Can I save a broken pepper plant?

Asked August 18, 2020, 4:04 PM EDT

2 days ago (8/16), something fell on my poblano pepper plant and broke the stem pretty low. I saw it happen, so I was able to right the pepper plant right away, but is there any saving it? It didn't break completely but it did break most of the way. I'm a little heartbroken because the plant is maybe 2 feet high and has 4 or 5 nice peppers on it (about 4 inches long and shorter). We put some support around it after the accident, just to keep the stem together, and this morning I tied it to a pencil with some pantyhose for extra stability, but I'm not sure that will do anything. If there is no saving it, should I pick the peppers now? Do I have any other options for salvaging any part of my plant (rooting parts of it indoors or something)? Thanks for your help! Rachel

Benton County Oregon

1 Response

Thank you for your question, Rachel. You will know if the plant is beyond hope if/when the leaves wilt, which means that water and nutrients are no longer being absorbed by the roots, and sent through the stem to the leaves. You can just keep watering as usual, and remove the peppers if wilting occurs. Poblano peppers can ripen on the plant, or they can be harvested, and allowed to mature on a kitchen window ledge.

As for propagating it, I can find nothing indicating you can start a new plant from the roots, stems or leaves of the plant. All propagation is from seeds, so save some and try planting them next year. Some sources indicate that commercial nurseries are better able to offer transplants, but seeds might be worth a try: https://agrilifeextension.tamu.edu/library/gardening/peppers/

Good luck!