Bell peppers are scientifically known as Capsicum annum. Bell peppers can be grown both annually as well as perennially. This plant is grown for its edible fruits.
Bell peppers will tend to flower early when the concentration of available nitrogen in the form of nitrates is low. This allows for little vegetative growth and increased occurrence of flower production from phosphate in the soil. Temperature and growing space also have an effect on flowering in bell peppers.
But what causes the plant to flower early? What factors are affecting early flowering in bell peppers? Let’s get into the article to know more about it.
Some Pepper plants will develop early flowering. This can be caused by several factors, including the pot size, the plants are not getting the right amount of fertilizer, or uneven temperatures.
Miracle-Gro Shake ‘N Feed is a cost effective fertilizer I use and recommended that keep my bell pepper flowers from falling. You can find it by clicking here!
What Causes Bell Peppers To Flower/Bud Early?
First of all, it is normal for pepper plants to develop early flowering in it, no need to panic. This can be caused by several factors, including the size of the pot, fertilizer, or temperature.
Different factors can be involved in triggering the early flowering in bell peppers. For example, the size of the pot, irregular temperatures, and adding not enough fertilizer.
1. Pot Size
If the pot you are using for growing the bell peppers is small, it will force the plant to flower early.
This is because it is a natural response of the plant when it does not get sufficient space to grow more leaves.
Eventually, it will move to the succeeding stage of growth, which is producing flowers.
Warm temperatures are best to thrive bell peppers. Bell peppers are annual plants and will grow best under warm conditions.
If the growing conditions are according to the requirement of the bell peppers, they will thrive in the best way.
Harsh, cold temperatures can easily affect their growth in a negative way. The optimum temperature for their best growth is between 75 – 80℉ during the daytime.
However, both harsh freezing winter and extremely hot summer can dramatically affect the fragile bell pepper plants.
Fertilizers are essential for almost all plants’ growth and health. And bell pepper plants are not an exception. Bell plants, too, need fertilizers to encourage flowering.
There is a huge variety of fertilizers in the market being used for the healthy growth of plants. Nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium are primary nutrients for all plant’s healthy life.
If you are not adding enough fertilizer containing these essential nutrients to your bell pepper plants, they will, as a natural response, stimulate early flowering.
Additionally, low nitrogen fertilizers have been shown to encourage earlier flowering than other types of fertilizer because it restricts vegetative growth while promoting fruit production from early flowering.
How To Prevent Bell Peppers From Budding Too Early?
Firstly, as mentioned earlier, the amount of fertilizer you are adding to your plant will decide whether the plant will have early flowering or not.
In the initial growth phase, all plants in pots need a lot of nitrogen for producing stronger stems and thick leaves.
Enough nitrogen during the initial growth phase will prevent bell peppers from budding too early.
Pepper plants focus more on the growth of stems and leave instead of flowers if they are enriched with nitrogen. Switch to fertilizers with higher content of nitrogen to prevent bell peppers from budding too early.
Secondly, If the plant is growing in a short space it will produce early flowers because it has no other choice.
Always try to grow the bell pepper plants in larger pots with enough space so that the plant can produce enough leaves and stronger roots.
However, if you are growing the bell pepper plants in pots for transplanting them later into the ground.
Make sure that at the time of relocating the plants outdoors, you pinch off any early flowers produced on the plants.
NOTE: Generally, bell peppers are outdoor plants but if you want to grow them indoors and plan to transplant them outdoors later. It is advised to keep the indoor conditions as per as the outdoor conditions are.
How Long Should it Take For a Bell Pepper to Produce Flowers?
Bell pepper plants usually require a long growing season to make fruits. The time span of a healthy bell pepper plant is between 60 to 90 days.
As the growing season of a bell pepper plant is quite long, they are first planted indoors and then transplanted outdoors.
When transplanting bell pepper plants outdoors, wait for at least three to four weeks to let them settle down in a new environment.
During this time, the plant will develop strong roots and enough leaves to produce food for fruits in the future. Once the plant has grown a good amount of leaves, reduce the number of fertilizers so that the plant can produce flowers.
The time when a healthy bell pepper plant produces flowers is when it has enough leaves and deeper roots.
Once the bell pepper plant has developed these things it is time for it now to move on to the stage of growth where flowers are produced.
The number of days taken by a healthy bell pepper plant to produce flowers depends on the time after it has been transplanted outdoors.
Should I Pinch Off Early Pepper Flowers?
Pinching off early pepper flowers depends on many things such as if your bell pepper is on the stage of producing flowers, no need to pinch them off.
The more flowers on your pepper plant, the more peppers you will have in your kitchen. But if it is producing early flowers then you should pinch them off to save the energy of the plant.
If you have grown the pepper plants indoors and are planning to transplant them outdoors in spring. The plant will produce flowers due to its natural response to sudden environmental change or because of the short space in pots.
Pinching off the early pepper flowers depends on the variety you are growing as well. For instance, if you have grown faster varieties, (jalapeno, bell peppers) then early flowers can be pinched back.
On the other, if someone is growing slower to grow varieties (ghost peppers), pinching the early flowers will not help the plant.
Furthermore, the decision of picking the early flowers is also affected by timing as well. Always pick the flowers right after planting the flowers outside. This will help the plant to develop stronger roots.
Never pinch off the flowers from the plant if it has already been a month after the transplant. At that time, the plant had developed its full roots and foliage.
Will Early Flowers Affect the Bellpepper Plant?
Pinching the early flowers will help the plant to direct its energy in developing deeper roots and more foliage.
But if you have picked the wrong flowers (meaning at the stage where the plant is supposed to produce flowers), your plant will not produce enough fruit.
If Your plant is growing in less fertile soil and having low moisture soil, pinching off the first bloom will help the plant to grow stronger before it starts producing the fruit.
With a stronger plant, a larger yield will be produced. But if the growing conditions are satisfactory, pinching the early flowers will not help the plant to increase total yield.
In some cases, bell peppers can produce early blossoms due to some factors. This can happen because of shortage of space in pots, problems in optimum temperature, or fertilizers.
If you have noticed early blossoms or buds on your plant while your plant is still short and weak, pinching off the early flowers from the plant to save the plant’s energy. Keep in mind, if you don’t remove the early flowers, your plant won’t produce more, stronger leaves and roots.
The number of leaves is directly proportional to the amount of food produced by photosynthesis. If there are not enough leaves, eventually the fruits will not ripen.
One can also prevent early flowering and buds in the bell pepper plant by increasing fertilizer amount. Another solution to this problem is to give your plant more space to produce more roots. So that the roots can absorb nutrients from the soil to have more dense leaves.