Chilli Plants Pinching Out

Pinch Out ChilliIs pinching out your chilli plant a good or bad practice .. discuss

If you not quite sure what I mean by pinching out let me explain what it is and why I do it. As the young Chile plants start to put on growth it will grow towards the light getting taller and taller but this is not always the best habitat for the plant, What you end up with is a tall thin plant without many laterals, the tallness can be a problem as the plant can be easily damaged and you will only get chillies in the fruiting upper part of the plant which also make the plant unstable.

The best way to combat this problem and to get a much better yield of chillies to pinch out the top growing part of the young chilli plant when the plant is about 6 -8 inches tall. What will happen after you have pinched out the growing top is the plant will continue to put on growth but through the 8 or so leaf nodules on the main stem. So instantly you have gone from 1 stem to as many as 10, so you can imagine the instant improvement in the prospect for chillies. Instead of one long stem plant you will get a much bushier and compact chilli plant which is easier to maintain and can support many more chillies than before.

Are there any downsides to pinch out.. well the only real setback is it can put the growth of the plant back a bit but this is soon made up later in the season with a bigger crop. There is only one species of chillies I tend to leave alone is the Capsicum pubescens as these are often vine plants and can actually be trained to climb, although they can also be kept as bushes.

I would always encourage pinching out, just be brave and do like Black Adders Queenie – off with their heads.