Overwintering Cayenne

cheezdoodle12(6)September 15, 2012

Ok.. I've never done this overwintering.. and this is my first year really taking care of hot pepper plants seriously.

I trimmed my best plant back and transplanted into "clean" soil earlier today. Now, just need to keep it alive for a few months. :)

Does this look ok to start or should it be any shorter? Do I continue trimming if it sprouts more leaves? (Assuming it survives the transplant.. lol.)

Thanks :)

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cheezdoodle12(6)

Here's a close up of the stem... Would it hurt it to cut it shorter or should I just leave it as is..???

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 9:58PM
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tsheets(5)

You can cut it shorter if you want, but, it looks good to me.

Let it grow some new leaves / branches, and you may want to trim it later on if it starts getting too spindly. Actually, I found that treating it like a bonsai and trying to keep it pretty compact worked well on one I did last year and let grow out over the Summer.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 11:55PM
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rockguy(7a)

Looks OK to me. It depends so much on how much it grows during it's confinement. Mine will usually bloom but I pinch them off.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 6:19AM
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willardb3

A Pruned tepin

Same tepin 10 weeks later

You can pretty much prune how you want. Prune the top and roots the same amount.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 8:55AM
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esox07

Yes, I think you pruned it about right. The only sugestion I have is that you should always prune just above a node (place where the plant branches). I noticed several of the branches were pruned below the node. It is probably OK, but most likely all the plant beyond the node will eventually die off. You should always trim the dead or dying parts as they appear.
You will probably note that the plant immediately will begin putting out new growth and probably start blooming if you give it enough light (preferably sunlight). As the sunlight lessens during the winter, the plant will slow its growth and kind of go dormant which is fine. As it warms and gets more sun, it will take off again next spring.
Here is what I mean by pruning just past the nodes. Blue is correct and red is wrong.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 11:10AM
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Bill106(4)

Has anyone over-wintered a plant pruning it and enclosing it in a black plastic bag. My wife does this to Geraniums and it works well but I understand Peppers are much different. Lastly, my basement is cool (50s) and dry in the winter.Is this ok or should I consider bringing them upstairs? Thanks

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 12:08PM
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cheezdoodle12(6)

Thanks everyone.. It sounds like I might have a chance with this plant for another year!! It produced some nice peppers this year and since my growing period is so short.. it'll be nice to see how much it produces in the 2nd year.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 4:20PM
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Bill106(4)

Hey cheezdoodle12 and forum members, I'm sorry about my post. After looking at it I added nothing to your question and I asked a different one of my own. That was inconsiderate of me. Next time I'll do a new and different post. Happy harvesting and over wintering.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 5:32PM
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cheezdoodle12(6)

Bill106 - I find it all interesting and I was looking forward to the replies to your question too :) No problem at all!! A plastic bag to overwinter in sure sounds like a good thing.. as far as space saving (which is a big concern of mine..).

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 5:53PM
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Bill106(4)

Cheezdoodle12, I too have a few of good producing plants and I'm interested in the dormancy characteristics of our hot pepper plants. This was my first year and I really enjoyed it and got a lot of good info from this forum. Now I know what it takes to prune. I used 2 gal. pots on a home made cart and wheeled them in and out of the garage during inclement weather. Now its time to dump the plants or experiment with the over wintering. Good luck.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 6:33PM
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tsheets(5)

I am not sure I understand what you are saying, Bill06, but it doesn't sound like something that would work. Peppers don't actually go dormant. They do slow down because the light levels / temps are lower. But, they do still grow, need watered (just not as often), etc...

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 7:01PM
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Bill106(4)

tsheets, thanks... that's what I was wondering. I'll decide what may work for me at home. What do you think about the 50s temp in my basement? Do I need to have them in warmer temps or simply scrap them and look to next Feb. for my new indoor grow? Thanks

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 8:29PM
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esox07

Dont cover the plant. It needs light to survive. LIke Tsheets says, they dont really go dormant, they just slow way down. Try to give them as much light as possible in the winter. Real sun is best if you have a window you can set it near. Otherwise, proper artificial lights will work. Temps in the 50's should be OK but closer to normal room temps is probably better. The plant will likely loose most of its foliage regardless and that is fine. You simply need to keep it alive until spring and 50 degrees with ample light should do that. Water infrequently too. Indoor plants don't dry out as fast as outdoors and people have a tendency to over water.
Bruce

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 10:11PM
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tsheets(5)

Oh crap! I MEANT to say wouldn't - as in would NOT work!

Just prune them back, and put in small pots. If they have enough light in the basement, they should survive. They would be happier warmer, but, they'll be ok.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 10:50PM
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esox07

Adding to my previous post. Another member on this list (Greenman28) posted that he once put a pepper plant in his garage in the fall intending to repot it and bring it indoors. Well, he forgot about it. He got temps well below freezing and there was little light. The plant withered and seemingly died. But the plant started to grow again the following spring from soil level. Basically what you are doing is preserving the root system from the previous year and as long as it doesn't hard freeze, it will likely recover. So 50's should be fine, just don't expect it to flourish until the temps and light conditions improve.
Bruce

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 10:52PM
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TheMasterGardener1(5B)

Willard,

That is amazing! No roots at all? How do you keep that overwinter?

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 11:25PM
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Bill106(4)

Great info. Thanks all...this should be interesting.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 5:36AM
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willardb3

I didn't overwinter it, I just replanted it in hydro. I grow year 'round.

I was demonstrating how much a chile can be pruned as this question comes up oftem.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 8:27AM
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TheMasterGardener1(5B)

Willard I am still amazed.

You need to tell me more. Can I overwinter plants like that?

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 9:54AM
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DMForcier(8 DFW)

> "What do you think about the 50s temp in my basement?"

In my lattice/garden/its complicated room I have a space heater I turn on when a hard freeze threatens, but it regularly gets down to 40' with no apparent ill effect. I have fairly decent light though. I'd worry about light more than temps in a basement.

Btw, I've never pruned for overwintering, but I will have to this year.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 10:25AM
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Bill106(4)

DMForcier Thanks and I will utilize 1 or 2 my grow-lights when needed. Just 3 plants, 1 long slim red cayenne, 1 scotch bonnet, & 1 ghost... looking forward to this.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 9:25PM
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esox07

Yes, Bill06, it is something to keep you going between end of one season and start of the next.
Bruce

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 12:46AM
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