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Overwintering Chillies – Update 3

Disaster has struck my efforts to overwinter a number of chilli plants.

Before going away for a 3 week holiday in the new year I entrusted my overwintering plants top my fathers care as I didn’t want to leave them unwatered for about 3 and a half weeks. At my dads they were moved to a workshop window where there was minimal heating compared to my warm living room.

Well upon my return I received news that the plants had not taken well to the sudden change in temperature. They had dropped all of their leaves and looked decidedly unhappy with life.

Overwintering Failure

I brought them back home and kept them watered in the hope that they would survive however i’ve now come to accept that they have not made it through the winter.

While obviously disappointed that all of my plants failed to make it through the winter I have learned a valuable lesson for next year. Overwintering chilli plants require a warm consistent temperature. It was most likely the sudden shock of moving from my warm flat to a cold workshop that killed them.

I know they are dead because when I snipped the stems of a few of them the inside was completely dried out and hollow.

Oh well, onwards and upwards…best i get on and plant some seeds to make up the loss!

Does anyone have any success stories with overwintering this year? If so do leave a comment below.

4 comments… add one
  • Simon April 8, 2010, 10:57 am

    Many thanks. I will follow your advice and keep you updated.

  • Simon April 6, 2010, 2:27 pm

    Sorry to hear the bad luck with your plants. I\’ve overwintered my Apache chilli plants after reading your helpful blog last year. I\’ve cut them back and kept them indoors all this time since taking them in from the greenhouse, around October last year.

    The plants sprouted leaves in month and are currently sprouting a few more with a couple of buds appearing on one.

    I was just wondering should I add some fertilizer to the pots now or is it too early? I\’ve got some dry fertilizer specially designed for Chillies.

    • the king April 6, 2010, 8:52 pm

      @simon I would say it is about the right time. I would also consider re-potting (depending on the size of pot you are currently using). Re-potting in a slightly larger pot with some fresh compost & fertilizer (try not to disturb the root ball too much!) should enable the plant the conditions to put some good growth on when the weather warms up a bit.

      Good luck and let us know how you get on!

  • Jennie March 21, 2010, 11:06 am

    George, my habanero, has survived the winter quite well. He is gamely sprouting new leaves as I type. I didn’t move him from my bedroom windowsill at all once he’d been pruned, so I think you’re right, a consistent environment is key.

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