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May 26, 2013 12:50 PM

Young pepper plants producing fruit

I have two young pepper plants -- one Hungarian wax and one chocolate bell -- that are maybe 6-8" tall. They are both producing one fruit on the top in spite of their young age.

Am I better off leaving them, or should I trim the peppers to encourage the plant to grow? I've never done peppers before. Or anything really.

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  1. I grow peppers, bells and "hot" ones, and I'd say leave the fruits alone. If, for some reason, you want the plant to bush out more, pinch out the tips of the top leaves. I wouldn't try thinning the fruit at all.

    1 Reply
    1. re: pine time

      Thanks for the reply. Will encouraging it to bush out encourage a higher yield? Or does it not matter?

    2. Large-fruited peppers such as bells will yield much more over the season if the earliest blossoms and nascent fruits are pinched off. The plant will devote most of its energy to the developing fruit rather than growing more leaves and branches and will end up stunted.

      Leaving the earliest blossoms to produce fruit will give you earlier fruit but at the expense of total yield. These early fruits may well be undersized as well.

      With some of the small-fruited hot peppers such as Thai Hots it really doesn't make much difference.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Eldon Kreider

        Wow--does this differ by variety of peppers (including bells)? I've never had a problem with a huge total yield, yet I've never pinched out the early birds.

        1. re: pine time

          Bigger fruits are more likely to reduce yield. You may not realize just how huge the yield would have been if you had pinched off the earliest flowers. I have grown the same variety in the same garden with some plants allowed to produce early fruits while others were nipped. You get larger plants and more total yield with nipping.