An Overwintering Picture Story

tsheets(5)September 22, 2012

Today I brought in all the plants I will be overwintering this year.

I took some pictures along the way, so, here you go. A picture story!

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Good luck with them!! Is this year 1 for all of them being overwintered? I'm attempting to overwinter one cayenne.. started about a week ago. I have a jalapeno I still haven't made up my mind if I want to try keeping also. I might cut that one down tomorrow..

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 10:56PM
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northerner_on(Z5A ONCanada)

Thanks for the pics. and the story, Tsheets. I have not been overwinter any peppers for years because of the fear of bringing pests in, which has happened in the past. But I was inclined to do so when I read on this forum of the 'bonsai' treatment. You seemed not to have done any cutting of the roots. I have one Trinidad Scorpion which has produced rather small fruit, and I would like to give it a second chance, and there is one 'runt' Tobago Seasoning, which only now has baby fruit and is still only a few inches tall. Don't know what happened to that. I still have to harvest all my peppers - must be done tomorrow because it's getting too cold and I had to cover them one day last week. Lots to do.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 2:11AM
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looks like ya did great job with the trim repot hope they all have a good winter for ya .... you putting them under any type lights ?

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 4:10AM
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Cheeze - thank you, half of them are new plants this year. 2 of them were brought in last Winter and 2 of them (including the one featured above) are 4-5 years old.

Northerner - Yeah, pests are a problem to be ready for. That's part of why I bare root them and use fresh mix - to minimize the critters I bring in. I trimmed about 2/3 or so of the roots. It's Winter home is maybe a half gallon (6" pot).

Armageddon - I just put them in a West facing window. Last year I put my overwintered peppers under a fluorescent light, but, I didn't have as many as this year.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 9:29AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Great pics of the process!
Fertilize at reduced strength to keep them vital, and they ought to make suberb bonsai/houseplants.
I'll be giving mine the "treatment" around the second week of November. It's often good to trim a
week or two prior to re-potting, in my experience, so that new growth is stimulated and ready to
explode in the warmer new environment.


    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 2:46PM
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Is it imperative to use the 5-1-1 mix for overwintering? I just bought some Osmocote potting soil. I've never seen the soil before, only the fertilizer. I would love to use that, but also bought pine bark mulch just in case. Also, how much light is required? I don't have a south facing window.


    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 3:17PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

The 5-1-1 is not necessary...but excellent drainage is *very* important.
I actually put mine into the gritty mix, which is even more porous and free-draining.
The key is to avoid damp, cold roots - root-rot due to saturated soil is probably the
number one killer of overwintering peppers. It's not really any particular soil....
it's the principles of the mix that matter.

Low light will keep the plant in foliage (as long as no pests appear), but high light
is required for actual pod production. I have nice East-South windowsills, and yet without
supplemental light the "winterpods" end up small and mean and bland (if not bitter).
The heat is significantly less, as well.

That's why I shoot for a lush, healthy houseplant with nice blooms through most of
the Winter.


    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 4:14PM
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DMForcier(8 DFW)

I've never used 5-1-1 and only a few of my plants have died. [There's a strong recommendation for you, but frankly most of my herbal mortality was due to neglect.]

Overwintering, you do what you can. A bright window is plenty, even without direct sunlight. But the more light the merrier.

If you don't have a window, then you want at least strong fluorescents or halogens. Incandescents (including some "halogens") emit light in wavelengths that are nearly unusable by the plant.

Please describe your situation more clearly so we can be more helpful.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 4:53PM
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Thanks Josh and DMForcier....I don't intend to hijack the thread. I appreciate the picture story Tim. I do have an East facing window. Sounds like it will work.


    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 7:06PM
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esox07 (4b)

Nice pictoral Tsheets. I may do something similar when the time comes. This thread isn't very long but already has the basic information necessary for successfully overwintering a pepper plant. It might be a good thread to refer to when the sure to be asked questions come up regarding overwintering.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 7:49PM
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Thanks for the tip on pruning back a couple weeks early. I'll try to remember that next year! ;-)

I had to make some 5-1-1 up yesterday for this project. Actually, I made it 5-1.5-0.5 (added a bit more perlite and a little less peat).

I have experienced the swampy mess that is all too easy to have overwintering. I've learned to use smaller pots or only partially fill a larger one to keep the volume down.

This will be my first winter with 5-1-1. Oh, and I also went with 6" pots - about 1/2 gal. I previously used about 1 gal pots.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 7:58PM
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esox07 (4b)

tsheets, yep, I used to use about 1 gallon pots too. I will be cutting that down this year as well. Also, that tip from Josh on cutting back a couple weeks early sounds like a good idea. But, I will have a hard time cutting most of mine back any earlier than necessary. But, maybe I will go ahead and bite the bullet this season.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 8:29PM
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