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Overwintering Chillies – Update 2

Back in mid October I prepared my chilli plants for overwintering.  I chose 9 plants in total; 2 varieties of habanero, 1 birds eye, 1 apache, 1 Bulgarian Carrot and 1 Super Chilli F1. They were all chopped back so that only about 5 inches of the stem remained and they were moved inside onto a south facing window sill in the living room.

Because I didn’t plant any seeds  until March this year, some of the plants had only just started to fruit so taking them through the winter seemed like an ideal way to get the most out of the plants by letting them fruit into a second year.

In my  last update in mid November the plants had burst back into life. Well i can report that they have continued to do so. In fact so much so that some of the plants are flowering again! It will be interesting to see if any of them produce any fruit. The main reason they have come back to life i am sure is because of the constant warm temperatures they now get on their sunny living room window sill.

At this stage i am unsure whether to leave them be or to cut them back again to try and help them conserve energy and go dormant for a month or two. What I am going to do is leave about half the plants as they are and re trim the remainder back to about 5 inches above the stem.

I’ll report back on the progress in another month or so. I’d be interested to hear about your success (or not) stories about over wintering chillies.

7 comments… add one
  • &E September 19, 2010, 11:44 pm

    Hi there,
    Well a whole season has come and almost gone, but the orange hab has been doing its thing for about a year now. About may/june the tiny berries started to be replaced by bigger and bigger ones. The peppers are now about 11/2- 2″ long, thick walled, smooth and waxy, with a kick like a mule. The plant is still quite small, 12″ high, 18″ wide, but I’ve just had a quick count up and there are about 25 or 30 green fruit. What a plant! I must have had about 60 or 70 peppers from it in about a year. It’s looking a bit shot now – leaves are definitely on the yellow side, but I’ll try re-potting next week – I’d hate to lose it now.
    A quick word on pests. It was overwintered on windowsills at home and work, and I thought that I’d keep it indoors for the growing season, but it got so many pests that I was spraying it every 2-3 weeks, and I hate doing that. So I brought it home and put it in the garden. In the space of a couple of days, the copious numbers of robber flies had hoovered up all the pests. I watched them at it and those things are beautiful – they just vacuum up the aphids. It was the same with all my chilli plants. Indoors – constant pest farms. Outdoors, clean as a whistle in 3 days flat. Ain’t nature wonderful!

    All the best.

  • the king March 3, 2010, 3:41 pm

    AE – Glad to hear the hab is still going strongish! I have read that it is best to remove dead leaves (and fruit) during the over wintering phase in order to help the plant conserve it’s energy. That said if it is still ok now then i’d be inclined to keep doing what you are doing! If it aint broke, don’t fix it!

  • &E February 23, 2010, 12:43 am

    That crazy habanero is still at it. It’s looking a bit tired now, but it’s still got about 1/2 dozen flowers, and there must be about 20 tiny fruit with the remains of the petals still attached. They’ve happened in the last week or so, but there’s a couple of ripe ones as well that must have started during the big freeze. There’s a lot of dead flowers that didn’t make it, and a bit of leaf drop, and it does look a bit jaded compared to how it was last month, but it’s still doing OK. I just took a photo of it, and it’s amazing how the flash highlights the whitefly!

    …which is why it might be looking jaded I guess.


  • the king January 31, 2010, 5:09 pm

    Black Spot on chillies…

    Well first off i’d say try to remove the affected leaves. This will help control the spread of black spots.

    Try to position the plant to get as much direct sunlight as possible and if possible have it somewhere where there is good air circulation. Also avoid watering the foliage, just water at the very base of the main stem.

    Be sure to let us know how the over wintering goes…

  • &E January 7, 2010, 11:33 pm

    Hi there.
    Well it’s thick snow and ice outside, but my orange habanero is still flowering and fruiting like a good un on the not so sunny kitchen windowsill. The fruit are really small – about the size of peas, but without seeds, and perhaps a bit milder than expected.

    I’ve also got some Rocotos at work that I cut back, but they’re putting out shoots again. Some of the older leaves have developed black spot. Got any favourite organic remedies for that?



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