the ripening; and third, when cultivating a potted chilli pepper plant to give you an advantage for next year’s chilli production.
Remember, the moment you prune your chilli plants will determine the results you will achieve.
What Is Pruning?
Pruning is an easy technique of reshaping your pepper plants. The method consists of removing certain branches to allow the plant to focus growth and energy elsewhere.
Trimming chilli plants allows them to grow firmer, usually with higher yields. The removed areas are filled in with new growth.
It is essential to prune the right way to prevent taking away too many leaves. Doing so can result in slower growth due to a lack of photosynthesis. Also, make sure to prune at the right time.
How to Prune
When growing chilli plants, your main goal is to get the maximum yield. There are many ideas about pruning pepper plant, but after trying them all, we have not found that pruned plants produce more peppers.
We noticed that when our chilli plants were in full sun, they did equally well whether they were pruned or not. However, you can trim the lower leaves if they are getting in the dirt, or you can prune to make plants more compact and wind-resistant.
Pruning in the Early Season
Use your fingers or scissors for pruning in the early season. Chilli plants are small, so it is easier to prune with your hands than with scissors. Pinch the plant at the point where you want to prune until you feel the stem break. Then carefully take away the unwanted area of the plant.
If you prune with your hands, then an excellent tip is to moisten your fingers with a solution of powdered milk and water. This step will help prevent viruses and bacteria from spreading between the areas of the plant.
Wait until the chilli plant is about 30 centimetres tall before pruning. Pull out the top half of the plant, making sure that a few leaves remain on the plant. Trimming excess foliage at this time will support the plant by strengthening the base.
Make sure to remove excess leaves and stems at each node. Nodes are areas of a stem where new leaves and stems can grow.
Pruning Later in the Season
In this stage, you need to remove any remaining chilli peppers from the plant. Then water the potted chilli plant well. Allow it to drain and wait for one day so the plant can soak up as much moisture as possible.
Cut off the entire plant at the main stem, leaving a tail end of about 10 centimetres long. Don’t worry, the plant will grow back next year.
Place the chilli plant in a protected location and water whenever the soil dries out, which may be every one to three weeks.
A Few Things to Consider
- Pruning your pepper plants’ first blooms is an excellent idea. It will help the plant put more strength into growing. Prune the blooms before transplanting to make sure the plant puts more energy into its roots.
- We suggest planting one chilli plant per container when in the seedling stage. You can carefully remove the extra seedlings when they’re very young and move them into their own container or pod. Remember, chilli peppers won’t be very productive if crowded. The distance between each plant should be 45–60 centimetres for maximum growth and yield.
The Bottom Line
You don’t have to prune your chilli plants, but we believe that you should prune the first blossoms to encourage more growth for maximum yield. You need a lot of space and full sun for growing chilli plants. Chilli plants are a great addition to your vegetable garden because they are ideal for tropical countries, such as Malaysia. The more sun, the more chilli peppers! For more information, feel free to get in touch with us.