How to Remove the First Set of Buds From Pepper Plants


While it may be exciting to see the first set of buds on young pepper plants, pinching off these buds will produce a better harvest at the end of the season. According to Doug Green's "Beginner-gardening," removing the first buds will allow the plant to spend its energy on growing stronger and sturdier before it produces peppers. Failing to remove the early buds, no matter what size they are, will force the plant to spend its energy developing the buds into peppers, which can be an inferior product and cause the plant's growth to become stunted.

Step 1

Grasp the bud with a forefinger and thumb, and gently pinch off their stems.

Step 2

Discard the buds in the trash or a compost pile far enough from the plants that there is no danger of them finding their way back to that area.

Step 3

Continue to remove buds for up to a week.

Tips and Warnings

  • If the pepper bud does not come off with a easy pinch, gently roll it in your fingers to twist it off. Do not tug or pull on the plant, as this can cause damage.


  • Doug Green's Beginner-gardening: Growing green peppers
  • Oregon State University Extension Service: Grow Your Own Peppers
  • Jefferson Institute: Peppers
Keywords: remove pepper buds, pinch first buds from peppers, pinching pepper buds

About this Author

A freelance writer for over 12 years, Traci Vandermark has written extensively on health and fitness topics. She is a student of health, fitness and nutrition at the International Institute Of Holistic Healing, certified by the American Association of Nutritional Consultants. Her articles have appeared in Catskill Country Magazine, The Lookout Magazine, Capper's, Birds and Blooms and Country Discoveries, to name a few.