chopped down my pepper trees - wish me luck

hookilau(long island NY)October 6, 2012

So I chopped down my pepper trees & brought them in for the season. I chopped 2 last week, put them in a gritty mix & brought them in but it didn't go so well. Everything was cool, then I made the mistake of putting them outside on an overcast but bright day. Who knew the clouds would break up so soon? Anyway, I came home to find them in full sun, they wilted miserably & never recovered. Lesson learned.

Tonight, I chopped & brought in 8 or 9 plants. I cut them back hard to the woody growth, getting rid of most of the foliage with the exception of a few leaves on each plant. Here's a few of 'em.

I put 'em in a 511 mix rather than gritty cause it was what I had on hand. I said an 'Omahh' and shook a chicken over 'em. Wish me luck. 0_o

I've never had any luck overwintering peppers before, they usually give up the ghost 'round Jan-Feb or so. In all fairness, I'd never thoroughly absorbed the how & the why before. This year though, I think will be different.

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esox07 (4b)

Looks like you did a great job there. Quite a few plants to overwinter. Where do you plan to keep them during the winter?

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 10:07PM
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They basically need the same things as Summer plants.....just not as much. Water, food, light, and warmth. The two most likely issues to have are overwatering and pests (aphids/mites). It sounds like you repotted them into fresh 5-1-1 mix so, you've minimized the likelihood of both of those. Just set them in a window and be sure to feed them (5-1-1 is nutrient poor) and have some insecticidal soap on hand and you should be ok. good luck!

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 9:38AM
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esox07 (4b)

tsheets is right. The only time aphids ever attacked my plants was within a couple weeks of bringing them indoors last fall. I had aphids on my roses and young crab apple trees which are within 15 feet of my peppers but they don't mess with the peppers. Until I bring them inside. I will have to keep a close eye on them this year. I used insecticidal soap last year as tsheets advises and it worked great. But I would just as soon not deal with them at all.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 10:25AM
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hookilau(long island NY)

I have a large spare room unceremoniously dubbed 'the plant room'. It has 2 normal sized windows abutted up to each other in the corner of the room. It gets south & east sun, which equates to about from sunrise to 2ish in the afternoon.

I have adenium, jades & other asst. succulents closest to the window only because this is the order in which they came into the house. The peppers are at the end of the line (furthest away from the window) right now. I brought in 2 other pepper plants that were small enough not to be cut down or root pruned & they have been at the end of the line for about 2 wks without dropping leaves or otherwise complaining. So much so, I completely forgot about them.

Today is plant housekeeping day. After I get things all tidied up, I'll post a pic. I have a couple of choices with pretty bright light but I'm competing with pups & the naughtiest cat evah.

I bought these plant trays from ikea for 20$ (the table like one on the left) and added a layer of pea gravel. The peppers are on that so that when I water I don't make a mess 0_- They're pretty handy.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 1:24PM
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DMForcier(8 DFW)

Did your first two really expire ? Peppers are tough. I'd treat them like the others until they actually rot. You might be surprised.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 3:24PM
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hookilau(long island NY)

That's good to hear! Yes, it was fresh 511 and I already hit 'em up with some soapy water. I saw one aphid. That was all I needed to see.

I added some Osomcote pellets to the mix so I hope it'll be sufficient. Anyone else overwintering?...I'd love to see!

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 3:50PM
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hookilau(long island NY)

yup DM, they definitely crumped. I gave 'em a week, then noticed the green stems were increasingly turning a telling shade of olive brown. I nicked the trunk down close to the soil line & sure enough, no healthy green cambium :(

In case anyone's wondering, I started a post, then got interrupted, had to put out some fires, started again, yeah. A little hurky jerky 0_o

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 3:56PM
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Good luck with overwintering!! I'm trying to keep 2 through the winter. One cayenne, one jalapeno. Here's a photo of the cayenne. It's already growing little leaves and has a few buds now.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 11:03PM
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hookilau(long island NY)

and also with you friend! Looking good so far, how long have you had yours inside? Mine are starting to look kinda ratty, lol. The leaves look dessicated too. I put some water in the gravel tray below to increase humidity a bit while mine adjust to the new environment. Today's the first day we've had sun since I brought mine in too so I'm hoping they'll perk up.

I'm still treating with soapy water twice a week, hoping to eradicate aphids before the population gets too great. I don't see them yet, but I know they're there.

They're ALWAYS there o_O well, for the first few weeks they are anyhow =>

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 2:12PM
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esox07 (4b)

Don't worry if your plants look like they are going downhill after you chop them down and bring them inside. It is normal. Here is a an Orange Tree Habanero that I chopped down and brought in less than a week ago.
This is the day I cut it back and repotted it.

Here it is just yesterday, 5 days after cutting it back.

But, if you look close, you will notice a bunch of new sprouts coming out from the nodes.

So, if your overwinter plant looks bad after you bring it in, just give it some time to recover. Also, overwatering is a big problem with overwintered peppers plants. Be careful with that.


    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 3:34PM
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The soap treatments will contribute to it's looking unhappy. I would back off and only treat if necessary. But, that's just me.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 7:24PM
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hookilau(long island NY)

Yeah, I guess I should back off with the soapies. I saw one aphid crawling around on a pot but it seems that all is well, then one day, BANG! You're lousy with 'em.

I'll give 'em some time on their own to recover. I usually water when leaves feel thin and have lost their turgor. Which is what they kinda look like now. I'll break out the old skewer & check, maybe their thirsty.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 8:16PM
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hookilau(long island NY)

Wow Bruce, they really do take a licking don't they?...Thanks for the pics, that's what mine look like right now. They haven't put out new growth like yours has as yet but I expect that won't be far behind.

The did drop their larger more mature leaves but kept their baby leaves. DH laughingly refers to them as my stick garden =>

I'm sure they'll pull through though, gave 'em a drink and they perked right up =) I cut down a smaller pot of peppers that had 3 plants together. Little twiglets that they were singly, together they had a dense head of foliage & peppers.
In the interest of getting a grip on the aphids, I cut 'em back to stubs, leaving a leaf or 2 on each plant.

I'll wait to see if this gets rid of 'em before I treat again.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 8:30AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I completely agree with Tsheets and Bruce :-)
And Hookilau, your set-up (windows) sounds just like mine....with the Jades and succulents.
If Osmocote is all the nutrient you included, you will need to supplement eventually. I add
a little Osmocote to get the plants transitioned, then I fertilize at half-strength with Foliage Pro
a time or two per month.


    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 9:51AM
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