Monday, September 7, 2009

Overwintering Pepper Plants

This is a photo of my prized habanero plant. This plant grew to an enormous size and is producing flowers at an alarming rate. I have two other Thai Chili plants that are starting to flower this week and are starting to produce peppers. They are currently growing in containers. I have been doing alot of research on overwintering pepper plants. From what I understand peppers are really perennials, but most people plant every year because they allow the cold to destroy them. But to the contrary if you take your peppers indoors during the winter you can actually preserve them for years to come. I don't know how true this is but I think its worth a try. After all I can't wait for another season to try this when I have peppers now.

Overwintering pepper plants require that I take the plants indoor into comfortable surroundings. As subtropical plants they can not tolerate any freezing and therefore they need to be in a situation where they can receive warmth as well as light. It is recommended that you place them near a window that receives ample light from the sun but doesn't get cold. Unless you have windows that do not get cold the other alternative would be to use grow lights. Either way the plants will go dormant until spring. However it is not unusual for pepper plants to grow and produce more fruits throughout winter if conditions are right

As fall approaches and then winter "tis the season for soups and chili" and peppers are where it is at.


Robin said...

Great stuff, I had never heard this before. Does this apply to bell peppers too? I've got some great producers right now and I'd love to keep them going in our new sunroom this winter!

Ruralrose said...

My pepper plants are 8 years old, jalapenos and sweet, i take them out in the summmer. The hot pepper plants will produce through the winter if put in a sunny window. If you don't have the room for that huge habanaro, take a cutting or trim it down hard, so it doesn't suffer from the change of light. Sweet peppers need more light to produce during the winter. Tomatoes are perennials too, the pear and thumb varieties produce all winter, while the larger tomato plants i keep trimmed and rested for the spring. Aren't they this awesome! peace for all

p.s. i have a lovely chapter on this in my new book it is set at "free download" please feel free to take a copy

ATW said...

Robin- As far as I know all peppers can be kept overwinter. I would certainly give it a try if you have some good producers.

Ruralrose--8 YEARS!!!! Thats Awesome!!!Thanks for the valuable information on peppers and tomatoes. I am growing alot of different ones at the moment to prepare for this winter. I can't wait to read your book. Thanks again!!

Kenneth Moore said...

Just to echo rose's comment, it's true--all peppers and tomatoes can be kept indoors overwinter! They may or may not produce fruit, but think of the head start you'll have with them next spring!

I need to check out different varieties--I think indeterminate heirloom tomatoes grown indoors is kind of ridiculous. I'll try to do my homework this winter. :-D Or, maybe I'll buy a house?

ATW said...

Ken- thanks for the info. Today i was having a conversation and used you as an example to one of my friends. He was shocked to hear how successful you can be growing indoors. I know it may not be his ideal situation, but nonetheless he is happy he can make use of his space.

m.scott said...

What a brilliant idea, I can't wait to overwinter my plants and see what kind of a yield I can get out of my peppers next year. It always takes me so long to get seedlings from my seeds. Now I can skip all of that.

patrick said...

Nice site..have heard about the life of a pepper being in the hands of the gardener.
I live in Norcal..What abt covering it with heavy clear plastic..keeping it warm..?
Any thoughts?
How would I transplant it to move it iside? can I use grow lights..?
thx for putting up with

ATW said...

m.scott- I was always under the impression that everything in the garden had to be re-started and now im learning that alot of plants can just be pulled in when the season is over and put back out when it starts again. There are so many benefits to overwintering, sure it may take some work and preparation, but from an efficiency standpoint I would rather work my plants year after year instead of replanting. I hope your successful.

Patrick--- I have a friend who uses thick bedding material to overwinter her herbs. I am sure that many people use some sort of system for their overwintering needs. With regards to peppers I suspect that any significant dip in temp will affect them. My habenro plant is GI-NORMOUS. Its currently in a raised bed and I want to save it. Transplanting in istelf is its own animal. You have to make sure you cause minimal root damage. I will dig wide and deep around the base and work the plant out slow. Once im done with that I will place the plant in a large container filled layered with organic material and potting soil that I have producing all year. According to the research, As long as your peppers are in an environment that is comfortable for you they will be alright. If you dont have an area that recieves sun through out the day. I would invest in some grow lights.
The cool thing about plants is that they will let you know when they are happy and when they are not doing so well and by having them inside you can manipulate thier enviroment to give them the best possible chance. Good Luck to you and I will be posting more on my peppers when im ready to transplant them.


habs winter over well,along with tobascos

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