Should I Remove Flowers From Chili Plants?

Should I Remove Flowers From Chili Plants? Easy Flower Pinching Tips

Should I remove flowers from chili plants that are too small?
A flowering chili plant in Farmer Jer’s organic garden, 2021.

Should I remove flowers from chili plants that are too small? Let’s find out!

Flowers from chili plants will turn into actual chilies; however, occasionally, they will begin flowering too early. It is due to a few factors such as insufficient fertilizer, fluctuating temperatures, or small pot sizes. The question now is whether to pinch off such flowers or not.

Chili plants might produce flowers while waiting for the weather to warm up to relocate the plants outdoors safely. It happens as the chili plant’s natural response to restricted soil space. Producing fruit, which is the next phase of growth, will occur if there is inadequate soil for the chili plant to grow more roots.

Before transferring the chili plants outdoors, removing early flower buds from the plants is highly recommended. When doing so, ensure to let the flowers bloom big enough not to destroy the young leaves when picking them. On the other hand, there are several instances when it is not advisable to prune chili flowers.

There are “slower-to-produce” varieties such as the habanero or the ghost pepper, also known as “bhut jolokia.” With these chili types, it is better to leave early buds to make sure that chilies ripen. On the contrary, you can pinch early flowers back for bell peppers (capsicum) or jalapeños and other growing faster varieties.

Remember that “timing is everything.” Should I remove flowers from chili plants that are too small? You should take chili flowers off if chili plants were just sowed outdoors within the last two (2) to four (4) weeks. Doing such will allow chili plants to produce an extensive root system and many leaves before shifting to bearing fruits.

As for chili plants that have already been planted outdoors for a month and have previously adapted to various elements, it is advisable to leave the flowers on them to develop into fruits. In addition, planters need to determine when to remove the flowers from chili plants and how to prune the flower buds carefully.

Pinching the buds of a chili plant flowering early aids the plant in setting its roots and leaves for teeming fruit production later in the season. Even though it is fascinating to spot the first flowers appearing on chili plants and keep an eye as they bloom, removing these flowers will enhance the plants’ overall growth. When chili plants start producing flowers, they convey most of their energy into seed and fruit production; consequently, stem and leaf development will significantly decline during this period. (6)

As blossoms are removed from chili plants flowering early, their resources are switched back toward root and foliage growth. Chili plants can make more sugar utilizing photosynthesis with lots of leaves, whereas they can absorb more water and nutrients from the soil with a more substantial root system. As a result, better quality and increased quantity of fruits might form afterward.

How To Remove Flowers From Chili Plants?

While removing flowers from chili plants, one thing to avoid is damaging the plants. Be extra careful not to destroy any leaves during the process. There are some tips to bear in mind for pinching early flowers.

If the buds are still small, allow them to grow larger before removing such. For smaller flowers, use pruning shears or tweezers. When using fingers, don’t pinch them; instead, pluck in an upward motion.

Chili plant flowers tend to grow in compact bunches surrounding newly developing foliage growth. Each flower is generally right around the new leaves. Thus, it is better to keep them there until they are easier to pick or they’re already large enough.

According to Homeguides.sfgate.com, “the University of Maryland recommends removing all buds and flowers that appear for three (3) weeks after transplanting”. After doing such, chili plants should have lots of leaves and roots to sustain future flowers and fruits. (6)

So, you’re read all about the crazy world of grafting and chili flowers. So, why graft chili plants? Well, it’s a fun and interesting hobby. And getting different kinds of chilis on a single plant is pretty cool too.

References

  1. Should You Pinch Off Pepper Plant Flowers? https://peppergeek.com/pinching-off-pepper-plant-flowers/
  2. How to Pinch Pepper Plants https://homeguides.sfgate.com/pinch-pepper-plants-38089.html

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