Jalapeno peppers are part of a broader category of peppers called chili peppers. According to Britannica, the chili pepper category is made up of several cultivars of plants in the nightshade family. Doug Johnson is a Canadian writer, editor and journalist. Be careful not to prune out a central stem’s growing point if you want that stem to grow out further. 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. Oklahoma State University Extension: Pruning Hydroponic Crops, Old World Garden Farms: How To Prune Pepper And Tomato Plants For A Great Crop! Gloves are especially useful when pruning and harvesting your peppers late in the season, as they can protect your hands against accidental capsaicin exposure. They originally hail from the Americas but are now popular around the world for their fruit. Jalapeno hot peppers (Capsicum annuum 'Jalapeno') can add a spicy kick to many dishes, and a big part of jalapeno plant maintenance is trimming them. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Home & Garden Specialist. Pepper plants produce delicious and often spicy vegetables, called peppers, which are cultivated all around the world. Prune out spotted brown leaves. Will prune for first time today. Most of what you will need to prune pepper plants is available in the house. Trimming instructions for peppers very helpful. You can avoid accidentally stunting the stem by allowing lateral shoots and branches to grow to between a 1cm-2cm before pruning them. The best place to cut is right after the leaf node on a stem or, alternatively, as close to the stem as possible without harming it. Use pruning shears to remove thicker portions of the plant if you can't pinch them off. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. When pruning mature pepper plants, avoid injuring the main stem. Early on in your pepper plant’s life it may be easier to use your hand, rather than a pruner, to ‘pinch’ off unwanted stems and buds. Jalapeno hot peppers (Capsicum annuum 'Jalapeno') can add a spicy kick to many dishes, and a big part of jalapeno plant maintenance is trimming them. Steve MasleyHome & Garden Specialist Make sure the point you are pruning from is above this ‘Y’, as this is the base of your pepper plant. Expert Source Jalapeno peppers are regularly used in salsas and have a pleasant, medium heat compared to other types of peppers, such as the Carolina Reaper (Capsicum chinense 'Carolina Reaper'). % of people told us that this article helped them. Take your cutting implement and carefully remove the identified parts of the plants. You don’t need to do it often. Steve Masley. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Use a bypass pruner to prune larger pepper plants. Avoid getting water directly on the leaves, which can cause rot. Whether pruning mature pepper plants or relatively young ones, pruning has many benefits. The center stem of most pepper plants will likely look like a ‘Y’ when the plant is this tall. If you continue to see a problem - or if the leaves begin to show spots that appear sunken on top and raised on the bottom - this can be a sign of bacterial leaf spot. Steve Masley has been designing and maintaining organic vegetable gardens in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 30 years. According to Old World Garden Farms, focus on cutting the lower stems, as those can drop down and touch the soil, acting as a vector for disease. 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. That said, don't completely avoid the top part of the plants; otherwise, they could get too top heavy. 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. Nothing on overwintering, but excellent info on growing. By the mid-to-late growing season, the stem structure should be fairly strong, and leaving additional leaves allows the plant to best use increasing levels of light. Approved. 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. Trimming the plants can greatly increase their health and can also increase their yield if done correctly. Pruning off the main growing tip will encourage the plant to grow out to the sides, creating a bushier appearance. Pruners typically come in two types – ‘bypass’ and ‘anvil.’ Bypass pruners are best for making cuts that may affect the health of the plant, and feature a sharp blade that sweeps past the pruner’s lower jaw. Thus, it is suggested to prune your plants early in the season to produce bigger, healthier fruits. If you are trimming to remove dead or diseased parts of the plant, take note of the plants that you are going to cut. Keep a close eye on your plants. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Also, put on your plastic gloves. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 149,039 times. Use your fingers or small scissor cutters when first pruning your pepper plant. Symptoms of overwatering include wilted leaves and black spots on the leaves and stems. X © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. The seeds and the pithy inside ribs of the fruit contain capsaicin, the primary compound that gives the fruits their heat.  For more help from our Horticultural co-author, like how to trim your pepper plant before the first frost, scroll down. … Gloves can reduce the strain, wear, and tear on your hands from using a pruning tool. Cutting too high up a stem leaves a ‘snag’ that dies and can begin to rot. By using our site, you agree to our. Use your pruning shears to harvest your peppers.’’’ Once they are ready to be harvested, use your pruner to detach the pepper from the plant, leaving a small portion of the stem. Put the trimmings in the pail and dispose of them well away from your garden, particularly if they are diseased. Pinch the plant at the desired point between your finger and your thumbnail until you feel the stem break. You may need to adjust your pruning habits accordingly. Varying conditions, like geographic location, soil quality, and temperature can all have a heavy impact on your pepper plant’s growth. There are 12 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. Your pepper plant needs to be watered regularly, but it should never sit in soggy or waterlogged soil. By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube. Mostly, this won't be an issue, but if you are working with plants that have some small fruit growth on them, it's a consideration. Find a sharp knife or scissors, 70 percent isopropyl alcohol and some rubber gloves. months old 3' high with lots of fruit. Jalapeno plants yield a fruit that is a few inches long and usually a deep green. 19 June 2019. Pruning and trimming, which is basically just removing parts of the plants, is easy and can be quite beneficial. The protein in the milk solution can deactivate viruses and bacteria that might otherwise spread between your different plants. Wear gloves when pruning your mature pepper plants. This ensures that you know what you’re cutting off. Early Season Plant Pruning Before the pepper plant produces fruits, it is believed that topping it off during early season helps increase harvest. Avoid ‘blinding’ the main stem. This article was co-authored by Steve Masley. With Video, University of Illinois Extension: Peppers, The Best Times to Prune Pineapples & Guavas. It can also increase the size of the vegetables and make them tastier. Expert Interview. Also grab something to put the cuttings into, like a small pail.