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Pinching out a chilli plant for or against

I’ve read contrary information regarding pinching out chilli plants. Some say leave them and they branch on their own and some say pinch them to get more branches. What is the consensus? My own chillies are getting rather tall now. 


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 84,033
    Some types of chillies are taller … sometimes much taller … than other types. However I’ve always found that they branch out well without any encouragement from me. 
    What sort are you growing? 😊 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 10,341
    I've never pinched out chillies or peppers.
    The tallest chilli I grow is Jalapeno and that gets to about 2ft or so.
    My peppers can get to 3-4ft.
    I find that once they get to certain height the top of the plant forms a Y branch, at that point there is no single growing top of the plant
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • philippasmith2philippasmith2 Posts: 2,975
    Agree with the above comments.  I've never pinched out either.  The only reason possibly would be if the plant had become damaged at the growing point.
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,178
    Last year I grew Lemon Drop, Hot Wax and a red and a purple chilli whose names I forget.   They all grew to 3 to 4 feet/90 to 120cms and bushed out by themselves.  Loads of fruits.  No pinching.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • pinutpinut Posts: 116
    I have tried it both ways over three consecutive years and my conclusion is that there is no benefit in pruning to induce branching to increase fruit production.

    The reason being that UK conditions don't permit it even when the chillies are grown inside a pollytunnel. The UK growing season is just too inconsistent and short for new branches to mature before they will bear fruit (chillies are formed on the new growth).

    If we had weather conditions like South America then, yes, prune. Otherwise, leave well alone.

  • ScarletmistScarletmist Posts: 23
    Thanks for your help I will let them grow without pinching. 
  • ErinKeeganErinKeegan Posts: 4
    "I suppose the pinched-out plant is marginally more compact, but I believe that if I had wanted a more compact plant I could have achieved this by much less drastic pruning. If a plant is looking too straggly I trim off the tips of some of the branches. Where the cut is made two smaller branches form."
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 84,033
    If you scroll down on this site to the third paragraph from the end on this blog

    you’ll see that @ErinKeegan has cut and pasted her post above directly from it without acknowledgement, contrary to this site’s terms and conditions. 😡 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • ScarletmistScarletmist Posts: 23
    Hi Dovefromabove, Yes, I’ve just seen this re above. Someone else’s words. Hardly worth doing and not acknowledging, anyone could that on any subject. Maybe, they didn’t know the rules. 
  • ShepherdsBarnShepherdsBarn Posts: 401
    Yes ... 'Maybe, they didn’t know the rules' ... well said and no need for cross faces!
    I'm beginning to remember why I stopped using GW forum for a long while! 😊
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