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Should You Pinch Off Pepper Plant Flowers?

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If you’re growing peppers, you want to get the most out of each plant. It can be exciting to see the very first flowers start forming on your plants. More flowers means more peppers, right?

Since we start our peppers indoors in the late spring, it is not unusual to see flower buds beginning to form in April or May. So that begs the question, should you remove flowers from your pepper plants? in this article, I’ll share our advice on pinching flower buds.

Pepper Plant Flower Buds

In this article:


Should You Pick Pepper Flowers? (Video):


What Are Pepper Flowers?

If you are new to gardening and growing peppers, you may wonder what purpose the flowers serve. Before I had any experience growing, I wondered this myself.

Well, if you leave the flowers alone, they’ll transform into tiny peppers!

Pepper Plant Flower Buds
Early pepper forming on pepper seedling.

The flowers on a pepper plant will turn into the actual peppers. Essentially, the flowers attract insects to your pepper plants which pollinate the flowers. Bees, flies, and even the wind help to fertilize the flowers, and the peppers bear seeds.

Peppers self-pollinate, meaning that each flower contains both male and female reproductive parts. This means that you don’t have to worry about growing multiple plants side by side to get good harvests.

However, sometimes pepper plants can begin flowering too early. A number of factors can cause this, including small pot size, not enough fertilizer, or irregular temperatures.


Should I Pinch Off Early Pepper Flowers?

If you are waiting for the weather to warm up so that your plants can safely move outdoors, your plants may start producing flowers prematurely. This is a pepper plant’s natural response to limited soil space. If the plant doesn’t have enough soil to continue growing more roots, it will begin the next stage of growth, producing fruit.

During the transition outside, I recommend to prune early pepper flower buds off of the plant. Be sure to first allow the flowers to grow large enough so you don’t damage the young leaves when picking. Another option is to only pick flowers that begin forming fruits, and leave the rest alone.

Early flowers picked from pepper plant
Early flowers and fruits removed from young pepper plants.

However, there are some cases when we don’t recommend pruning pepper flowers. If you are growing slower-to-produce varieties like ghost peppers or habaneros, you may want to leave early buds to ensure that your peppers ripen.

However, if you are growing faster varieties like jalapeños or bell peppers, early flowers can be pinched back until the plants reach a more mature size.

Timing is everything! Early flowers are a sign that your plants need to be up-potted. If you planted your seeds too early, it is very common to have pre-mature flowers when plants outgrow small containers.

If your plants have been properly transplanted to larger pots at the right time, the leafy growth will continue to expand. Pepper plants will hold off on producing flowers until the plant has reached a mature size. Be sure to learn how and when to transplant your pepper plants.

Plan ahead by scheduling your seed starting according to your planting zone. There’s nothing worse than planting too early and having root-bound plants eager to get outside! Know when to plant your pepper seeds.

Early Bell Pepper Flowers and peppers
Early bell pepper and flower buds on small plants.

Fertilizing Properly

Using the right fertilizer in early-stage pepper growth can change how many early flower buds your plants produce. During early plant growth, pepper plants prefer a higher percentage of nitrogen.

This helps the plants produce a strong stem, branches, and leaves as opposed to flowers and fruits. If your fertilizer is low in nitrogen, consider switching to something with a higher volume.

For early stage growth, we recommend using one of these fertilizers for pepper plants:

After your plants have reached maturity (usually mid to late July in the Northern Hemisphere), you can either reduce the amount of fertilizer or switch to something with less nitrogen to encourage fruiting.

Keep in mind, I mostly use fertilizer for potted plants, while in-ground gardens need less (or even none). If you have a raised bed or an in-ground garden, I highly recommend composting and amending the soil once or twice per year for slow-release, natural nutrients.


How To Pick Pepper Flower Buds

The last thing you want to do is to damage your pepper plants while pruning flowers. You’ll want to work carefully to avoid damaging any leaves while removing the buds. To help you avoid this, here are a few tips for picking early flowers.

  • If the buds are tiny, let them grow larger before picking
  • Use tweezers or pruning shears for smaller flowers
  • If using your fingers, don’t pinch, just pluck in an upward motion
  • Consider waiting for flowers to begin forming a fruit before picking (many will naturally fall off before fruiting)
Picking Pepper Flowers
Unopened flower buds on pepper plant (too early to pick without damaging young leaves).

Pepper plant flowers tend to grow in tight bunches right around newly developing leafy growth. Each flower is usually surrounded by new leaves. If the flowers are tiny, it is best to leave them until they are easier to pick to avoid damage.

I find that using tweezers helps get a more precise pluck, especially with peppers that have a smaller flower size. With larger flower buds, it is safe to just use your fingers and pull the flower off in an upward motion.

Tip: It can be painful to remove your plant’s progress, but don’t worry! Healthy pepper plants will produce plenty more flowers later on.

If you have any tiny peppers growing too early in the season, pick those off too! When fruits are growing, the plant is focusing all of its energy on growing the fruits and seeds rather than leaves and branches. Failing to remove early peppers is a main cause of stunted pepper plants.


When To Stop Picking Pepper Flowers

At some point, you have to stop picking your pepper plant’s flowers. After all, the flowers are what grow into the peppers, so when should you stop removing them?

In general, stop picking pepper flowers when your plants have been in their final planting location for 3-4 weeks. This allows the plants enough time to grow a healthy root system and form strong branches and leafy growth. In the Northern hemisphere, we stop pruning flowers around early to mid June (Zone 6).

After 3-4 weeks of being in their final location, the pepper plants should be maturing to a healthy size. The plants will then be ready to set fruit and begin producing peppers. Give your plants enough time to produce fully ripened peppers by the end of the season!

Peppers in raised bed early summer
Peppers can begin producing flowers after a few weeks in their final planting location.

One potential exception is if you live in an especially cold climate. For you far-Northerners, you may want to allow flowers and fruits to form earlier to allow your fruits to ripen before your fall frost date. Pay attention to the ripening time of your pepper variety, and your location’s first frost date.

Note: Nutrients can help encourage your plants to form more flowers and fruits instead of more leaves and branches. Switching to a lower-nitrogen fertilizer halfway through the year is key!


Why Are My Pepper Flowers Falling Off?

During late-stage growth, you want your pepper plants to have lots of flower buds. The more flowers, the more potential peppers. So why are your pepper flowers dropping off instead of growing into peppers?

There are a few possible reasons this could be happening. Let’s go through the possibilities. Learn more about pepper flowers dropping here.

Hot or Cold Temperatures

Peppers like warm weather during the day. This means daytime temps around 75-80°F and night-time temps above 60°F. Having temperatures above or below these can cause stress for the plants.

Excessively hot temperatures in mid-summer is a common cause for flower buds dropping. If you expect a heat-wave with temps above 100°F, try to provide shade through this period and feed the plants plenty of water. This will help avoid too many dropped flower buds.

If you are expecting cold weather below 55°F, consider bringing your potted pepper plants indoors for the night. If you have plants in the ground, you can temporarily cover them with floating row cover for some temporary protection.

Over-fertilizing

After your plants produce flower buds, it is time to change up your fertilizing regimen. I switch from a high nitrogen fertilizer to a lower nitrogen blend. If you continue to use a fertilizer high in nitrogen, your plant may continue to expand and produce more leaves rather than buds.

After I start to see lots of flower buds on our mature plants, it can help to switch to a lower-nitrogen fertilizer like Fox Farm’s Big Bloom. The 3-stage regimen keeps things simple for fertilizing potted peppers with confidence.

Alternatively, you can reduce the strength or frequency of your fertilizing regimen. Some pepper growers even stop fertilizing all together in early August, allowing the plants to use the remaining nutrients in the soil to finish producing.

Over-watering

If you’ve read our article on watering pepper plants, you’ll know that over-watering is one of the most common mistakes newer gardeners make when growing peppers. It is easy to over-care for your peppers, and providing too much water is not good.

Pepper plants are happier when slightly dry as opposed to soaking wet. They need to have moist roots, but they also require good drainage. That is why growing in pots is a good option, especially for first-time pepper growers.

Red Ember cayenne pepper plant in pot with red peppers
Cayenne peppers growing in a small pot.

Whether you have pepper plants in pots or in a garden bed, make sure that water can escape from the root system of your plants. Too much water can suffocate the roots and cause yellowing leaves, leaves and flowers dropping off, and even root death.

There could be other reasons for dropping flower buds (poor pollination, disease, etc.), but these are the most likely culprits.


Read Next:

I hope this guide helps you decide when to pluck your early pepper flowers. This simple technique in early spring can help you get the best results from your plants in the long run!

Calvin Thumbnail

Calvin

One of the original Pepper Geeks! When Calvin isn’t gardening or learning more about peppers and botany, he might be traveling new places or playing some music.

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72 Comments

  1. This is great advice about the early flowering that I have experienced for many years on my seedlings. I could never quite understand how to prune off the tiny buds so I would leave them on. Now I know to wait until they are bigger. And I will start using a high nitrogen fertilizer to encourage stronger stems and leaf growth. I appreciate your attention to detail on this post. Thank you!

  2. I have a jalapeno plant that is starting it’s 2nd year .
    Should I remove the buds like I would do on a young plant ?

    1. It’s up to you! I’d start by getting it into the right sized pot. If it’s already there, try to encourage it to grow big before setting flowers

    2. @peppergeek, Thanks, I pruned it down in the fall .
      Using the same 15 gal fiber bag from last season .
      Put it under my grow light 6 weeks ago .
      New growth is about what I would see from a 2 to 3 month old new plant .

  3. Great content! Here in Australia. I have overwintered a first year long hot cayenne plant. It has started to shoot from the bare stems in the last couple of weeks (but still short of 1/4 inch in length, but it is already producing flower buds at these points before there is virtually any foliage. It did the same as a seedling last year. It seems all it wants to do is put its energy into flowers and not on leaves first. What do u do here please??

    1. I would probably add nitrogen fertilizer and prune flowers to encourage root growth and foliage growth. One the plant starts growing in size, then you can allow it to start flowering and fruiting

  4. My Habañero plants are doing great I’m looking at a very promising harvest this year between 3 plants I’ve got about 200 peppers on plant at various sizes! And the plants are all still loaded with flowers trying to produce even more! My question is should I start pinching the new flowers they keep producing so they put energy towards growing and ripening what is already on plant vs trying to produce more? Or does that not really matter? I live in the north zone 4 so I only have another month or two of real warm weather before the cool fall season starts. That is why I’m concerned I don’t know if all of what I have will ripen before it gets too cold. Let me know what you think.

    1. That’s an amazing harvest! Once the plants get producing, we don’t pinch anymore flowers. Removing some really small fruits can help ripen up the bigger ones, but not much faster in our experience. They will drop any that the plant can’t support naturally, and as you harvest, the plant will direct more resources towards more fruits! Great work, good luck.

    2. @peppergeek, Thanks for your input on that. I’ll just let them go and see what happens. I have them in large pots I plan to try and overwinter my best plant in the house this year and see what I can get out of it next summer. This thing has grown like crazy in its first season from a seedling, it’s now about 18 inches tall and has a canopy at 34 inches across.

  5. Help! I have 2 chiltepin pepper plants that I started from seed. After over a year, they’ve finally started bearing fruit. They got pretty tall, and not bushy due to my reluctance in pruning them. I did find that they were getting a spider mite infestation and tried controlling them with insecticide “A”. After a while, the problem got worse, and the infestation grew. I used neem oil, and repotted them with new soil, keeping some of the old soil as well to prevent shock. I think the infestation is under control now, but I fear pruning more than ever because the branches lost a ton of leaves near the stems, and they continue to lose leaves if shaken. Is there any hope for my plants?

  6. Calvin,

    I need some advice that I’m hoping you can help me with!

    I have planted Carolina Reaper pepper plants in 7 gallon bags 6 weeks ago. They are now about 13-15 inches tall. I am in New York.

    The peppers were slow to grow but now that the weather got hotter two weeks ago, they really sprung up.

    They have started to grow some flower spots and probably will bloom within 2 days…

    I fear that the plants are too small. Should I pick the flowers OR do you think 13-15 inches in height is good for their first year?

    There are a lot of leaves too… I was wondering if I should be pruning them.

    I have 6 plants so perhaps I could do some testing with a few?

    I really look forward to and appreciate any advice!

    I’ve also posted on the Reddit with pictures.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/peppergeek/comments/14tnrh6/carolina_reaper_plants_about_1315_inches_height/

  7. My shishitos grow plenty of fruit but the fruit has been quickly turning red and shriveling. I have rotated the location of the crop and tried different shishito varieties. This is the second or third crop in a row that this has occurred. None of my other pepper types are having this issue.
    Have images for you if that might help.
    Thanks

    1. Hm, shishitos do turn red when they are ripe, so maybe just try harvesting sooner? Unless they are not reaching a full size before ripening. The thinner skin of shishitos and cayennes sometimes leads to “shriveling”, but only in hot/dry climates as I understand it. Only real option we have used is to harvest early

  8. A furry pest of some sort clipped off all the flowers and the main stem of my banana peppers – will they re-bloom and produce or are the plants done?
    Thank you!

    1. Hm, I am not sure what you may have without seeing it. It depends how far down the damage was done. If the animal bit off the entire plant at the base of the main stem, it is unlikely to come back (though I’ve seen it happen). Either way, it’ll take some time for the plant to recover, so give it water and time to come back!

    1. Yes, we call it bottom pruning. Only do it after the plants are fairly tall (maybe 12-18″) so that there is plenty of foliage after removing the lower leaves. Helps to avoid disease and keep good airflow around the plant’s base.

  9. I have a question about peppers I am growing poblano peppers in my large AeroGarden I’m in a restricted area that I can’t grow out side so year-round I grow inside I have a very large like I said an AeroGarden and it can grow tomatoes and peppers very large okay my question is you were saying on your video to pinch or use your scissors to cut the baby buds off to get produce more later on because there’s still growing mine has been in for 37 days should I or should I not pinch the buds since I’m growing them year-round inside

  10. I’m learning quite a bit from you. Here is what I have in this container. I’m guessing I should have some peppers soon.

  11. Hi. Awesome article. I looked up what happens after flowering & this popped up. We bought a year old habanero plant. The man said it was an accidental grow. There were 3 herbs growing in the same pot. He told me to trim them back & repot it all. Which I did. Still have fruit on it. Some small some bigger. It lives in the house in a sunny window. (We live in Colorado) It has been flowering like crazy but they are falling off. I see a ton of new leaves. I haven’t fertilized. I think have been giving it too much water which I did cut back. Idk what else I’m supposed to be doing. I bought it end of Sept it’s now Dec. I don’t want to do something wrong or kill it. The herbs haven’t come back so idk if I planted them too deep when I repotted. Any advice. It’s about 2-3 feet big. Thanks I’m advance

    1. @Tiffany, It sounds to me like you have lost the herbs in your group….but the pepper seems
      healthy even tho’ the flowers are falling off. It is only typical for a plant to lose flowers in the
      start of a winter season….however, you have hit it on the nose- You have been overwatering
      your pepper plant, as they usually require less water in a period of transition; from one pot
      to another,even tho’ it has been 4 mos. since you repotted.
      Continue doing what you are doing…less water and keep fertilizer to a bare minimum….
      Dependiing on your soil, you may fertilize in small portions. In spring, increase that fertilizer
      and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

  12. Have been growing carolina reapers, scorpions and ghost peppers in totes for the last 4 years and I have never seen them so large this early. I live in Northern Ohio and the summer has been fantastic here. I feed them every 2 weeks with Miracle Gro. Is there anything else I can do to keep them healthy?

  13. Great articles; thank you for your advice. Do you have any thoughts on using Epson Salt as a fertilizer. Thank you

    1. Yes, my advice is to not use it. It is magnesium sulfate, basically just water soluble magnesium. Soil is not often deficient, but even if it is, you should use a blend that also includes calcium to avoid other issues. Best to use the epsom salt in a hot bath instead!

    2. @Charles Jaslow, From my experience with Epsom salt it can work to encourage flowering but it’s not something to use a lot of, as Calvin said most soil isn’t deficient in magnesium. I have used it with success even it pots with new raised bead soil but I only used it once for the whole season at a mix rate of 1 tablespoon per gal of water. Let me tell you the flower production exploded shortly after.

  14. Hi again,

    Was just thinking about feeding etc….I used all purpose miracle gro when I put my chilli plants in their final home. It’s working well but do you recommend using anything else along side this and also should i start using something else at the flowering stage, as by that point it could get close to the point that where the miracle gro has no more nutrients to release.

    1. @peppergeek, Thanks again. I will change to a bloom fertilizer for each plant when they start flowering, hopefully by that point the miracle gro will be producing less N. I did notice it has a balance of P,K and N , so next year i’ll use something else which is more specific to each stage.

  15. Hi PG,

    I am growing some Jalapenos, chocolate habaneros and some Thai chillis. The habaneros are slow growing as usual, as are the Thai chilli’s due to the slow start to summer. However the Jalapeno peepers have gone insane (prob due to the miracle gro i used)It’s prob about 2ft tall at least and it’s producing multiple flowers, I have started to pick the larger ones off and I heard that I should not pick anymore passed mid June. What do you recommend?

    1. Yep, 2′ sounds like a great height. I would let the plants produce flowers/pods at this point. They should still continue to grow larger while also fruiting. Enjoy the plants!

    2. @peppergeek, Thanks man, appreciate the advice, the thought of taking tweezers to the remaining 40-50 pods wod have been a chore, good to know I can leave them now and enjoy the growth.

  16. I am growing ghost peppers and habanero in pots outside, and they both just started producing flowers. I pruned the first round of flowers in hopes the peppers would get taller (they are around 1 foot tall now) and now more buds are growing. Should I prune them or let them grow? I am in Zone 8b!

    1. As long as you have enough season ahead of you, you can prune. But we simply wait until the plant is showing signs of leafy growth/getting taller, then we stop pruning the flowers. From there, the plant should do both – produce fruits, and continue to get bigger.

  17. I planted my bell and jalapeños about a week ago in the ground. I’m happy to have found your article so that I can give my peppers the care they need. Thank you for your instruction. You explained it so well.

  18. I am growing bell peppers indoor under lights with lots of flowers happening they will be staying indoors

    1. If they are large enough, let the flowers form! The only reason to pluck them off is if the plant is too young and small to be producing a good sized yield.

  19. i topped a 7 pot lava plant, and im keeping it indoors until its ready to go outside, the removal of the main growth has created a short and very bushy plant with about 70 flower buds. The ones that are producing peppers seem like they are going to end up being dwarf versions of the expected pod size. i dont know if the plant is ruined or if i can to remove all flowers and try to induce foliage growth, or if its too late and ill just keep getting dwarf peppers that have extreme heat and no flavor..

  20. Thanks for the info. What if you had the plants about 1 month in the elements in a fairly small pot because that is all the space you have and they started to flower.. Should I pick the flowers then or leave them? Oh and I live in a tropical country.

    1. If you do not plan to up-pot, then leave the flowers on. Bell peppers may struggle to produce full-sized pods in a smaller container, but no need to pluck flowers either way!

  21. Hello,

    I live in a tropical country, I’ve planted in my garden my Farmer Market Jalapenos once they had 3 sets of true leaves like 2 weeks ago.

    One is starting to produce flower buds despite having no more than 5 set of true leaves. Should I pinch those when they get bigger ? The plant is still small (but it gets a lot of direct sunlight, like 7 or 8 hours a day), I would say no more than 20cm. And I doubt it’s be able to support full grown jalapenos.

    Thank you for your input !

    1. Hi, I would see how the plant naturally progresses without plucking. If the flowers begin to form fruits, you could consider picking them.

  22. I have a few jalapeno plant in 8 inch pots. They got sun scalded when I moved them outside. I placed them in a greenhouse since and there are still growing. I see flower buds forming on them. Should I let the flowers grow or should I pick them off. I live in Ireland. the peppers plants are not that tall for 1/2 feet to 1 feet tall.

    1. At this point, you can do either – you can leave them on and the nutrients you provide will encourage more leafy growth. Later in the season, reducing nitrogen will then help trigger a strong harvest.

  23. I planted my peppers a couple weeks ago on the first week of may. They were starter plants and few of them are already starting to flower. I should pick the flowers correct? I’m in California and usually the weather is nice but the weather has been 70 or below the past week and for the next few days.

  24. I have a Trinidad maruga scorpion pepper plant that is about 18 inches tall and has been overwintered. I live in an apartment so I cant put it outside. It is in a large pot about 13″ across by 15″ deep. When I overwintered it, I pruned all the foliage and cut the stem down to about 6″ (not sure if I did this right). Anyways about a month ago I put it back in the window that gets the most sun. it has grown very quickly and now it has around 30 buds and 2 open flowers. I cant put it in a bigger pot and cant take it outside. Should I clip off my buds or just let them be? I am in Denmark and today is the hottest day of the year (about 60 degrees Fahrenheit)

    1. Considering you are in Denmark, I would leave those flowers on and let the plant do what it can do to produce fruits. If you were here, where things are only just beginning to warm up, I might say prune the flowers to allow the plant to grow larger first, but you don’t have as long a season to work with.

  25. Hello Calvin,
    Thank you for your reply. I am growing in an iDoo hydroponic garden that has the same size pods as Aerogarden. In addition to the plant from store bought sweet mini pepper seeds I am growing Jalapeño M, Mini Belle, and Pretty and Sweet. Upon closer inspection it does look like the Pretty and Sweet and the Jalapeño have one or two tiny buds.
    I have never grown peppers. I am concerned that if I cut the buds off I will never see any peppers. Conversely, I am afraid if I leave them on the tiny plant/s can’t support the peppers. This garden comes with the ability to stake items. However the stakes are six-seven inches tall and I would have to move the light way up away from the plants, (3” inches is the tallest).
    Thank you for your advice!

    1. I would remove the flowers until the plants reach a mature size. Then let the flowers develop. Don’t worry, as long as they have access to nutrients, they will continue to put out new flowers.

      However, depending on the reservoir size, the plants may become crowded. For 4 pepper plants, the reservoir should be several gallons, especially for larger pepper varieties. This is why they always provide smaller varieties for the smaller systems.

      Pluck the flowers for a few weeks and allow the plants to produce more foliage, and once they seem to be maxing out, let the flowers mature. Btw, if you are indoors, you may need to self-pollinate. Check out our post on the Aerogarden here for more info on how to do that.

  26. Hi Calvin,
    Thanks for the great article on flowering peppers. I have a question: I started a hydroponic garden on 09/07/20. I have four types of peppers growing. One of them (seed from store-bought mini sweet peppers), appears to have over a dozen tiny flower buds starting. It’s barely been a month. The plant is only 3-4 inches tall. Should I remove all the buds? How can I be certain they are buds? They look like the ones in your pictures. Any help will be appreciated greatly. Thanks!

    1. Hi Valerie,

      If you want your plant to grow larger, you can prune away the flowers. However, what size is the root chamber you’re growing in? The smaller it is, the smaller the plant and the sooner it will flower and produce fruit. Type of nutrients can also encourage flowering.

      Do any of the other pepper plants have flower buds yet? It could just be the variety of pepper…

      We are also planning to do a winter hydroponic pepper grow this year, so we’ll definitely have a bunch of new info on our site/youtube channel in the coming months!

      -Calvin

  27. Is it normal for the petals to fall off of ghost pepper flowers but not the stamen? I have lots of buds and as they flower the petals all drop off after a few days. Is this the same thing as flower drop?

    1. Hi Zach,

      Yes, this is totally normal. The pistil can also remain on the pepper all the way through to harvest. Once the fruit begins to develop, you can carefully pluck all of these pieces away (if you wish).

      Best,
      -Calvin

  28. I have a pepper plant in the ground with lots of leaves & little wee peppers, but the peppers aren’t getting bigger. Do you know what the problem could be?

    1. Hi Laurie,

      This happens often for the first few peppers that are produced, however you should make sure the plants have the nutrients (fertilizer) they need to develop fruits. If you are unsure of what your soil contains, best to use a well rounded fertilizer like Fox Farm’s trio.

      Another possible reason could be temperature. If it gets very hot (over 90F degrees), the plants may have stunted fruit production.

      Best,
      -Calvin

  29. I want to say thanks . i learned more in this article than most others . now u just have to deal with wild rabbits . ( an on going issue no matter what has been planted) i live on former marsh land so all my plants do fairly well .
    Thanks again.

  30. This is my first year planting anything. I planted cherry and Roma tomatoes and Serrano and jalapeño peppers. I planted them in 12 gallon canvas bags. They are kind of like grocery bags. They said they were good for air circulation and avoiding over watering. They have been planted for almost two months and are about a foot and a half tall. Covered in flowers and about 10 peppers each. How often to you think I should water. I’ve been doing an every other day thing or when the bag feels lighter. They are on the side of my house and get full morning sun and then shade at about 3pm. Also should I take some of the flowers off. They are covered in them and most of them have little nubbies starting. Also do you have an article on how to know when to pick them. Lol.. This is all new to us. My son and I started them as a science project for the new home schooling regimen where all going through.

    1. Hi Valerie,

      Sounds great! How many plants are in each of the 12 gallon bags? That is a lot of soil, so it should take a while to dry out (though it has been hot).

      For watering, check out our article on watering peppers here. Generally, we water when the soil is almost completely dried out, or when the plants begin to wilt. Peppers hate being overwatered!

      As for when to pick your peppers, we do have an article – read all about harvesting peppers here. Most peppers change color when fully ripe, but you can also pick them earlier. Generally, wait for them to stop growing in size, and ideally allow them to change color.

      Hope this helps and best of luck with your peppers!

      -Calvin

  31. Do you think this is a pepper? The flower florescent has 4-6 teeeeny flowers. One group has started to produce fruit from all flowers in the group. I did not intentionally plant pepper seeds in the bed they started from so I have no idea and can’t find any pictures to match. I might have to just wait and see.

    1. Hi Jane,

      Without a picture it is hard to say. Pepper flowers are typically 1-2 cm in diameter, so it doesn’t sound likely…

      Let us know what ends up fruiting!

      -Calvin

      1. Hey there!

        Very good content on your channel! Quick question: I planted a plethora of 17 different superhots consistent of carolina reaper, chocolate bhutlah, bhutlah scorpion, red Savino, butch T, 7 pot brainstrain, and peach scorpion. All of them are very healthy green and are around 2 feet tall. I am getting some bushier anatomy on them and they are starting to grow flower quite abundantly with some that are starting to fruit and make peppers. Now that they are making peppers, I still don’t feel these are mature enough in size and so I have not been fertilizing because I don’t want to affect the fruits. What would you advise for a regime moving forward? Should I continue my fox farm fertiziler, pluck off the approximate flowers to keep green growth progression? I used miracle gro in the early life and now moved to less nitrogen uptake via fox farms 3 bundle. I live in Southwestern Michigan. Thank you for your help in advance! Hope the growing is going well for you so far this year!

        1. Hey Anthony,

          That sounds great, 2′ is a pretty good size for this time of year! At this point, we don’t touch any flowers, especially with superhots. The pods can take months to form and ripen, so it is a bit late for vigorous vegetative growth. However, the plants should continue to get bigger while the fruits are developing, so I would keep fertilizing with a reduced (but not 0) nitrogen. Hope this helps and best of luck with the awesome set of plants! -Calvin

  32. Many of my pepper plants (wide assortment) each have produced 1 pepper after being transplanted in the garden 3 weeks. It is now 6 weeks since transplant (June 30) and they are not getting very tall, they are only about 8-10″ and have no other flower buds. We had a lot of rain here early on and the leaves were a little yellow but now the tops are getting good greens leaves. Would it be a good idea to pick the one fruit from each plant to get it to produce better in the long run?

    1. Hey Brian,

      I would recommend taking away the one peppers to allow the plant to focus on foliage. Since each plant only has 1 pepper, it isn’t much of a sacrifice. You should end up with better harvests later on as a result. Also, the early peppers are still edible (though they likely won’t have much heat or flavor yet).

      Good luck, and check back to let us know how everything turns out.

      -Calvin

  33. I have a ghost pepper plant that isn’t potted yet but has around 15-20 buds. Should I pull them all off?

    1. That’s a tough question. I would pot it immediately and allow the flower buds to produce at this point in the season. Ghost peppers (and other superhots) take a long time to ripen, so pulling off flowers this late may cause you to lose out on some of the harvest.

      Good luck!
      -Calvin

  34. Thanks for mentioning the watering aspect in this article. I am the guy that keeps everything wet , probably too wet. I’m growing my peppers in a raised garden this year, (stupid squirrels) as opposed to mounds on the ground. They do seem to like it so far, but we’ll see, since it has great drainage.

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