Overwinter Your Pepper Plants In Any Climate! Don’t throw away those spent pepper plants at the end of the year, even if you get the worst winters. Pepper plants are actually perennial by nature. No matter where you live, you can keep your Pepper plants over winter and restart them again in the spring! This will eliminate the need to start seeds all over again next year, and your plants will be further ahead and more advanced when the warm weather returns!
In this article, I will share with you the 3 easy steps to save your huge adult Pepper plants from this year, all the way through winter, right into next spring’s bud burst!
Over wintering your pepper plants is done in three steps: pruning, digging and replanting.
Do note that if you live in an area that stays above 60 degrees Fahrenheit or 15 degrees celsius you can leave your peppers in the ground all year. If you don’t get a true winter or even a frost you can just leave your peppers in the ground. Covering them for those rare days where the temperature does dip.
For the rest of us, it’s time to get to work.
3 Easy steps to overwinter pepper plants
Pruning should be done first, and you should start approximately three to four weeks before the first fall frost date. The goal here is to remove the bulk of the stems and foliage without killing the plants.
For all but the branches of varieties, I take them down to a maximum of one to two nodes above that first Y.
Let me guide you through what that means. Pepper plants branch off in a series of Y junctions known as nodes. At level 1 we have the initial node. What we want to do is take the plants down to one or two levels above that first Y.
If it makes it easier to see what you’re doing you can cut off all the foliage first, because the end result is a bare stem with only three to four nodes remaining.
It seems harsh but that’s the reality of overwintering peppers.
With the majority of the foliage and branches gone our simplified peppers can now be dug up. Pepper plants have extensive root systems but we just want the immediate root ball.
Try to get as much as you can though but a one-foot radius around the plant is usually enough. I shake off as much soil as possible and go fresh for the repotting.
Give your peppers a decent size pot two gallons or so but nothing too crazy. Their growth will be limited over their time indoors and if you’re doing several pepper plants space can get tight pretty quick.
Using a sterile organic potting mix, plant your peppers right up to their original root color, where the stem meets the soil.
As an aside I also take the time to spray these guys down with a natural soap insecticide, because aphid and pest outbreaks are not only common but they’re also severe with no natural pressures to keep their populations in check indoors.
If the soil is quite moist no need to water right away and in fact, our watering schedule will be much more infrequent than it is in the summer.
Give the plants a few hours of light daily and try to keep the temperatures below 65 degrees Fahrenheit or 18 degrees Celsius. An unheated garage or solarium works best.
We’re not actually trying to grow the pepper plants we’re just trying to keep them alive in a semi-dormant state. Water the plants once a month or so and prepare for replanting outside at least three to four weeks after your last spring frost.
We are bringing You can now enjoy the delight of successfully overwintering your pepper plants. Thanks for reading guys. Happy gardening!
FAQs on how to overwinter pepper plants
Can you keep a pepper plant alive over winter?
Yes, however, if you live in a location that frequently encounters frost or cold temperatures, you must protect them. A fantastic method to start your upcoming growing season with strong, mature plants is to overwinter peppers indoors.
Can you overwinter peppers in the dark?
The peppers will become dormant if left in a dark, dry, and cool environment.
Do pepper plants need light to overwinter?
A high-quality, full-spectrum LED can be used to add more light if necessary.
What temperature should you overwinter peppers?
Peppers should be overwintered between 55-65°F (13-18°C).
Can pepper plants live multiple years?
Yes, peppers can live for a very long period if provided adequate protection from the cold.
How many years can you overwinter peppers?
I’ve always succeeded in successfully overwintering a variety of pepper plants, including serranos and habaneros. If you take care, your plants could live for ten years or longer!