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Francis Barnswallow
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How Long Do Bell Pepper Plants Live?

I've had great success with my bell pepper plants this year. I planted them as seeds back in February and now they're turning yellow and dropping their leaves. Two have turned dark brown and have died.

Out of 12 pepper plants, only one is still dark green and producing nicely. Is this normal?

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Re: How long to bell pepper plants live?

Francis Barnswallow wrote:I've had great success with my bell pepper plants this year. I planted them as seeds back in February and now they're turning yellow and dropping their leaves. Two have turned dark brown and have died.

Out of 12 pepper plants, only one is still dark green and producing nicely. Is this normal?
I only have 2 out of the 6 I planted in early March. I've had better luck with the hot peppers, only losing 1 of the 6 I planted at the same time. The peppers are not near as big now as they once were and I'm going to pull them to make room for more winter stuff.

Once things stop or severely slow in production, I'll pull them since I have what I consider limited garden space.

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SPierce
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I have 1 potted (20 gal pot) pepper plant i've been nursing like a baby since Feb/March. It's growth was slowwwww through the entire summer with all the warm weather, and didn't ramp up to flowering and producing until mid september :shock:

It's currently got about 12 peppers on it, and in the last two weeks (40-50 degree weather) has been growing like a mad woman.

I think i have one hell of a confused pepper plant. its' currently snowing outside and i've got it covered in a plastic garbage bag so the peppers don't get too harmed by the gold weather.

If i bring it inside, will it go until next year when I can put it back out, out of curiousity??

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[quote="SPierce"
If i bring it inside, will it go until next year when I can put it back out, out of curiousity??[/quote]

I've never tried to over winter a pepper plant, but I don't grow them in pots either. I'd be curious to see how this works for you if you decide to do it.

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I'm interested too, because I feel for you wanting to garden in winter.
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PunkRotten
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I plan to overwinter atleast 2 pepper plants. 1 red bell and 1 serrano. I am in a warmer climate so I probably could get away with it.

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applestar
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I really can't read through them all to pick out the best threads -- it's rather late here -- but try a site search (search link on upper bar) using Winter pepper torture as key. We had a full discussion about this last year in several threads. :wink:

Oh, look for contribution by lorax about natural life span of peppers in Ecuador.

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SPierce
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Well, it's definitely coming in side. I left it out all last night while it snowed (but brought it into the porch) and it seems to have actually managed okay. Didn't want to bring it in, yet, as it's supposed to be quite sunny today and I want it to get as much a sun as it could before i brought it in.

It's currently got about 14 peppers on it, and it's about 5 ft tall. Read the thread, too- I'm not sure i'd really want to cut them back? It took this thing about 7 months just to just start to flower and make peppers. It's a miracle it survived at all. Going to let the soil dry out, and then bring it inside in it's larger pot. Worse case scenario, i loose the plant I suppose!

I guess i'll see and keep a mini-diary on how it does. After failure after failure after failure with peppers, I'm glad ONE of them managed to make peppers. Started this one from seed- I bought starter plants the last 2 years, and they were epic fail.

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rainbowgardener
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Yeah, peppers are actually tender perennials and can live for at least several years. As applestar suggested, there's lots of discussions here about over wintering them indoors (for those of us with cold winters). If you just type over winter peppers, into the Search the Forum keyword box, you find lots of information.

I brought one pepper plant in this year. It had been growing in a raised bed. I pulled it out and potted it up. I cut it back a little bit, cut most of the peppers that were on it off, but didn't cut it back hard like applestar and stella did. It's still over 2' tall and bushy. I have it in front of a window, with some supplemental light, since I don't have any really sunny windows. So far it is hanging in there, and has a few tiny new leaves, though it still looks a little droopy.
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applestar
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I don't want to go into all the details again, but all of them sprouted sturdy new leaves and shoots that became too tall to fit under the lights AND started to flower and produce peppers by next spring. You do want to give them sufficient light especially if you are keeping the existing foliage and definitely when new shoots begin to grow.

If you dug them up, remember that they lost a significant portion of the rootball; so unsupportable upper foliage will die off and unsupportable fruits will be aborted. I initially only clipped off what I estimated was the equivalent upper foliage mass and kept them in the garage to self-select the rest of upper foliage die-back and undergo partial fall/winter cycle before cutting back and bringing inside. I harvested the remaining hot peppers as they turned red or at least blushed, though I picked most of the sweet peppers green since I was withholding water to bring them into dormancy.

It went down to 31°F last night here. Glad I brought mine in. Even if they are all sitting on the floor by the back door.... :roll:

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SPierce
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applestar wrote:I don't want to go into all the details again, but all of them sprouted sturdy new leaves and shoots that became too tall to fit under the lights AND started to flower and produce peppers by next spring. You do want to give them sufficient light especially if you are keeping the existing foliage and definitely when new shoots begin to grow.

If you dug them up, remember that they lost a significant portion of the rootball; so unsupportable upper foliage will die off and unsupportable fruits will be aborted. I initially only clipped off what I estimated was the equivalent upper foliage mass and kept them in the garage to self-select the rest of upper foliage die-back and undergo partial fall/winter cycle before cutting back and bringing inside. I harvested the remaining hot peppers as they turned red or at least blushed, though I picked most of the sweet peppers green since I was withholding water to bring them into dormancy.

It went down to 31°F last night here. Glad I brought mine in. Even if they are all sitting on the floor by the back door.... :roll:
If i had had it planted in the ground and then uprooted it, i'd DEFINATELY be cutting it back. It's always been in it's pot, though, so i don't have to worry about the roots not being able to support the plant :D That's the only reason I didn't want to cut it back right away.

I wish i had brought it in last night. I've got to find a place for it tonight.

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applestar
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Sounds good :D
Good luck with your experiment -- I'd definitely be interested to hear how it goes. :wink: (Oh, watch out for aphids :x)

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SPierce
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applestar wrote:Sounds good :D
Good luck with your experiment -- I'd definitely be interested to hear how it goes. :wink: (Oh, watch out for aphids :x)
Thank you- i'll try to post regular updates. I'm just so darn attached to this plant!

and (hopefully) all the aphids are now frozen. i had a little bit of an issue with them at the beginning of the year, but after that really no bug;s touched the plant at all - maybe part of it is the garlic I have growing in the pot with it?

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soil
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ive had bell peppers that were 3 years old.
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SPierce
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soil wrote:ive had bell peppers that were 3 years old.
Ohhh, interesting! How abouts did you over winter them? with the potting and cutting back?

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