Pruning Pepper Seedlings for Maximum Production

Hi there welcome to black gumbo southern gardening my name is Scott this is my son Samuel and we’re gonna talk today about pruning pepper plants what are y’all doing under there it’s raining huh sprinkle it a little sprinkle yeah nobody nope doesn’t look like rain clouds but we’re getting all kinds of rain out here today all right so why do you prune pepper plants don’t you just stick them in the ground and let them grow well I’ve done that huh what do you say you can actually remember well you can a couple of years ago I had some poblano pepper plants I put him in the ground I had four of them and I man I had so many poblanos I didn’t know what to do with them all boy when I trying to grow bell peppers I don’t really get that many fruits I get maybe three four plants fruits per plant well that’s just not enough I need more than that so I’ve since learned that I can prune my pepper plants and I’ve studied it I’ve watched all kinds of videos and and now I have some experience doing so and I want to pass on what I’ve learned to you now the Sam is holding a typical sprout that’s about eight to nine weeks old we’ve planted these from seeds a long time ago and this is what they look like at this stage and if you let them grow like that what you’re gonna get is a leggy tall straggly kind of plant that doesn’t have a lot of bushiness to it and the problem with that is peppers tend to get lanky and they they tend to want to put all of their energy straight up in the plant and if all that energy goes straight up in the plant well you have a tall plant that can get blown over by wind you have a tall plant that can fall over with with the heaviness of its fruit you don’t have a strong plant so what we have here is a plant that’s one stem and all the growth energy is going right here to this little this little chute right here this this this growth sprout we have all the energy is going to right here right at the top and you can see we’re not getting a whole lot of production of side limbs we’re getting a lot of vertical production and all the growth and all the energy is being being sent right here to the top of the plant Samuel is going to go there with this little scissors and he’s gonna top this plant he’s gonna cut right here no hold on let me explain what we’re gonna do notice we have one two three four five six seven all those who can tennis add and that eighth one is really sad we you want to have at least four to six leaves on your plant so that it can it can survive the topping now this is for the plants best interest it’s for our best interest but you want to leave the biggest leaves so Sam see these two leaves right here yeah if you can leave those there and if you can cut whatever’s above that you get it if you can cut what’s above that this plant will be successfully pretty old careful don’t wait wait wait wait why aren’t you coming from this way I had originally wanted to show you our potted plants that we were handling and how we prune them but I had did not push the record button but here is a good example this one’s maybe a little earlier than I’d like to prove but we’re gonna show you anyway notice the main shaft the main shaft is growing up and right here you’ve got this all the growth going to the top here where it wants to grow that plant straight up it wants to make it tall and lanky what samuels gonna do is he gonna come in and he’s gonna cut that top little growth node out go ahead and go ahead get in there can you get into cut down without cutting the other leaves perfect that is a perfect prune look at that you want to leave behind six to four is the bare minimum six is better eight as best of these big leaves and so what samuel did I apologize I had this plant already and I didn’t push the record button so we missed it when samuel trimmed off the top please but you can see him right here these buds these leaves they were sitting right there right at the top that was where all the energy of the plant was going and samuel came and topped off that plant and what we have left is one one two three four five six seven there are seven there should be eight one of them got even by caterpillars there should be six to eight good leaves there and that’s gonna force that plant now since the growth bud has been trimmed from the top all the energy is gonna go to side growth and let me show you what you get when you when you prune your pepper plants and and you encourage better cycling this plant you can see here you can look in here and see where the main central stem has been chopped has been pruned right there you can see the cut this was cut two or three weeks ago and what’s happened to this plant look at all this growth all those little suckers that are in the in the crotches of these leaf limbs here are encouraged now to grow and put out new limbs well if you have new limbs on your pepper plant you’re going to have lots of fruit so here’s our two pepper plant side-by-side you can see the one that we just now unfortunately not on video we topped we took the top growth bud off of it and you can see the one that has been pruned several weeks ago and all the good growth that’s come from that all that side growth all that’s going to equal more fruit and this one happens to be a what is it uh a habanero is the gold habanero and this one happens to be a red bell pepper and but you treat all pepper plants pretty much the same and let me show you some of my other pop pepper plants and where i trimmed them where i’ve proved that we can see here this one i trimmed right there at the the main stem and you can see already that some of the the shoots are looking a little bit larger they’re about ready to burst forth i’m gonna get more growth on all these pepper plants that I’ve groomed here’s another one that i pruned you can see that i cut it right there and now all the shoots coming out of the all the suckers are gonna form into new branches here’s one that’s been pruned a few maybe four days ago and you can see already that some of the growth on that on that main stem is starting to branch out sending out shoots on the well that’s how we prune peppers here in our garden and I hope you’ve learned something I certainly have learned some things hopefully in a few weeks maybe a couple of maybe a month or two we can show you the fruit of pruning our pepper plants will certainly let you know how it goes thanks for joining us at black gumbo southern gardening please like our facebook page follow our blog and follow our youtube channel and hopefully we can learn some things about gardening together what do you think good day you