Are peppers perennial or strickly annual?

dancinglemons(7B VA)September 7, 2008

Hello all,

I am in Central Virginia Zone 7+ and have a question about my pepper plants. I have NuMex Big Jim and Serrano that almost died but now have completely recovered. Let me explain. Both plants are growing in EarthBoxes. In early July the leaves turned yellow and 75% of the leaves dropped. The plants were properly watered and not under any stress that I could determine. Normally I would have pulled the plants and called it a day. I decided to leave the plants alone. They continued to drop leaves.

About 3 weeks ago I decided to experiment. I dug in 1 cup of Espoma BioTone Starter Plus at the base of each plant and watered heavily. I also sprayed the plant leaves with a fish/kelp solution - double strength. I figured if they were going to die anyway - no problem.

We had 3 days of heavy rain 2 weeks ago and I noticed heavy new leaf development and flower buds at the tops of both varieties. The plants all have recovered are now deep green.

Seems like I read somewhere that peppers are actually perennial in warmer zones. Could the 'renewal' of my pepper plants be due to the BioTone/Fish/Kelp -OR- Are my pepper plants gearing up for a second go round??

Any info available would be appreciated. BTW all of my other pepper plants just stayed green and kept producing without any leaf drop or yellowing.


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My Habanero Arbol,Fish Pepper and a couple more plants are from 2-6 years old.
They overwinter outside here in Southern California.

I've had plants that looked like a stick come back as long as I kept them watered etc.

Some plants do better the second year.

I would think that your heavy rains might have washed out any fertilizer in your containers so I don't know what caused your plants to die or to come back.
My plants usually only have problems with 100 degree plus days or overwatering.
Everyone thinks it's their duty to water my containers until my plants are wearing life jackets and swimming in their pots.
If they turn yellow from overwatering they just water them more...
My containers all have southern exposure and sun from morning till dusk.
They get cooked during the summer even under greenhouse cloth.

Yellow leaves can mean too much water or fertilizer among other things-roots getting eaten by grubs etc.

Since rain seems to have braught them back I'd guess that maybe your plant roots got into the fertilizer in your earthboxes and burned the roots causing your problems.
The rain might have either spread the fertilizer around or washed it out to levels the plant now likes.
Just a guess since I never have used earthboxes.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2008 at 2:42AM
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Peppers are perennial under warm weather conditions.Last year I had done this experiment by taking the plant inside the Sun room and it worked out to be good.I have posted this info. in Hot Peppers forum with pics.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2008 at 6:50PM
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All my 2nd year peppers have been more productive than on their 1st year.
All my 2nd year have been Annuum (not Chinense) as the varieties I have seem to take the frost better than the varieties of Chinense I planted. There were three nights in a row of extended sub 28F and I only covered with a light blanket.
All my peppers get exposed to many weeks of 100F and 110F+ temps. They always wilt severely in the mid-day sun, but spring right back within 15min or so of the first early evening shade.


    Bookmark   September 8, 2008 at 8:15PM
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dancinglemons(7B VA)

Thanks everyone!!

The outside garden season will end for me around first of November. I am going to try keeping a few pepper plants inside and bring them back out in spring 2009.

I will try to find your post.


    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 2:40AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

My sister's (two year-old) hanañero set fruit this year, then promptly lost all of its large leaves. Then it grew a tight, compact set of second leaves that were very small. This worked well, as it allowed more sun to strike the fruit. This harvest was much larger than the first year - and, there are flowers on the plant again.


    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 12:43PM
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jimster(z7a MA)

Interestingly, there are three current threads on this topic.


    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 1:07PM
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jimster(z7a MA)

Make that four threads.


    Bookmark   September 11, 2008 at 12:45PM
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habbob(San Diego)

I've had 3 year old plants. Seems like 2 years old are the most productive.

My mom neglected a jal and it lived for 3 years with my occasional attention.


    Bookmark   September 12, 2008 at 12:02AM
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shelbyguy(z5 IL)

peppers are perennials but generally cultivated as annuals.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2008 at 7:41PM
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