Pepper pruning in the vegetable garden

Although you think that pruning is only linked to trees or shrubs, whether they are fruit trees or minor species such as rose bushes, vegetables also have their specific pruning. Especially those plants that are in a greenhouse or protected from the outside climate. Do you want to know how to prune a pepper in a few simple steps? Today, in Gardenprue, we see it.



With the arrival of good weather, it is time to grow nightshades as is the case with this crop. We may not have done it before, but by pruning the pepper we are going to get some advantages that we would not get if we just let it grow. You will see!

Nothing more than doing a simple pruning of the pepper  we can obtain the following advantages:

  • Greater entry of light to all parts of the plant
  • Improved fruit size and flavor
  • Pest and disease reduction
  • Improved aeration and balance in fruit ripening

Since we know the benefits of carrying out a convenient pruning in our pepper plant, now we are going to know how it is done. Very easy!


Normally not usually prune pepper and allowed to emerge from the main stem between 3 or 4 main branches. Studies have been done in relation to whether reducing the branches of the pepper has results in terms of the production or the flavor of the fruit and no serious conclusions have been reached. On the other hand, if it has been shown that leaving only 2 or at most 3 main branches on the pepper plant improves earliness. So it is up to you to choose how many arms to leave the pepper, based on the following rule:

  • Leave 2 main branches: improvement of earliness (and a little more quality of the fruit)
  • Leave 3 main branches: increase in production.

Difficult decision, between 2 or 3 branches. But basically where we want to get to is that, with either of these two prunings of the pepper, the production, quality and precocity of a plant is improved to which the number of main branches has not been limited. Therefore, that leads to thinking that it is best to prune, as long as the labor is available.

The main disadvantage of pepper pruning is that, despite the fact that productions are improved, the cost of carrying out this task, if the number of plants is high, is not profitable.


When performing this technique, we have to eliminate the following parts:

  • Sprouts on the main trunk
  • Leaves of the main trunk touching the ground
  • Any irregularly growing, malformed, sucker, or growing stem inside the plant

When our pepper plant grows, we can distinguish the main stem and then the cross where a series of main branches fork. If you follow the pruning advice, between 2 and 3 arms will be left, no more. Any branching that grows under this cross will be eliminated . With this we achieve that all the nutrients are used in the main branches, which in the future will give rise to the peppers. On the other hand, the leaves that are forming on said main stem, we will remove them whenever they are almost touching the ground, due to the possibility of contracting diseases, rotting or any other problem caused by excess humidity.


  • Fruit thinning
  • Leaf thinning
  • Branch sprouting

The sheets mentioned above, if they are young we have to respect them. Once they are adults or they begin to turn yellowish, even if they do not touch the ground or pose a danger of diseases, they will be eliminated. Of course, we will always remove the ones from under the cross, where the main branches are born.

Then, continuing with the leaves on the main branches, any that are unhealthy (whether damaged by pests, pecked, or with shades other than chlorophyll green) will be removed. Be careful, always with logic. If the plant is generally yellowish, it may be due to chlorosis (such as iron chlorosis ) and must be corrected.

With regard to fruit thinning,  if the pepper plant is not excessively vigorous, a good option to achieve, in the future, a good homogeneity in fruit production, eliminate the first productions that come out close to the cross (beginning of the main branches).

We will also continue doing the previous step. Eliminate any that present problems due to pests or diseases , are pitted, open or present deformities. If we “hunt” them in time, new flowers will form with new fruits of better size and better quality.

The trimmings that we have mentioned in the production pruning will only be made if our pepper has grown excessively, especially in terms of branching and leaf production. In this case, the most convenient thing is to reduce the foliar density with the pruning of the pepper. This will generate new flowers and reduce the ripening time of the fruits.


Once the first production of peppers is finished, if we want to look for a second production, and the climate allows it, we can carry out a rejuvenation pruning . However, we have to question whether we want to continue producing peppers or look for alternatives (depending on the cultivation calendar ). We say this because said production, once the plant is rejuvenated, will be of poorer quality and in less quantity.

We look for the point where the second cross is born, that is, the secondary branches. We have a first cross just at the end of the main stem, then the bifurcation of the 2 or 3 branches that we have left, and then a new cross with new branches. All that second cross is removed leaving a couple of buds per branch.

nitrogen fertilizer or contribution of organic matter is highly recommended to reactivate the formation of new vegetative parts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *