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A Simple Guide to Topping and Pruning

top topping pruning prune guide to pruning and topping

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#41 TOAW

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 10:25 PM

Good info with excellent pics Perhaps it could be pinned?

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#42 Yumyumyellow

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 07:54 AM

I just tried this on my 4" tall mystery pepper (some sort of brain strain cross) thanks again for posting this; it's loving the haircut and blowing up with new growth.
Put that in your pepper and smoke it!

#43 koskorgul

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 08:46 AM

Tried this on 2 plants lastweek and they have stopped growing all together. No new sprouts or shoots coming up. I topped them right where the new leaves were coming up so i might not have gotten low enough.
Figuring I did something wrong I topped one more yesterday and got a bit lower, will see how it goes.
Not worried if nothing happens for a bit as it is still early for the growing season and I still have everything in pots.
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#44 compmodder26

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 09:43 AM

Tried this on 2 plants lastweek and they have stopped growing all together. No new sprouts or shoots coming up. I topped them right where the new leaves were coming up so i might not have gotten low enough.
Figuring I did something wrong I topped one more yesterday and got a bit lower, will see how it goes.
Not worried if nothing happens for a bit as it is still early for the growing season and I still have everything in pots.


Just as a clarification, are there leaves still below the spot that you topped? If you just have a stem, then you will be getting no photosynthesis, and you likely will not get new growth. It's not impossible, but the likelihood drops quite a bit.

#45 koskorgul

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 09:46 AM

Just as a clarification, are there leaves still below the spot that you topped? If you just have a stem, then you will be getting no photosynthesis, and you likely will not get new growth. It's not impossible, but the likelihood drops quite a bit.


Still have plenty of leaves below where I topped it at. I only removed the very newest growth(leaves) that had come up. I left maybe an 1/16 of an inch from where I topped it and the next set of leaves. Both plants have at a min, 6 sets of true leaves on them at the moment.
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#46 Dave2000

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 06:35 PM

I don't mean to stir up controversy but there are opposing points of view. Cutting away leaves only hurts the plant. It just wastes energy the plant put forth growing leaves in order to grow different leaves? Makes no sense.

If you get rid of a nice big leaf catching a lot of sun so leaves under it can instead catch that sun, you are not catching more sun, you are catching less sun because you have less leaves. Yes that would cause bare areas to grow leaves but still it won't catch more sun and used more energy to do so.

There is only one benefit to topping a plant. Okay, two. The first is if you simply don't have the space to allow a tall plant or high winds that a shorter plant would survive better. The second is if you have a short growing season and you want the plant to produce more early peppers opposed to a LOT more later in the season because your season is over too soon. If you have say an 8 month season from seeding to first deadly frost, not topping and not pruning may give you between 50% and 100% more seasonal fruit.

Edited by Dave2000, 03 May 2013 - 06:41 PM.


#47 Jamison

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 06:52 PM

I don't mean to stir up controversy but there are opposing points of view. Cutting away leaves only hurts the plant. It just wastes energy the plant put forth growing leaves in order to grow different leaves? Makes no sense.

If you get rid of a nice big leaf catching a lot of sun so leaves under it can instead catch that sun, you are not catching more sun, you are catching less sun because you have less leaves. Yes that would cause bare areas to grow leaves but still it won't catch more sun and used more energy to do so.

There is only one benefit to topping a plant. Okay, two. The first is if you simply don't have the space to allow a tall plant or high winds that a shorter plant would survive better. The second is if you have a short growing season and you want the plant to produce more early peppers opposed to a LOT more later in the season because your season is over too soon. If you have say an 8 month season from seeding to first deadly frost, not topping and not pruning may give you between 50% and 100% more seasonal fruit.



Totally disagree. You are not hurting a plant by pruning a leave. To me the big leaves are absolutely pointless after it starts to grow a new node. They do absolutely nothing besides suck valuable nutrients that could be going into growth that matters and shade out the inside of the plant. The purpose of topping plants is not to make them shorter, its to make more chutes which in return gives a lot more flowers.. Another thing is a plant will not produce peppers faster just because its topped. I personally don't think your speaking from experience here.

#48 muskymojo

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 06:59 PM

I completely stripped a few plants about a week ago just to see what would happen. For every leaf I cut off, there are now SETS of leaves in their place, and the main stalks are thicker than the ones I left alone. I guess I'll see how they compare in a few months.

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#49 Dave2000

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 10:53 PM

Jamison, you are ignoring facts.

The fact is, every plant has a limited amount of energy it produces based on several variables but primarily leaf area. If you cut a leaf, you directly reduce energy, AND cause it to expend more energy to grow one or more to replace what you cut. Plants have evolved for far longer than humans to do what helps them survive, which is as much viable fruit as possible "in the region they are native to".

Big leaves are absolutely pointless after some point?

I am going to bow out of this topic and not debate this further because clearly you don't know as much about botany or pepper plants as you suppose.

The only reason I replied at all is that you are doing a gross disservice to the community pretending to know something based on a false assumption and anyone who follows the suggestions is screwing themselves out of a lot of yield if they don't have one of the two scenarios I previously posted. will repeat the 2nd one because it is important. If you have a very short growing season, that's a reason to prune so your ratio of fruit to plant is high because you won't get enough plant growth to split nodes as often later in the season.

If on the other hand your season isn't short, not pruning can result in thousands of peppers the first season, or at least hundreds in less optimal conditions. How many do your methods produce?

I am pretty sure your plants don't produce as much as mine, so where is the argument if the theory doesn't pan out? I don't claim to break any records, but have very, very good results with far less effort. Plants don't depend on us grooming them.

Edited by Dave2000, 04 May 2013 - 01:00 AM.


#50 PHB

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 02:43 AM

Jamison, you are ignoring facts.

The fact is, every plant has a limited amount of energy it produces based on several variables but primarily leaf area. If you cut a leaf, you directly reduce energy, AND cause it to expend more energy to grow one or more to replace what you cut. Plants have evolved for far longer than humans to do what helps them survive, which is as much viable fruit as possible "in the region they are native to".

Big leaves are absolutely pointless after some point?

I am going to bow out of this topic and not debate this further because clearly you don't know as much about botany or pepper plants as you suppose.

The only reason I replied at all is that you are doing a gross disservice to the community pretending to know something based on a false assumption and anyone who follows the suggestions is screwing themselves out of a lot of yield if they don't have one of the two scenarios I previously posted. will repeat the 2nd one because it is important. If you have a very short growing season, that's a reason to prune so your ratio of fruit to plant is high because you won't get enough plant growth to split nodes as often later in the season.

If on the other hand your season isn't short, not pruning can result in thousands of peppers the first season, or at least hundreds in less optimal conditions. How many do your methods produce?

I am pretty sure your plants don't produce as much as mine, so where is the argument if the theory doesn't pan out? I don't claim to break any records, but have very, very good results with far less effort. Plants don't depend on us grooming them.


Do I see a little bit of aggressiveness in the way you write ? If it's the case, calm down, there is no need to get upset, it's just a pruning topic, it's just a forum, and it's just people's opinion (no one claim to hold the "Truth", if truth means something ...)
>> Please, give me your opinion on my Glog. I really need your expertise & advices ! Thanks :) <<

#51 Jamison

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 12:39 PM

Jamison, you are ignoring facts.

The fact is, every plant has a limited amount of energy it produces based on several variables but primarily leaf area. If you cut a leaf, you directly reduce energy, AND cause it to expend more energy to grow one or more to replace what you cut. Plants have evolved for far longer than humans to do what helps them survive, which is as much viable fruit as possible "in the region they are native to".

Big leaves are absolutely pointless after some point?

I am going to bow out of this topic and not debate this further because clearly you don't know as much about botany or pepper plants as you suppose.

The only reason I replied at all is that you are doing a gross disservice to the community pretending to know something based on a false assumption and anyone who follows the suggestions is screwing themselves out of a lot of yield if they don't have one of the two scenarios I previously posted. will repeat the 2nd one because it is important. If you have a very short growing season, that's a reason to prune so your ratio of fruit to plant is high because you won't get enough plant growth to split nodes as often later in the season.

If on the other hand your season isn't short, not pruning can result in thousands of peppers the first season, or at least hundreds in less optimal conditions. How many do your methods produce?

I am pretty sure your plants don't produce as much as mine, so where is the argument if the theory doesn't pan out? I don't claim to break any records, but have very, very good results with far less effort. Plants don't depend on us grooming them.


Dave, I understand what you are saying. If your season is longer it wouldn't make sense to some to top or prune a plant. Obviously your season is a little bit longer than mine. The reason I top and prune plants is to get the chutes early in the season to get more nodes for more flowers. Why don't you understand that? I've never claimed to be god's gift to growing or botany in general. These are not assumptions I'm posting, these are proven methods/techniques or what you would call facts! I'm sorry you feel that I'm doing a gross disservice to the community, and sorry to everyone that read this simple guide. I never told anyone that they have to do this to their plants. You act like I'm holding a gun to everyone's head and telling them they must top and prune all their plants or I'll shoot em. I'm sure you grow beautiful plants and know a lot about growing. You are comparing apples to oranges when asking what my peppers produce compared to yours. There are so many variables included with that its silly and pointless to even say something like that. Here is an assumption for you, you seem awfully hostile, grumpy, stubborn, crabby type of person.

Again I'm sorry to anyone who read this Simple Guide to destroying your plants.

@Dave, have a great season!

#52 PHB

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 05:32 PM

Again I'm sorry to anyone who read this Simple Guide to destroying your plants.

Don't be sorry, it's pointless. I think all of us take what they want from what is written on this forum. I hope no one is a sheep following advices from A to Z, because "doubt" is the mother of all virtue.

Concerning Dave's post, I do understand what he means even I don't share the same opinion. But I don't think it really worth it to get mad for this : it doesn't help anyone, neither Dave, Jamison or the readers. It doesn't bring anything to the topic.

@Jamison : I liked everything you in wrote your last post, but this part "Here is an assumption for you, you seem awfully hostile, grumpy, stubborn, crabby type of person." was pretty useless. Everything you said before was great an suddenly you "throw a spear" to David at the end. I've a lot of ego myself, like maybe both of you, but sometimes it's good to let it in the cupboard. No one should be trying to prove anything imao.

Edited by PHB, 04 May 2013 - 05:36 PM.

>> Please, give me your opinion on my Glog. I really need your expertise & advices ! Thanks :) <<

#53 idosimon

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 05:57 PM

Dave is right when it comes to pruning the leaves off. Leaves act as a sugar source, and the plant still uses them for energy. However, I still prune my leaves when needed because the added benefit of airflow outweighs the negativity of the loss of energy.

But other people are also correct in saying that pruning can help plants. By pruning you are creating more side shoots which then produce more fruit and are thus a more efficient use of space (at least for indoor gardeners). Pruning too much will cause the plant to be stunted and for it not to reach its full potential.

I'm kind of taking the middle ground here. Conservative pruning, in my opinion, will yield the best results.

Be sure to visit my youtube channel, HUUUYpeppers! I am currently growing an indoor mako kokoo pepper.


#54 TOAW

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 03:29 PM

i've done a little checking around. From what I've seen Jamison's methiods are common, proven, and not just with peppers but with numerous other plant species. Common sense says if carried out to the extreme or improper conditions it will do more harm than good. Yes leaves are needed by the plant but some times removing some does do more good than bad. After all plants in the wild replace leaves regularly due to being munched on by animals, and even seem to have been able to benefit from limited browsing. So don't be so sceptical and use some common sense as to when and how much you trim your plant.

#55 StupidJerk

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 12:08 AM

You thread inspired me to experiment. I topped this Butch about 1 week ago
Posted Image
Here it is today
Posted Image

Really incredible in my opinion.

#56 Jamison

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 07:07 AM

StupidJerk, thats whats its all about my friend! Looks good man!

#57 holyhotpeppers

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 07:56 AM

You thread inspired me to experiment. I topped this Butch about 1 week ago
Posted Image
Here it is today
Posted Image

Really incredible in my opinion.


Nice!

#58 koskorgul

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 08:34 AM

Checked on my topped ones over the weekend, well pretty much check them everyday but wanted to post back that although the growth is slow thre is new growth coming up. Wish I had some pics of it but the growth is still small and probably wouldnt be able to see it.
On a similiar situation. I have a Brain Strain that if I didnt know better i would say I was trying to kill it. I have over watered, stopped watering to the point if it almost dieing, over watered again and let it dry out to the point of almost dieing again. Well the little guy lost all but the smallest of it leaves and when I say smallest it was the smallest. I gave it some water, put it under some lights, and crossed my fingers. I check on him every day now and have to say it is a fighter. Where ever it lost a leaf, new ones are now growing, It had 4 sets of true leaves on it and lost all of them. It now has nice growth to it and looks like it is going to be just fine.
I only mention this because by almost killing the plant I basically did the same thing as topping and prunning the plant. This plant had 1 leaf and it was tiny yet here it is putting out new growth.
A man only has his word, if he goes against that, he has nothing

#59 TOAW

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 09:45 AM

A sacrafice of growth in the short run for a long term gain, because you more than double the leaf area with the new growth. Some businesses could learn from that.

#60 PHB

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 11:09 AM

I don't know if you do that in the U.S, but here in France we have a technique of pruning for apple trees (and other) called "Espalier". We use this technique since Middle Age :

Posted Image

Posted Image

The aim is to :
- gain space
- put trees against walls (this way get the heat from it, which increase sugar in fruits)
- less bugs
- get the same amount of light as a normal tree
- trees live longer (because of the wall)

Here is a link in English : http://www.amarmieli...ruit-trees.html

I'm wondering if it's possible with a pepper ....

Edited by PHB, 06 May 2013 - 11:11 AM.

>> Please, give me your opinion on my Glog. I really need your expertise & advices ! Thanks :) <<





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