Pruning Pepper Plants That you Overwintered

Hey guys Veronica here so I want to talk for a minute about your overwintered peppers because if you are lucky enough to grow peppers last year and you pulled them out of the ground and you put them in a pot to go in your greenhouse or inside your house while it was freezing cold and snowing outside then you might have ended up with a pepper that looked something like this and this is a best-case scenario pepper here for the rest of us most peppers are going to look like this table in front of me and what I’ve seen a lot of pictures lately is this pepper dead.

There’s a few ways to tell if it is dead first thing I’d recommend is going to the base of your stems and just lightly scratching with your thumbnail if the pepper is still alive if you’ve watered it all winter sporadically just to keep enough to keep it alive then you’ll see some green on the base and it looks like this side doesn’t have any but I come over to this stem and you can see right in there there’s some green on this base that means this pepper is still alive and what’s gonna happen with that as it starts to warm up is that you’re going to end up getting something that looks a little bit like this where the entire stem starts to green up again and then you’ll even start to see leaf terminals come out I have a better example of that let’s see this one look just like this one a couple of weeks ago this little chilly – theme and it’s just starting to get Leafs so don’t despair if your pepper lost all of its leaves over the winter totally normal if that happens especially if you’re keeping it outdoors in a greenhouse it’s not heated like I do even if you’re keeping it inside the house sometimes they just lose their leaves so again sometimes they’ll seize like this and sometimes they look like this now what I like to do with the ones that look brown and crunchy it’s to decide if they’re worth the real estate.

The way that I go about doing that is I’ll just basically go in and I will cut off one of these branches now we’re looking inside the inside of this branch to see if there’s any green or not and if there’s no green then this plan is a goner but again this was the one I scratched earlier so if I cut off of the branch that I scratched I’m not gonna go too low well the green on that one is long oh looks you’re the different one on ones like this where you can see there’s green and there’s brown I’ll just go in an angle like my other pepper pruning technique and I’ll just cut those brown parts off they’re not really harming the plant but it doesn’t really make sense to have them there either so just clean it up a little with this guy right here you can see some leftover Brown branches from last year but again there’s a lot of green on this stem down here so we’ll just go in and cut out everything that’s dead.

You can see on that one I just cut I mean the branch is green but also the inside of that branch is green across the cut and not just the outside so this guy’s still alive he will still get water in a place on the shelf and we’re just gonna clean off all the dead stuff now how will this plant grow now that you’ve cut it down to twigs what does that end up looking like in some cases you’ll get something like this this one got pruned a little bit at the end of last season you can kind of tell by the branching structure on the top we wanted to keep this guy a little smaller because it was pretty massive when I pulled it out of the ground you can see there’s a lot of new growth coming in down there and so I’ll just go in and with this once it starts turning green your pruning technique is the same as pruning the seedlings you guys all you do is you go in and you cut above the next new growth where you want that to push out more so anywhere that I see new growth coming out and it’s starting to take on the shape that I’d like I’ll just print out the pieces above that and encourage those Leafs is to so this massive post winter haircut for these peppers but they look a lot better afterwards there’s less decayed parts to just sit around on your plant and potentially cause problems you can see where the growth is coming out I mean I just like things to look nice so they’ll just prune all of those out there’s a little new growth right there so I’m gonna go above it again you want to try and keep as much of the old growth as possible unless it’s just really tall and you can see that there’s lots of green and you can find spots to cut it I tend to keep as much that’s green as I possibly can on these plants the main reason that I keep plants for more than a year or two preferably in the ground but it kind of freezes here on the ground so we have weird winters and it’s not always possible but the main reason that I do it is because you’re getting a much stronger start when you put this back out in the garden so the root structure is gonna be stronger in the first year plant the Interlake main growth part depending on how much survived will be stronger you have like a much stocky or main stem you can see we’re starting here with an end of the season diameter of stem.

So another weird example this guy looks totally done and these leaves just came in in the last probably two weeks so don’t despair if you have you know something on a shelf or in a greenhouse right now that looks like this it could grow from the base wherever it’s basically still green it’s gonna be where it starts to sprout again from and so with this guy what I’ll do is I’ll start cutting down these branches and you can always cut more and see if there’s anything green inside sometimes they don’t look super green inside but you can see just the smallest hint I don’t even think you’re gonna be able to see that one they’re just like the smallest hint of green and so then I’ll leave it at that height but if it snaps off very easily it feels and brittle you’re pretty you can pretty much rest assured that that branch is dead and you can just hack it off so so this one will grow from the base and then as it grows larger I may trim up from the base there’s not a bunch of leaves touching the soil basically every single plant is different and there’s not really like a do it exactly this way for all of the plants you kind of have to look at that plant and assess you know how am I going to prune it but I recommend not starting really pruning these plants if you’ve saved and overwintered plants like don’t start pruning them really hard until you start to see new growth because that will indicate where you should cut it how alive its suppose and just kind of give you an idea of the overall shape that it’s willing to take so this guy you can see there’s a couple of branches here in the middle this one looks like it might still have a little bit of green on it so I’m not even gonna chop that back but this other smaller one definitely looks dead so I’ll cut that down to the soil level what else that’s basically it it’s just a like plant by plant sort of process where you look at your plant and you SS you know what’s alive what’s not and then from there you’re just kind of going your cut and sometimes you can even see there’s a line of demarcation here you can see and so you see where it turns from green to brown and that’s where you that’s where I would normally cut it I’d cut it probably just above the green part in the brown space because that’s already closed you can see the inside of this is green but that’s already a dead part of the plant if you can avoid making fresh wounds on the green parts that’s definitely suggestible because then the plant doesn’t have to work as hard to heal itself and it can work on putting out leaves instead.

So that’s basically it I have a lot of older peppers in here to prune still they’re gonna be going out in the garden soon hopefully you guys on the East Coast and in like the northern areas your snowmelt soon I know it’s probably like not super fun to watch somebody dancing around the sunshine and gardening if you’re under a couple feet of snow but fingers crossed you will be well on your way in the next week or so hopefully I saw a couple of catalogs saying that they’re shipping out to your zones and like four to six now so like zones four or five and six or in the getting in the next week or two so if the nurseries are thinking that the weather’s gonna get better for you than I am – um that’s about it if you have any questions comments suggestions please leave them in the comments below and as always if you are interested in all of the other stuff I do that I don’t make youtube videos about follow me on instagram at flavor kit it’s a lot of cooking a lot of gardening a lot of cute baby farm animals and um hit that subscribe button if you want to see more of this because there’s lots of gardening that’s gonna be happening in the next few weeks slash months last year’s so a lot to learn but until next time happy gardening and pruning okay bye

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