Overwinter Bhut

esox07 (4b)September 28, 2011

I trimmed down one of my Bhuts a 2-3 weeks ago just before our first frost/freeze. I am planning to overwinter it so I trimmed the top way back and cropped the roots back and planted in a small container for the winter. I have been putting it out when the weather is nice in the afternoons and otherwise, I have kept it indoors getting it as much window light as possible. I was expecting it to kind of go into hybernation with the cooler weather and having trimmed it way back. It used to be 5 feet across tip to tip and now it is 14-15 inches wide and about that tall. But in the last week or so, it has thrown out shoots all over and is even budding and blooming all over. I wasn't planning on trimming buds all winter long. Is it supposed to be doing that or will it maybe slow down as things go along. Last night was the first time I gave it any nutrients since I cut it back. I guess I dont mind trimming it but I expected it to go more dormant after the trim back. Maybe I should just let it bud and bloom and even put out pods??? I dont know. I have never tried this before. I will be doing this with a couple Hot Hungarian Wax peppers that I have out back in my cold frame.

1. Should I continue to trim them back all winter?

2. Should I let them bloom/bud if they want to?

3. Should I trim them back even further?

Like I said, this is a new experience for me and when things are not going as I expect them to go, I have to start asking questions. Suggestions/comments welcome.


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I'm interested to hear responses ... as I'm not the familiar with overwintering.

but I just wanted to say that your plant looks amazing! i've never tried to bonsai a bhut before, but now you've got me quite anxious to try!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 8:28PM
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I did overwinter 2 Bhuts but did not follow the traditional cut back and repot. I did get buds/flowers until end of October no pods developed, I am in zone 7, they survived the winter new leaves appeared buds started but then they took a turn for the worse and did not make it through the spring. I feel it was because I did not cut back trim the roots and repot.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 8:56PM
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I successfully overwintered a bhut last winter and I trimmed it back way more than you did (not to say that you need to trim more - just stating what I did). I trimmed off all foliage and heavily trimmed the roots. I cut off all blooms over the winter. I hardened off in May and planted it back in the ground, and I had peppers by August. This season, the peppers were earlier, larger and more abundant. Looks like you are off to a great start! I am hoping to keep mine going for many years.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 9:07PM
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esox07 (4b)

Hmmm. Simsedward, so you trimmed all the green huh? Did you cut the branches back further than mine or just trim all the green off of them after you trimmed the branches back? How far exactly did you trim back the branches from the main stem?
During the winter do you just set it near a sunny window? I did trim up the roots pretty good. Probably about the size of a softball. Here is a picture of it just before I put it in it's current pot.


    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 9:37PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Great job, Bruce!

Fantastic shape and fantastic thickness to that trunk!

You can leave the blooms if you want, but things will slow down...you can be sure of that.
I do like Simsedward does - prune off whole branches and drastically reduce the rootball.

Bruce, you can prune more at any time throughout the winter.


    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 10:49AM
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I'd say it recovered very well from the pruning!!!

Once you're sure you didn't kill it, I wouldn't worry much about putting it out on nice days and all that. Let it get used to the indoor environment where the light isn't nearly as strong. The new leaves it puts out inside will be much different than the ones while outside. I wouldn't worry about the buds / growth too much. Once it's inside it will slow down and you can trim back any unruly branches (they will be long and stretchy) but, I wouldn't trim all the leaves/branches once you have it inside. The buds will mostly drop on their own, you may end up with a pepper or two, though. Just consider it a bonus. :-)

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 11:38AM
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esox07 (4b)

Thanks guys, I guess it will be coming in for good now. This guy never really slowed down even when I pruned and transplanted it. I am sure the lower light indoors will slow it down some too. I am going to wait a while to bonsai my Hungarians though...The pods are about full size and I want them to be as close to ripe as possible when I pick them all. Then I will cut them down and repot them.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 6:20PM
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There is a search function on this forum which will get a lot of the information you want

Here is a link that might be useful: Overwintering search

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 10:22AM
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I did trim all the green, and I cut the branches back about the same as you did, maybe just a little more. I think you are good to go though...looks right to me. I have a large bay window that faces West, I just placed the plant there for the winter and watered it whenever it dried out. Easy. You will be glad you did this.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 6:01PM
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esox07 (4b)

Good, I have large SW facing window which starts to get direct sun around noon or so this time of year and it lasts until late afternoon then goes behind some trees. Around January, I probably will only get two to three hours direct but still get good indirect light most of the day.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 7:02PM
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You got it figured out. Good luck! Keep us posted

    Bookmark   October 2, 2011 at 9:35AM
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