Mouse98
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Jalapeno Plant during Winter, help!!

Hello guys! I am new to this forum and I have some questions regarding my jalapeno plant. Well it is only June so I don't have to worry about this now but down the line I don't know what to do, anyway when winter hits and it gets colder what should I do, should I bring the plant inside and leave it by the window sill unpruned (space really isnt an issue, plus I don't really l want to prune it) or maybe I could put it outside during the day when its winter and then bring it back inside or in my garage at night? I prefer option 2 but I don't know if it'll work, thanks!

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applestar
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Re: Jalapeno Plant during Winter, help!!

Where do you live? What are winter temps like?

Why don't you want to prune it? Trust me you will need to at some point if you are going to overwinter the plant.
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Mouse98
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Re: Jalapeno Plant during Winter, help!!

I live in California and its usually in the 40 s or 50s.

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applestar
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Re: Jalapeno Plant during Winter, help!!

OK. Well, unless you want your jalapeño plant to continue to produce during the winter, you could leave it outside as long as temperature stays above mid-20's which will kill the roots. Peppers are frost sensitive so the leaves will die at low 30's, and the more tender upper stems/branches will die off, but the hardened lower stems and branches will grow new shoots in spring/when warmer.

But you have to decide early on whether to overwinter in dormant state since the plant needs to adjust to the colder temps to properly phase into the hibernation mode.

It sounds like you are growing one plant in a container -- is that right? If so, be sure to give it a good sized pot to grow in for the season to keep it healthy.

I have to bring my peppers indoors for the winter since it gets too cold outside. I root prune and trim the branches to just above the green immature fruits and flower buds to pot them up (or just stick them in doubled up grocery bags). In the house, my windowsills can get as cold as upper 40's to mid-50's but while the temperatures are in upper 50's to mid-60's, the jalapeño will continue to bloom and set/mature fruits. I put them in SE-facing window with window treatments open during the day, and provide supplemental light that stays on from morning to bedtime.

They seem to take a break around winter solstice -- maybe day length, but it gets super cold around here late Dec to mid Jan -- peppers starts growing (lots of) new shoots after February and start blooming and setting fruits by spring.

Watch out for aphid infestation. If you see ants, they are bringing aphids to pasture on your plant.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

Mouse98
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Re: Jalapeno Plant during Winter, help!!

Thank you so much for the response! Yes my jalapeno plant is in a 16 inch terra cotta pot. I don't really care if the plant continues to produce during winter as long as it doesnt die. So you are saying that I could leave it outside during the day if it doesnt get to cold out and then I can bring it in my garage at night, if it doesnt get to cold and it should be fine?

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applestar
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Re: Jalapeno Plant during Winter, help!!

Yep. Jalapeños in my experience are pretty forgiving and easier to keep. I think a mature plant will be perfectly fine 50°F or above. Even upper 40's.

I have one that is probably 4 years old -- finally looking tired and maybe not produce this year -- I'm growing replacements.

It will probably last longer if you do let it rest some during the winter -- harvest all fruits, then for a couple of weeks to a month, lower temp and light... keep it dry-ish.


Oh an explanation about pruning -- due to lower light indoors, I need to selectively prune into much more open structure than when growing outside in the sun so light can reach the interior of the plant. This is also a good practice to provide better airflow/circulation and keep the plant healthy from fungal diseases, especially during wet weather. Remove one of overlapping branches, remove branches that are growing inward towards the center of the plant so all the branches are growing outwards, shorten over-long branches to keep the plant compact and easier to handle.

Mature pepper plants grow MULTIPLE shoots from leaf nodes. So when they burst into growth spurts, you need to selectively remove unwanted buds and shoots that will become branches growing in undesirable directions. You need to be pretty ruthless.

In winter in lower light (and in my case, indoors), some of the shoots and branches that grow are spindly and weak. It's better to remove or shorten those in spring since the plant will grow sturdier, healthier growths during the summer season and the weak branches may not be able to support them.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

Mouse98
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Re: Jalapeno Plant during Winter, help!!

Thank you so much for all of your help! I really appreciate it! Good night.

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