overwintering/pruning/root pruning

davest_pete(tampa area/flor)October 29, 2005

I have three plants that are now 3 yrs old, my question is, after pruning back the foliage should I prune the roots and replant in new soil? I've done nothing to the soil except add compost and manure. They currently in large plastic pots (15 gal or better). Thanx.

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If you top prune, you should also root prune for plant balance.....then repot.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 7:53AM
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ucovinero(7 Atlanta, GA)

willards right , but depending on pot size pruning is questionable. ive got 14 different hab plants in my sun room now, i never prune. peppers are resiliant creatures! if it needs to be cut back itll drop anything theres not enough sun for

    Bookmark   November 1, 2005 at 9:58AM
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pdxjules(8, Portland, OR)

In my case, I let the roots prune themselves - today - as I lifted five 2-year old, strong stemmed Pepper plants from the ground. I lightened up their indoor planting mix with more peat this year. Also brought in 2 dead-looking sticks that still had viable-looking roots - as yet another experiment...from which I sure don't expect miracles...but couldn't resist.

Several more Peppers await the trip indoors - but I am already exhilarated to have these big still-blooming plants in my office and sunroom, and I do NOT plan to prune back anything unless it starts dying back on it's own. Mine came back last year just fine - even tho some looked pretty sad by late winter. They all got a hard-pruning after they went into the ground outdoors - so I am happy to do it all again...since I know they'll rebound quickly.

I plan to water all indoor plants with warm rainwater this winter. We get plenty in the Pacific NW - should I mail ya some? LOL!

2 questions -
- I harvest any fruit that looks mature when I do transplanting. Would it be better to leave them on the plant? What has your experience been?

- My house stays pretty cool during the winter - and there is intermittently some very dry air also. Do you all use moisture-control methods?

Thanx for sharing, Jules

    Bookmark   November 2, 2005 at 7:59PM
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Vera_EWASH(z5 EasternWA)

The only reason I've root-pruned and cut back plants is because I have limited space and potted up to smaller containers. I didn't have to do so this year over-wintering Thai Hot's as they are small anyways and a 6" container was just right.
I'd remove the fruits from mine if loaded during transplanting so more energy goes to the roots...the last 2 years I didn't really need to as most fruits were harvested prior.


    Bookmark   November 4, 2005 at 9:45AM
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vinnyc(7 LINY)

I remove most fruit, but leave just a few on for fresh eating later int he winter. I have one cayenne that's in for the 4th winter, and two new Indian chili's coming in for their first year. The cayenne has given me at least 1000 very hot chilis in its lifetime, I would estimate. In late summer, I can pick 30 or forty chilis once or twice a week. Two years ago, it was the only pepper plant in my garden.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2005 at 2:40PM
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pdxjules(8, Portland, OR)

Wow, the power of a single plant! Really awesome. (And such attractive companionship...)

I'm starting a few more from seed this week.

Have any of you had better experience in over-wintering with some varieties than others? It seems that space pressure might make me make choices between plants. (Clearly the African Violets would be given away first!)

    Bookmark   March 29, 2006 at 6:39PM
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when you guys prune your ultra rare/desired plants, pls check if anyone wants your cuttings! :)

    Bookmark   March 29, 2006 at 6:50PM
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john47_johnf(Maine z4/5)

I know a guy in Germany who uses drastic pruning, and as Willard says prunes the roots to match the top. I decided to
try it with a C. galapagoe



    Bookmark   March 29, 2006 at 8:17PM
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opqdan(z5 NE OH)

I do not prune the pepper plants that I keep. When the plant is not getting the water or the light that they need, they tend to drop leaves and other pieces die off.

The one time that I tried to prune an over-wintered pepper, I ended up killing it, so I have never tried again.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2006 at 9:05AM
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I will try this again as my last post seems to have disappeared.

I pruned this plant back completely.....note new growth on ste..

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   March 30, 2006 at 10:46AM
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It turns out that Zone Alarm firewall/antivirus had to be reset to post pictures here. This is the very top and root-pruned tepin.

Maine John:
Have you heard from Jurzen at all lately? He has forgotten more about chiles than I know and I miss his input here.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2006 at 12:38PM
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john47_johnf(Maine z4/5)


Not in quite awhile. He had a lot of problems with computer viruses that he thought he got from one of the forums and so stopped participating. The last contact I had with him was via fax, trying to clarify some issues with
scotch bonnets and eximiums that were both having. He is also working on an English language version of his data base.


    Bookmark   March 31, 2006 at 12:53PM
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vinnyc(7 LINY)

Well, one of my two indian chili's, and my four year old cayenne, bit the dust over the winter, victims of an uncontrollable onslaught of aphids. The other indian is still alive, but I pruned it right to the main stem.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2006 at 3:13PM
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I think it would be smart to take a branch cutting and root it in new clean soil. this will give new roots and I believe a much better chance to live over the winter. if done properly it should be done with no new bugs being brought into the house.

the plant can then be grown all winter and put outside in the spring as a very big transplant.

the problem with keeping old plants is that the roots get old and lose their health. then the plant goes down hill. the old plant usually bring in all kinds of bugs that go wild indoors etc. all this can be avoided with some care.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2006 at 11:31PM
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pkapeckopickldpepprz(z9 a/b FL)

Is it better when you root prune to throw away the old roots or can you throw it back in the same container in the event it will eventually decomose?

    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 5:07PM
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ofpill(5a - Ottawa)

I haven't root pruned or otherwise my cayenne pepper. It is its first season indoors and it was doing well until now when it started dropping leaves again. Should I do anything? Also a lot of its new leaves are small and not growing fast. Would it kill it to transplant it? More water? Any suggestions?

Here is a link that might be useful: Picture here (ignore the azalea)

    Bookmark   January 25, 2007 at 3:59PM
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kashacres(Z3 Canada)

It is my first year growing hot peppers. I have had amazingly hot haberneros and cayene peppers. I live in the cold north - frosty days are just ahead. I have never pruned anything before - is there a technique to follow? Is there a website that shows how to prune peppers? What can be done to not bring bugs in with the plants?

    Bookmark   August 22, 2007 at 3:38PM
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All I do is take a pair of scissors/pruners and cut an equal amount from top and bottom and replant in hydro....not much science to it.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2007 at 9:45AM
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I have a nice hab that I would like to overwinter. This is my first year growing peppers. The largest problem that I can foresee is bring bugs inside the home. Are there any steps that I can take to stop the bugs form entering? Soapy water wash?

Being the first year I am overwintering, I guess I should concentrate on my hab living through the winter, but there is one questing I had. Would a pepper plant bloom in a 70 deg. basement?

    Bookmark   August 23, 2007 at 11:32PM
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Prune it. Rinse the entire plant thoroughly in soapy water, and then rinse all of the soap off thoroughly in fresh water. When it is ready to go back in soil, use fresh soil. I don't know how you could possibly get bugs if you do all of that.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2007 at 1:29PM
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Aphids will appear-from where I don't know but they will. Then you can purchase ladybugs to eat them.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2007 at 2:49PM
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