Monday, January 22, 2007

Overwintering Peppers

After reading that:

Hortiphilia Fact
Peppers are perrenials

At least hot peppers are.

I wondered if you could keep them alive for a second growing season. Food producing plants that self seed, overwinter, or are perrenial makes me giddy! So I did some research and found that many people were keeping their hot peppers, and eggplants(? - more reseach to follow) alive to grow another season. So I brought in one of my potted babies. Here it is, a long cayenne, behind the azalea in beautiful bloom.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

When I first brought it in, it experienced leaf drop but then started to grow a bunch of new leaves, and flowers. I have been dutifully picking them off so it saves its energy for another season. Hopefully, as according to, Pepper Joe they will produce an early crop next year!

Go to Part Two - A Pepper by Any Other Name...



Patrick said...

All peppers are perrenials. I tried to keep mine indoors one year but the problem was they were full of flies. I also don't think there was enough natural light for them. I had had enough of them long before spring, and they were mostly dead anyway when I finally threw them out.

Let us know how yours come out.

Ottawa Gardener said...

I thought so, only I came across this comment made by some 'plant guy' that the common garden pepper was sometimes known as c. annuum (in other words annual) and that they are so short lived to not bother so I didn't want to give false hope.

Further research showed me that not all peppers were given the same latin name so I was wondering if there was a difference between hot, sweet and otherwise as all the pepper posts I had seen were talking about hot peppers being overwintered. I did also 'read' someone who said that his/her smaller fruited peppers overwintered better.

Another interesting site:

So far so good when it comes to pest problems but then I have yet (knocking hard on wood) any aphids, spider mites or white flies in the house.


Anonymous said...

Hi Ottawa Gardener
I've been on the same quest as you to see how far I can go growing peppers as perennials - Patrick kindly sent me a link to your site - brilliant ! Hats off in a Northern climate too. I'm trying in southern France where winter temps can get to -15c which I am sure is nothing to what you can get.
I also read in several places gardeners saying annums are annuals hence the name but but that some species are perennial. I've had a sweet pepper (annum) growing in my unheated tunnel since summer 2006. It died back a bit in last years frost then came back to life in spring and crops like mad. I picked peppers from it today, the plant is looking a bit frost bitten but the peppers are good and there is snow on the ground outside the tunnel. :-) tough as old boots. Someone commented to tell me they had a Rocoto growing for 20 years in San Mateo Ca. I am planning to extend my experiment and grow a few varieties of each capsicum species so if anyone out there has pepper seeds they could swap with me i've got some interesting edibles to offer in exchange.
Will be watching your progress on this exciting subject. You can see how mine is going here

Laura Hudson

Anonymous said...

Hi there, just to say that I've had some Capsicum Chinesis growing since 2001 here in the UK. They are in pots and move into my conservatory during the cold months.

My main problem (as the guy above mentioned) is keeping aphids off them during the Winter months.


Potawie said...

I overwinter many pepper plants here near Ottawa but I do it much differently. I trim the tops and roots severely then I give them very little heat or light over the winter so that they go semi-dormant. I find the C. chinense species seem to overwinter the best for me and C. frutescens I always have problems with. As others have metioned, aphids can become a nightmare and the only solution that worked for me was to buy ladybugs.