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First time pepper grower needs help!

Hi everyone,

I'm in need of some help! I bought some pepper seeds last year and so far have been doing great, I have a couple of different types I'm pretty sure one is yellow monster and another is corbaci. I am a complete novice when it comes to growing anything so please take it easy on me! 

So here's the issue.. both plants are a good height with lots of leaves, no flowers yet and about 30-40cm but looking a bit sorry for themselves.. the leaves are droopy and the stems overal are not very thick and strong.. I read that your supposed to prune them back to where the stem splits into two? But I only have one stem that has split into two the rest are just singluar and tall So I'm really weary of cutting anything in case I ruin the plants!!

I keep them currently in my conservatory and keep them well watered as it does get hot in there.. could That be the issue?

I will get some photos tomorrow to show you.

appriciate any advice, as I said I'm a complete novice!

thank you 


  • Torg22Torg22 Posts: 302

    HI Keely,

    Where are you based as its a tad unusual to have established pepper plants growing in February in the UK. Have they been growing for long?

    Ive only just propagated a load of pepper seeds a few weeks ago and I now having little seedlings popping up. I tend to sow in Feb, plant outside it May and then get rewarded with Chillis from July through to Oct/Nov.

    Does your conservatory get much direct sunlight, a lack of sunlight will definitely make them grow tall and spindly without bushing out. As its the winter I would imagine that this may be the case. Peppers/Chilli's really like the heat and lots of sun hence why the summer is when they are at their happiest.

    In respect of pruning, Peppers love a good prune and respond well to it. You can even get away with chopping them down right to the last set of leaves (having a right old hack), you will then get side shoots. Feel free to prune again at a later stage if they are not bushing out enough for you.

    Something that I can highly recommend is 'Chilli Focus' plant feed. I used this a lot last year and all my peppers loved it.

  • Thanks for your response! I live in East Sussex by the sea and my conservatory is south facing and also above ground level as the rear of my house is (if that makes sense!) so I'm sure  get plenty of sun!

    I was given the seeds so probably planted at the wrong time (knowing no different!) but I have loved growing them so keen to learn how to look after them properly! 

    Im planning on keeping them in pots for now purely because my garden is a mess right now and have no right spot for them.. 

    im scared to cut them incase I kill them! 

    Ive attached a couple of pictures, as I said their are three different types but I'm not sure which is which!





  • Torg22Torg22 Posts: 302

    Oh they are not as leggy as I thought they would be. They look fairly healthy although you are correct in saying that their stems are a little thin for their size. Your conservatory must be ideal as most chillies tend to die over the winter months.

    That said give it a couple more months and you will notice that they will grow loads once it warms up outside. Its upto you but if there were mine I would cut them down to 1/3 of their size to promote bushier growth.

  • Hi Keely,

    Like Torg I think you should chop your plants a bit. Also, I think you may be overwatering - don't forget that these are hot climate plants, don't water until the soil/compost is completely dry (plant starting to wilt), then give a good sharp soak (like a thunderstorm) and leave to dry out again. I have forgotten about my chili plants in warm summers and found them almost dessicated yet a good soak and 24 hours and they have recovered. Tough little plants.


  • Thank you - ok I'll leave them to dry out! I have chopped a couple of them back to see what happens! They are lookilong better today after I have them a good watering over the weekend.

    ill let you know how they go!

    thanks again x 

  • there seem to be several plants in a single pot.  I would separate them and repot them individually. Just pinch the top.  Peppers like to be on the dry side and enjoy good light. 

    you are doing very well to raise them as big as they are such early on.  I know people normally sow peppers in January. 

  • I know, I'm a complete beginner and didn't even look into it! I just planted them when I got given the seeds lol I will plan and do them properly next year if these don't do very well :) 

  • Torg22Torg22 Posts: 302

    Don't be disheartened if they die next winter. Although chilli's can be perennials (ie.. live for more than 1 year) most chilli's in the UK will just die off once the temperature drops.  I only have 1 or 2 chilli plants that I try to keep alive over the winter by 'overwintering'. The other 30 odd last year I just left to die (so that I can start all over again in Feb)  image

  • Yeah, I think I will do the same and start again next year but I'm hoping something will come of these, even if I just got a couple of peppers I would be over the moon :) 

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