You’ve waited patiently through those cold winter months and your supply of dried and frozen peppers is dwindling, so what now? In this video, Pepper Joe shows you the fundamentals to overwinter your chile pepper plants. They look pretty scraggly in the early spring, but don’t give up on them. So bring them inside before winter starts. Enjoy peppers all year long. Some of these links may be affiliate in nature, meaning we earn small commissions if items are purchased. If the word “frost” features in your climate, you’ll need to pot up your plants and bring them into your home – or a garage, shed, or greenhouse. Many gardeners treat hot peppers as annuals, and simply start new ones from seed in the winter months, ready to set out when the weather warms up in spring. If this is so, then the conditions will force your pepper plants to become dormant. It is not easy to keep plants alive. What Are the Types? You should instead cut back on the watering. Those who do not overwinter, have to start afresh once winter is over and wait for weeks to start enjoying their own fresh produce again. I’ve had good success with the majority of my hot peppers, but as mentioned, I expect to lose a few. Many people are happily surprised to find out that peppers are actually a perennial plant if you live in a tropical or warm climate. If you need a refresher on how to care for your pepper plants, take a look at our growing guide. Overwintering peppers can help extend your picking period. Hi Bing, you should definitely try it! You cannot overwinter pepper plants outside. Would you like to try your hand at growing ghost peppers? because I didn't want all the plants energy going to trying to grow these fruits over winter. Thanks a lot! Overwintering Peppers: Extending Your Plant's Life | Epic Gardening For those that keep producing (albeit a little slower), I would continue your regular fertilization schedule right up until you put them “to bed.”. I used to do this, but over the years as my “pepper obsession” grew, so did my collection of unusual varieties. I like to use fresh, well-draining potting soil to fill around the root ball. plants indoors to protect them from harsh wintry weather and replant them once winter. Cutting back on the watering will make your pepper plants switch into dormancy/ survival mode. Some pepper growers like to repot their plants at the same time as pruning. Flowers came off until it was warm for outside; they also got a month of “cooler at night” treatment as seedlings. If you succeed in overwintering, you can resume enjoying your flavorful peppers much earlier after winter and without spending a lot of time in your garden. In my experience, jalapenos often don’t make it, but my favorite brain-melter, the ghost pepper, seems to come back flying and fruiting after a long day’s journey into the winter night. Several of the pods would begin rotting from the stem end. Which is why from the middle of winter my grow tent is filled with a number of seedlings – and my electricity bill is suffering. If you find whiteflies or aphids, give them a blast of water from the hose or a light dose of neem oil or insecticidal soap. Uncredited photos: Shutterstock. I’m going to try it with some non-hot peppers–what the heck?–even though it sounds like you’ve experienced the trend that “heat of pepper proportional to survivability.” And I thought I had a lot of pepper plants (22) but you have a ton (38)! As soon as you see signs of new growth, you can gradually start to increase your watering. They will give your plants the light and warmth they need to regrow. I don’t typically do this, but I’m diligent about repotting during the growing season, before the plants set fruit. Your plants may survive if the temperature drops below this for a short period of time, but you’re heading into risky territory. You will simply have to do more than leave the pot sitting on the patio. Hot peppers can be a bit bad-tempered about transplanting, so you’ll need to do this very carefully – and keep in mind that the stress of digging up and potting up might cause your overwintering efforts to come to naught. I say “in some cases” because not all plants survive the overwintering process, for a variety of reasons. For my larger plants, particularly those that have already been overwintered in the past, I give them a severe haircut. If you’re not sure, you can use a moisture meter to check the level in the soil. You should also carefully spray down each of your pepper plants before you move them indoors. What “non-hot” hot peppers are you growing? You can also buy ready specimens for transplanting but bell peppers are relatively easy to grow from seed. . Remove all the foliage. I overwintered a half dozen plants last year, Habaneros to Bell peppers with pretty good results. I use this one available on Amazon, and when the reading shows between two and three at one inch deep, it’s time to water. However, you should not do it. I'm growing in that zone right now and would really like to get these to survive the winter into next year. Overwintering Pepper Plants Outdoors. One Habanero produced up to mid December. Overwintering peppers isn’t overly complicated, but below are a few tips to make the process successful. Because as you can see in the post, overwintering plants do not require a lot of effort or energy and costs almost nothing. (coming soon!). If your pepper plants are in pots, simply move them indoors. Moreover, there is no harm in trying. Overwintering. If you applied fertilizer before dormancy, the plants should have everything they need to get a good jump on the growing season. Let me know how it goes . 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