Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Overwintering Peppers Indoors - Day One

I first entertained the idea of overwintering peppers about a month ago.  This past weekend, I decided to pull the trigger and go for it.  First, we took the two cayenne pepper plants in the five-gallon bucket and tipped the whole thing upside-down.  While Keith was holding the plants and the top of the soil (which was now at the bottom) in his hands, I lopped off about a third of the roots from the bottom of the soil (which was now at the top) and separated the smaller pepper plant from the larger one.  The larger plant got transplanted into a new pot to be brought inside for the winter.

Here is the pepper plant in its new pot and new indoor space for the winter.  I pulled off all the damaged leaves from the bottom, so the plant looks a bit bare at the moment.  That is a south-facing window behind the pepper plant, so I hope the plant can get enough sunlight to survive the winter indoors.  I'm definitely not expecting the plant to thrive indoors - I'm willing to settle for any level of "alive"! 

Here's a close-up of the pepper plant.  As you can see, this plant still has lots of green cayenne peppers.  If they ever turn red, this pepper plant is going to look really pretty!  Well, it already looks like a pretty houseplant in the living room, and Keith and I are very happy to have some greenery in the house.  But with some red peppers, I'm sure it will look even prettier.

I'm really curious to see how this will work out.  I'll be providing regular update during this winter for those of you who may be curious.

Linked to: Tuesday Garden Party


meemsnyc said...

I love bringing pepper plants inside. We did this with our habanero plant last year and it did really well!

Ribbit said...

I hope it works out for you!

Ribbit said...

I hope it works out for you!

Ottawa Gardener said...

Will keep looking for updates. My habenero that I overwintered is gorgeous this year. Long cayenne has worked quite well for me in the past.

Dan Owen said...

Looks pretty neat. I'm betting that while the pepper plant may not grow much over the winter, it will resume operations in the spring!

Mr. H. said...

I am looking forward to seeing how your peppers overwinter for you. I have not decided if we will try this or not...but I might. Here is a good link that "Granny" gave me a while back on overwintering peppers.

xoxoxo said...

Ooh--I may have to try this! I want to see my jalapenos turn red! We have eaten most our cayenne green and they were pretty good and spicy!

Annie's Granny said...

You know what I love about you? You are the most adventurous gardener I've ever "met"! I just love it that you tumble right into gardening head first. Be damned if anyone else has ever tried and failed, you're gonna do it! I think I predicted Lupe would never come to be, as she just did not have time to ripen. You proved me wrong, and I'm sure glad you did. Never again will I tell you and Keith that you can't do everything you put your hearts to. I have a feeling your pepper plant will not only survive, but will thrive.

upinak said...

Thyme. I have done this. Here is a suggestion... you know, they are like opinions, but this helped and worked out very well.

Use tepid water only.. even a little luke warmish, or more warmish. They do not like cold indoors.

And put a pinch of epson salt in the next watering. They will like it.

Faith said...

The pepper plant looks very nice. I am out of south facing window room. All of mine froze anyway.

Vanessa said...

You've inspired me! I think I am going to transplant my peppers this weekend and move them inside. I look forward to seeing how well yours do!!

Sara said...

It is a fun project. I have brought basil in, too. You have the baby ones you started. Everything is good for me until about the end of December, and then usually they get aphids from somewhere. I kinda let it go after that. A pepper plant with red peppers makes a wonderful Christmas time decoration. I like your enthusiasm.

thyme2garden said...

meemsnyc - That's so nice to hear that the pepper overwintering worked well for you! Were you by any chance able to compare the productivity between first and second year habanero pepper plants this year, if you had any new plants? I've read that some second year pepper plants are much more productive than first year plants, so I'm really curious to find out.

* * * * *
Ribbit - thank you!

* * * * *
Ottawa Gardener - I've read your posts on overwintering peppers and am very encouraged by your successful results!

* * * * *
Dan Owen - that's what hoping for!

* * * * *
Mr. H. - thank you for the link! I actually stumbled upon that site a while ago when I was researching this topic, but did not think to bookmark it. But now I've got it, thanks to you!

* * * * *
xoxoxo - I hope it works for you and that you can get some red jalapenos! The website Mr. H. provided the link to says that jalapenos seem harder than other hot peppers to overwinter. But you never know until you try it yourself!

* * * * *
Granny - reading this comment from you just made my day today. Thank you so much! You're still my number one inspiration for taking vegetable gardening more seriously and documenting it on this blog - all because I stumbled upon your blog by chance one day! I enjoy adventure gardening because even with the risk of failure, I still feel that the potential loss (time, seed, garden space) is much less compared to the potential gain of the experience growing something new or unlikely, which is just priceless!

* * * * *
upinak - thank you for the suggestion! I'll definitely try that this winter.

* * * * *
Faith - south-facing windows with any room for planter pots are very rare in our house, too. This pepper plant's got prime real estate in the indoor gardening space right now!

* * * * *
Vanessa - with your location in southern CA, I wonder if you really need to transplant your peppers indoors?

zentmrs said...

I'm interested to see how it comes out! I think the transplant already went better than I would expect mine to! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Good luck with the peppers! I am looking forward to see how will they overwinter. It will be very interesting to see if they will grow new flowers during winter.

thyme2garden said...

Sara - Do you get aphids indoors, too? Ugh, that would certainly be yucky. I think I definitely have the first-year gardener enthusiasm this year. We'll see if it lasts through next year. :)

* * * * *
zentmrs - I wasn't sure if the soil would hold together while we held it upside down, but thanksfully it did!

* * * * *
vrtlarica - thank you! I'm also anxious to find out how this plant reacts to reduced sunlight indoors.

Jami said...

I'll sure be following this- I love all the experiments you guys do! Thanks for joining the Tuesday Garden Party!

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