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stella1751
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garden5 wrote:TZ, that's pretty neat.

Apps, how have the plants been doing so far? How long have you had them inside?

Unfortunately, my bhut jolokia plants did not make it, so there will no overwintering of pepper for me this year. At least I can still read about how you all are doing with it :).
Garden5, I am so sorry to hear the bhut jolokia plants didn't make it! I know you were really looking forward to keeping them over the winter :cry:

My Frankenchile is doing fine. I seriously cut it way down, like in TZ's thread, and now it's putting out new growth. If it survives another month or so, I'll be thinking about actually dividing it into two plants. I'm crossing my fingers, though. Five more months before it can enjoy a brief stint outside in the sun it craves :shock:
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For overwintering you just want to keep them alive, so houseplant light and temps will do that. They may get leggy, and if they do you can prune them before you put them back in the garden. One post on it a couple of years ago on another forum,.. the guy tried to keep them dormant as long as possible in a cool room with low light...mainly because it was the out of the way space he had available.

I lost most of mine last year because I didn't keep them evenly watered. They would sprout, and then the sprouts would die from lack of water (with the pruned roots they can't pull water from the soil very well and new roots die off in the dry soil). I would water again, get more sprouts etc, but finally they gave up. The ones that lived were in smaller pots and I had better access to them. Hauling 2-5 gallon pots around the house to water was prohibited by laziness and holiday visitors with dogs.

They resprout pretty soon at room temperature (like within a week or two), but I have a commercial small sweet pepper (saved seed from the super market) that seems to be determinant in that it has not shown any sprouts yet, while my habanero and others are already putting out little leaves.

No guarantees. I have two small Cumari plants (habanero relative) that are dropping leaves like crazy and all I did was bring them inside without repotting. It may be a tropical plant thing (cold) or I over watered. I killed the same thing last year.

For the bonzai you would want brighter light and baby them to get roots growing in those little pots.

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OK, thanks, TZ! :D

My 2 minimally pruned (meaning not too severely) and potted in reasonably sized pots and still fruiting Jalapenos in the kitchen window that were brought inside earlier to keep going are doing fairly well. Only issue being that ants have found them and have been bringing aphids to pasture on them. Luckily, several house spiders have hatched and came down from the ceiling to spin tiny webs on them, so I'm letting them do some of the work while I squish any aphids that are where I can reach. I did give these Jalapeno plants an additional pruning since the aphid infestation, trimming any inward growing branches, so I can get in to take care of them better. One has 10 and the other has 5 fruits. I expect them to keep fruiting through the winter the way I saw the other one do last winter, though the extra pruning may or may not have sabotaged that plan.

I have a wimpy looking Fish pepper that were in smallish container through the summer that is also getting hit by aphids. My first bunch of cuttings mostly died due to lack of attention, but I've started some more cuttings and they're under the seed starting lights in the Indoor Seed Starting area used to grow the pepper seedlings in the spring, sitting on the heating mat, and getting regularly misted. Some of their leaves look wilted, but that's better than the last batch that ended up moldy and rotten from overwatering as well as from sitting in their plastic bag covers in direct sunlight (ALL the wrong things you can do to cuttings :roll:) Aphids there again. So they have been soap sprayed and dusted with diatomaceous earth. No fun dealing with all these pests so early in the overwintering garden, but if I get a good handle on them now, maybe I'll have less problems with them later on.

Out of the ones still in garage and in grocery bags, the largest Aji Dulce pepper is starting to yellow and wilt -- too cold? Same with a Cubanell Banana. Others are looking pretty good and a couple that were already potted and that I've brought inside have pretty healthy looking remaining leaves.

I guess I'll just keep going, leave the ones I brought inside to sprout and recover/resume growing, and get around to pruning and potting up the ones out in the garage as I can.

The Aji Dulce had a lot of green fruits that have slowly colored up over the last couple of weeks in the garage. My initial plan was to let them color then harvest, then prune the heck out of the plant, pot up and bring in.

I also have a large Anaheim out there that I definitely want to save. So far, it's looking good despite the temporary bagged roots (i.e. severe root pruning) and only having been pruned to 1/3 of the original top growth (i.e. still 2+' tall). This one doesn't have any fruits, and my vague idea was that if I let it keep the foliage while being out in the cold garage, it might go through the pre-dormancy process of transferring nutrients and energy from the foliage to the roots before I cut away the top branches....

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Stella, thanks for your condolences. I really did want to save the plants until next year. However, I do have some good new regarding the bhut jolokia.

I got seed!

The 3 peppers on the plants that I brought in started to go soft and mushy after a few days, that means they got hit by the frost as well. I took the peppers and harvested the seed.

Two of them were deep orange and each gave up about 50 seeds, almost all of which sunk in water after a few minuets. The third one was green and the seeds did not float, so I don't have very high hopes for them.

There's just one problem, though. I have no idea if they cross pollinated with any other peppers. I'll be making a thread on this subject later. I guess I'll just have to try and see what happens. At 5 seeds for $15, I couldn't afford not to.
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Garden5, that is great news about your seeds! I had no idea that the original seeds cost that much. Man, that seems like a lot of money to spend for seeds. May as well trade a cow for 'em :shock:

I didn't think to sink my seeds. Darn. I did start two of them a week ago. If they're not up in a week, I guess I will know whether or not I got viable ones, right? I will try again, though. It's hard to start seeds at this time of the year in my drafty house!
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Not every seed will be viable stella, I once planted 6 white habanero seeds and all 6 sprouted, but later I started 2 and got nothing. Some seeds are a pain and can take up to 4 weeks to germinate.

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make sure there nice and warm, peppers LOVE heat. i try and keep mine in the high 80s at all times when i start seeds in late winter.
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I think I over-heated one of them last night. Its soil was dry this morning. I am fighting my heating pad situation. I had bought a new pad, but it turned out I bought one of those safety pads that shut off automatically after an hour. After a week of turning it back on every hour after hour, I gave up and dug out my old heating pad from the basement.

Now it stays on all of the time, but I can't get even heat from it. I turned it up yesterday because I thought the pots were a tad cool, and I suspect I turned it up too high. Oh well. One of them stayed moist, and I have plenty of seeds and plenty of time to keep experimenting, just in case I killed the dry one :roll:

Next spring, I am going to buy one of those pads make exclusively for plants!
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One way to compensate for overeager heating device is to insulate the pots with heavier or extra trays, or metal (distributes/dissipates the heat) drip trays, or by raising the pots a little bit higher -- I usually reuse shallow plastic food trays or old slitted broiler pan tray for this (the main broiler pan tray works well as the metal drip tray as do reused aluminum food trays). :wink:

The one pot that dried could be sitting on a hotspot or it may have had less moisture in the soil. For smaller containers of same/similar potting soil mix with similarly sized plants, "hefting" and judging the weight by feel is a good way to get an idea of moisture level of the soil. I do that with seedlings in spring.

Oh, if you DO use aluminum food trays for drip tray, be aware that they sometimes develop pin holes in them -- assuming acid eating away at the thin metal -- so either double the tray with second aluminum or use a secondary back up tray underneath.

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I have them on a cute plastic Christmas tree tray. Normally I use cookie sheets, but this tray made me feel much more festive, walking past and listening to the little guys belt out chorus after chorus of Feliz Navidad :lol:

The one that dried out is on a hot spot on the coil beneath. I should have noticed it sooner. The one in front of it, off the coil, stayed moist, but this one was in the shadow cast by a potted cutting, so I misread its condition.

It may be fine. I doubt it, but it's possible there was moisture underneath. I soaked it as soon as I noticed the problem. Like you, I heft the little pots to check for moisture content. However, I potted these in that Miracle Gro Moisture Control soil, and I think that's skewing my normal ability to assess moisture. The coconut peat seems to make that soil lighter than normal, so a moist plant just doesn't feel as heavy.

I'll know soon enough, I suspect. Generally it takes pepper seeds anywhere from 10 to 16 days to germinate under these conditions. Today is day 7. I shall be watching them both anxiously for the next 3 to 9 days!
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My cuttings lost most of their leaves but I see tiny new growth on about 1/2 dozen of them, and another 1/2 doz. that still look alive, while yet another 1/2doz. cuttings are starting to have yellowed stems which seems like a bad sign. I have been hard spraying with soapy with a few drops of oil home made spray, waiting a while then dilute misting with plain water every day or every other day. I wait until the foliage is dry then put their perforated clear cup plastic covers on them. I think this regular spray/misting routine is helping not only with the aphids which had reached impossible infestation at one point, but with nurturing the cuttings. :D

Some of the inside peppers are showing signs of new growth while most of the garage plants are still doing OK. Aji Dulce is starting to yellow and I'm concerned but hopefully it'll pick up and recover once it's inside. :wink:

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I have four cuttings left out of the six I started. One is losing its leaves but is green in the center; one is hanging in there but may begin losing leaves soon; two look quite promising, with teeny-tiny new growth in the center.

Like you, I've been misting them regularly, once every one to two hours. Late last summer, DigitS mentioned something about a misting propagation tray at a place he used to work. (I think it was DigitS.) It made a lot of sense, so I've been trying that ever since I lost the first two.

What did you use for rooting hormone? The Frankenchile could use a little off the side in a week or two, and I'd like to root anything I remove from it.

What kind of oil are you using in your spray and why? I've been misting mine with a seaweed dilute.

Are the little black bugs aphids? The house has become one big Novemberfest to them now, and I hate the way they buzz me when I am working. You know something? I never, NEVER, see this kind of a bug outside, but the minute I move a plant into the house, they somehow manage to hitch a ride :evil:
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I'm not using rooting hormone. I wanted to see if they would root without. If I were to use any, I would go with willow tea/aspirin water or honey (though I'm avoiding honey right now because of the ants that are trying to pasture their aphids on my plants). There's one other natural rooting promoter that I can't recall right now.

Seaweed spray is a good idea. I recently sprayed them with 10% milk solution because there was a sudden mold outbreak on the soil and some of the dead/decayed leaves. Right now, the soil mix contains compost so I don't think mine needs supplemental nourishment. I *am* including them in the rotation of watering with used coffee grounds soaked filtered water, and they'll get a turn with diluted worm leachate water. I'll probably make small batch AACT later on -- late Jan/early Feb or so when my indoor plants seem to want to start growing new shoots.

Little black bugs.... fungus gnats? My standard attack is vacuuming the flying ones and dusting the soil with cinnamon and watering with chamomile tea. The soapy/oil spray I'm using right now should help as well since they soak into the soil and will kill the adult gnats. I just use few drops of canola oil in my little sprayer bottle or a "dribble" in the quart sized bottle. Shake well before spraying. I know at least in two areas, there are small centipedes living in the pots so they should be eating the gnat larvae.

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applestar wrote: Little black bugs.... fungus gnats? My standard attack is vacuuming the flying ones and dusting the soil with cinnamon and watering with chamomile tea. The soapy/oil spray I'm using right now should help as well since they soak into the soil and will kill the adult gnats. I just use few drops of canola oil in my little sprayer bottle or a "dribble" in the quart sized bottle. Shake well before spraying. I know at least in two areas, there are small centipedes living in the pots so they should be eating the gnat larvae.
Ah ha! I have long wondered what these little black bugs are! Thanks!

I looked them up online. They lay larvae that devour roots; nothing could be worse. No wonder the Habaneros bit the dust that time I tried to over-winter them.

The literature offers many ideas for getting rid of them. The one I do believe I will try first is the potato trick. It says to cut chunks of potatoes into 1.5" chunks and lay them on the surface of the soil. After three days, you chuck the potatoes and, hopefully, the new larvae laid in them by the adults.

Thanks again! I now know what they are, and I have many ideas to rid my house of them :twisted:
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Update: not all peppers act the same.

I am over wintering three differnt species of peppers (C anuum, C. baccatum, and C. chinense). For the most part they respond very quickly to "jump starting". The Bolivian Rainbow that had died back from lack of water before frost, is sprouting after only a week or so. The top looked completely dead when I pulled the plant out of the bucket. I shook all of the dirt off of the roots, cut the stem to 4-5 inches (to what looked like living tissue), set the roots in water for about 2 days and potted it. on the other hand I had a mini sweet pepper (seed saved from a super market pepper) that was pruned and repotted just after frost while it still had live leaves (just like the rest of the peppers I am winterizing). All of the other plants are leafing out out now (a month after pruning), but this sweet pepper has only put out one little leaf and a small sprout from dirt level.

I think that this may be due to some sort of determinant growth characteristic bred into it for commercial harvesting purposes. It may take a while for the hormones to switch off and/or the plant doesn't retain dormant lateral buds.

So what I have learned in the past month is that you may be able to reanimate a "dead" pepper plant well after the top dies off (before a hard freeze), and don't expect modern peppers to act the same way that wilder types do.

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my peppers just took a nice cold night of mid 20's last night in the greenhouse, still alive and kicking.
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Stella, I'm kind of concerned about my ghost pepper seeds, now. I dried them between paper towels for two weeks, but when I went to put them away the other day into envelopes, they looked slightly larger than other pepper seeds, a light brown (instead of yellow) and had tiny open slits in the sides. I can't say all had the slits, and I'm not about to tear open my sealed envelopes to find out :lol:.

I did take five of these seeds (all of which had sank right after being removed by the peppers) and put them in water and none of them sank. I hope some of them are still viable.

In contrast, I took some Chile pepper seeds I'd been drying (that had previously sank) and put them in water. They sank instantly.

I'll just have to wait until seed-starting time and see what happens.
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I have had good germination from floating seeds out of seed packs so don't toss them befor trying. It's hard to tell about the discolored seeds. Discoloration of the seeds within the fruit is often due to Alternaria infection that enters throught the flower end of the plant (follows the pollen in). The inside of the pod may or may not be moldy from this, but it can be passed on through the infected seed. I have a big problem with Alternaria infecting the pods of my habanero-types, not so much with the other peppers.

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i go by color and health of the seed rather than if it floats or not. slightly light and white-ish or a little to dark. they just get tossed into the forest garden as a last chance. i usually get about 90-95% germination.
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Thanks for the tips, guys. I'm definitely going to give them a try....for the price of them I can't afford not to :shock:!

Good to know that floaters still sprout. I'm not sure about alternaria, but I do know that the peppers were starting to rot (get mushy) on the plant since they were frost-bitten, so that may have something to do with it.

I'll have to let you all know in about two months how things sprout up :wink:.

Getting them to sprout is only half the battle......once they're up I'll have to wait and hope that at least one of the peppers was not cross-pollinated and still breeds true. Well, one thing at a time.
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I lost a few more cuttings but I have at least one (or more) survivor per pot in 7 pots. I somehow lost track of which is which :roll: Don't you hate that? I'd labeled the first set of cuttings very carefully, but when they died and I took additional cuttings, I was pressed for time and got my cuttings and pots mixed up. :oops: The surviving cuttings all have tiny leaves growing on them now. :D The cuttings without bottom heat and seed starting lights are mostly dead -- there's one that is still barely alive. So I'd say bottom heat and 70+°F day time ambient temp (as well as misting and ventilated humidity covers until healthy re-growth) are required for pepper cuttings. I probably would have had higher success rate using rooting agent though I'm satisfied with how these are turning out. 8)

The stub pruned potted peppers are also leafing out. :clap:

The ones in the garage are STILL out in the garage (along with pineapple sages and tropical milkweeds, pomegranates... a seed grown heliotrope and seedling Japanese maple, too). :roll: Still alive, but after todays unseasonable 60°F weather, I'm sure we're going back to normal Dec weather. I did bring in the pots to pot them up in, but didn't get the chance to bring in the compost, garden soil, and sand to make my container mix with.... :? I also have an email query out to an ag co-op to see if they still have organic potting soil and am waiting on their reply. I'll use whichever turns out to be simpler. If the ag co-op has the bagged soil, I'll drive out and will have the chance to get some good quality holiday plants for gifts, and maybe Espoma Citrus-tone for my citruses and avocados... Maybe for the mango and pineapples(?) as well.

The garage plants have 16 hours of single T-12 shop light on them (sideways due to the "temporary" nature of the set up) -- reflected with a couple of windshield sun reflectors behind them :wink: -- and they're not too far from the chest freezer so maybe they're getting a tiny bit of compensating heat from that.
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I harvested the final peppers off my Red Beauty, and all but 1 from a "Long Slim Cayenne" which tastes way too much like Doritos Sweet Chili Heat chips... which is awesome. But anyways, I hacked them down to nothing, they should survive the winter however, they do have enough new growth down low. Now to wait a few more days to harvest my Sweet Cayenne, and prune that way back so I can fit more plants on the top shelf. Yay for winter "Gardening"

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It IS a lot of fun, isn't it? :D

I was just tending the cuttings and wanted to add that under the same set up as the pepper cuttings, about 50% of Pineapple Sage cuttings and 2 out of 6 Lemon Verbena cuttings have survived and are showing new growth. :-()

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I'm now at a 33% survival rate on my cuttings. Two did not survive the rooting process; I over-watered one :oops: ; another just cocked up its roots and died. Of the two cuttings left, I have high hopes for only one, the other has begun to fade.

Interesting thought: Every last one wanted to put on buds rather than new leaves. I pinched off the buds on the first two rooted cuttings, thinking that would make them concentrate on root growth. They never did put on leaves. I am letting the last one, the one that looks the best, do its own thing. The blossoms are about to open. I will have to pinch them off if they bloom, but I think peppers want to set fruit and become depressed when thwarted.
TZ-OH6 wrote:Discoloration of the seeds within the fruit is often due to Alternaria infection that enters throught the flower end of the plant (follows the pollen in).
I have always wondered what caused that. Thanks!
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Stella, you reminded me -- I stuck a couple of cuttings in the same pot as the Quadrato d'Asti Giallo in a big pot. This is the same plant I overwintered last year in the kitchen window. This one's going to be my experimental perennial bell pepper.

The cuttings were another experiment based on the notion that cuttings rooted in the same living soil foodweb community as the mother plant will have an advantage.

Because the large container of soil supplies elevated humidity around them, I didn't use anything to cover the cuttings, though they did get misted almost every morning, especially on days when the container wasn't watered. This container also has my ginger fingers growing in it so it gets watered a bit more frequently than is my usual practice for peppers. I have the container in an upstairs SE facing bedroom which gets pretty warm during the day and is used for no bottom heat/room temp (70~72°F) seed starting in spring.

ANYWAY, enough background! :lol: The two cuttings are still alive with tiny leaves on them that were on the original cuttings (not new growth). One of them flowered but the flower has browned and shriveled.

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Thanks for the update Apps and the background! It looks like we can say that pepper cuttings prefer warm soil temps and abundant light to root. Also higher humidity.

What kind of mix were the surviving ones in?
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RIP, Frankenchile. The fungus gnats got it. Fearful of over-watering, I let the soil dry until the pot was light as a feather. I gave it a healthy watering, probably awakening hundreds of fungus gnat larvae. Within three days, my sweet hot-pepper plant was gone, wilted to the point of non-existence. It's still alive, but barely, its leaves drooping straight to the soil.

I grabbed some Sevin powder that's been sitting around for at least a decade, dusting Frankenchile and the one remaining cutting. Yes, the fungus gnats killed the rest of 'em. I thought I was over-watering, but from what I've read about this nasty bug, it's the moist environment conducive to larvae feeding that has killed everyone. It's a Catch-22: If you don't water, the plants die; if you do water, the plants die.

Yeah, I hate to use chemicals. I hate worse to lose this wonderful, irreplaceable pepper plant.

Applestar, can the remaining Frankenchile cutting come over to your house to play? Like, for six months or so.

I am dejected :cry:
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That really stinks, Stella. I've never heard of gnats killing a plant :shock:. I'll have to keep that in mind. At least you still have one left. Perhaps move it to another part of the house, maybe after the gnats hatch?

I know: water it, let them hatch, then take the shop-vac to 'em.

Good luck with the last cutting.
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Ohh, sorry to hear that Stella. Don't forget rainbowgardener's success with watering seedlings with with water steeped with chamomile tea and cinnamonstick.

I think cuttings as well as seedlings are vulnerable because of limited and fragile (and no doubt succulent) young roots.

I'm having aphid problems in my house, Stella. Green and red ones on the peppers and yellow with black legged ones on the tropical milkweed. So far, they are under control, though I won't cancel the BOLO -- Be On the Look Out for... -- yet. (I feel like we're planning a playdate -- my kids are just getting over a cold... well, mine just had the chicken pox vaccination... :lol:)

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applestar wrote: (I feel like we're planning a playdate -- my kids are just getting over a cold... well, mine just had the chicken pox vaccination... :lol:)
Thanks for the heads up about the aphids. My first panicked thought when I saw Frankenchile dying was "How close is New Jersey?" If you lived in town, Applestar, you would have heard me banging on your door at 3 AM, the Frankenchilette bundled up in footie-pajamas and me begging you to take it in. Clearly, I just don't know enough about rooting cuttings and bringing plants indoors for the winter.

There is one sprig left alive on Frankenchile, a sucker on the main stem. The rest of the leaves have begun to wither and die. Whenever I pass the plant, now setting on the dishwasher in the kitchen, I tell myself that if the soil can only dry, the plant will actually live. I'm dreaming; I know.

The Frankenchilette is hanging in there. It occurred to me this morning that my 70's era heating pad might be contributing to its problems. I took it off the tray and touch-tested the surface. Yep, too hot :roll:

The way I see it, what with the fungus gnats and the heating pad and my abysmal lack of knowledge, these two remaining summer treasures are living despite me.

How far is New Jersey from Wyoming?
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Apps, you could take the one with green and red aphids on it and use it as a Christmas decoration. Have you tried spraying them with a very mild soap/water solution?
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Pah-dum-pum. G5, your future as standup comic is very questionable. :lol:

I spray with a dribble of Dr. Bronner's Peppermint liquid soap and a drop or two of canola oil in about 1 qt of water, wait 5~10 min, then spray with filtered water.

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soil
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so do you think your plant you uprooted and brought in is dead because the leaves are drying out and dying? every single pepper i brought to my GH looks to what most would call "dead". the top growth and growth stems are actually dead though, you can tell by the color( dark greenish, soft looking) next years new growth will all come from dormant buds under the stem lower on the plant, the thicker woody stems. eventually your probably going to chop off all the top growth in the spring( or whatever dies) to let the plant regrow again. in really warm winter climates they don't loose leaves, but if its cold, expect to loose 90-100% of them.
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

garden5
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Good tip, Soil, I'll definitely remember that. That is how my hot peppers looked when I brought them in. After reading this, I probably would have tried keeping them, but they got hit by a pretty hard freeze (they were under buckets, but still). If the did not get hit with the freeze, they probably would have made it. Oh well, there is always next year.
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TZ -OH6
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If the plants were frozen you might be able to get sprouts from the soil line or below, but that was before we got hit with bitter weather.
Last edited by TZ -OH6 on Thu Dec 09, 2010 4:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

garden5
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TZ -OH6 wrote:If the plants were frozen you might be able to get sprouts from the soil line or below, but that was befor we got hit with bitter weather.
Yeah, the peppers are sitting outside under 5 in. of snow, so I don't see them re-sprouting anytime soon. I have learned so much about overwintering peppers this year so I fell more confident about trying it next year. Hopefully I'll be more successful then.
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stella1751
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garden5 wrote:I have learned so much about overwintering peppers this year so I fell more confident about trying it next year. Hopefully I'll be more successful then.
That's exactly how I feel, Garden5! Even if this year's cuttings and over-wintering projects have fallen flat, next year I will do much better. I will learn from this experience. Why does it all seem so easy in print :shock:

We can't anticipate all the bad things that will happen, all the nasty bumps ahead. Next year, well, I will definitely change my starter soil mix for the cuttings, and I will not let the fungus gnats become so firmly established that they are able to fell a healthy plant. I will also get started earlier on this, not waiting until the last minute like I did this year.

The tiny sprig on the mature plant is still alive. Yesterday, I plucked off all the dead foliage, so now it has one long slender, leafless sucker coming out of the base of one short, thick stem that has a little three-leaf sprig stuck to it, about halfway up its side. While picking off dead leaves, I noticed the soil surface was crawling with fungus gnats. A new hatch must have taken place, so the Sevin powder clearly didn't work.

Ted had mentioned that "thuricide bacterial treatment" worked on fungus gnats, so I dug through my garden shed and found a canister of something called "Dipel Dust." When one of my sisters moved to Washington state, way back in 2002, she dropped all her gardening stuff, including this, off at my place on her way past.

The active ingredient is bacillus thuringiensis, which sounded close to what Ted had mentioned. I sprinkled both plants with this stuff, and I am not seeing any winged critters this morning. I am crossing my fingers. I am not despairing, not yet. I'm not giving up this plant without a fight :evil:
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

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stella1751
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Last edited by stella1751 on Fri Dec 10, 2010 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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digitS'
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The commercial product Gnatrol is Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis.

I have not used it but when I asked about the product one year, the garden center guy directed me to "mosquito dunks." These are things you toss in an outdoor pool and they are Bt var. israelensis.

I didn't get those either.

My problem isn't so much that I see any "teaming" of the larva in the soil. It is just that the gnats become a nuisance around the house. Some always show up after the house plants are brought back in from being outdoors during the summer.

I have sprayed the plants and soil surface with both insecticidal soap and pyrethrum/rotenone. Neither proved effective. I am sure that the p/r would quickly kill any insect it is in contact with and the soap would kill them after it has dried and dehydrated the critter. But, probably neither is going to do anything to the larva down in the soil.

What I've used to control the adult gnats the last few years are yellow sticky traps.

The 6 potted house plants here beside me in a west window have 1 sticky trap per 2 pots. There are probably a dozen gnats on each trap. I still see a gnat now and then - they like the bathroom and kitchen sinks. There are about 3 dozen that I won't be seeing flying around, however :wink: .

Steve
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csvd87
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those yellow sticky traps have worked wonders for me, probably killed off over 200 gnats, and a couple house flies, and a few mosquitoes. hehehe, but those killed off have still been able to lay their eggs, so although i kill the majority of the adults i can't get them all, i have too much soil in 1 area to control them all, i need about 5 boxes worth of traps to be able to get them all. I had 1 trap look completely black with gnats though. So if you only have a few plants, these would work great. I have about 20 in a 4x2x3 area :) So i may get desperate and get something a little stronger, but most likely not as I am cheap and lazy :) I kinda wish I wasn't so lazy. But anyways besides the fungus gnats my peppers aren't facing any sort of torture, well I have been pruning them back as I harvest so I can downsize their pots and fit more plants on the top shelf. I'd love to keep babbling but I won't. I will update the situation on the gnats when I get home, as I am currently visiting with my sister in Vancouver.

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