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applestar
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Perennial hot peppers - natural seasonal lifecycle?

Where hot peppers grow as perennials, what kind of natural seasonal transition do they go through? Do they drop leaves in fall and stay dormant and bare through the winter? How cold would it get? Or does it never get cold enough for them to deteriorate and do they stay green and productive throughout the year?

I've brought some hot peppers inside to overwinter. I've read up on typical overwintering methods, but it helps to know what are "normal" conditions for them.

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Halfway
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applestar, I started a new thread which talks about a guy who has had a pepper plant for 3 years. "Teppin Peppers".

I debated overwintering habs this year, but finally decided against it. Too many bugs this year (midwest tropical rainforest, LOL) to risk bringing any inside. I don't need any larvae popping in January.

And the greenhouse daydreams continue............. :shock:
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lorax
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Speaking as one who has all sorts of peppers in a no-winter environment, I can tell you this:

Bell peppers seem to live about 4-5 years, with the peak of their production and flavour in year 3. There's no noticeable leaf drop, just bi-annual flowering and fruit production.

Hot peppers like Aji and Cayenne live up to 10 years, with the peak of their production and flavour beginning in year 2 and running to year 7 or 8. These ones lose only their lower leaves twice yearly, followed by a huge growth flush and blossoms. Blooming seems to be stimulated by the beginning and end of the wet season - ie massive changes in moisture and humidity levels.

I also ruthlessly pinch my hot peppers in year 1 to promote bushiness, since they're going to end up looking kind of like bonsai trees by year 5, and I want as many productive branches as I can get.

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soil
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if its warm enough they wont go dormant, but in warmer but mildly cold winters they will go slightly dormant( loose a few leaves, not look all perfect) then recover and grow, and here in my greenhouse with cold winters they go completely dormant, always grow like crazy in the spring.
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Great info Lorax! Thanks you.
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Great information all. So, it looks like, depending on how cold it gets, pepper plants can go un-dormant (probably not a real word :roll: ), half-dormant, or fully dormant.

Soil, how cold does it get in your greenhouse? If I recall correctly, you winter lows are about like mine, 20F and sometimes lower.
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soil
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Soil, how cold does it get in your greenhouse? If I recall correctly, you winter lows are about like mine, 20F and sometimes lower.
the coldest it got in the greenhouse was about 24 last year, while outside it was about 15. the peppers might loose a few branches to cold but usually re sprout in spring.
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Wow -- see now that sounds like I should be able to get away with keeping the peppers in the garage if I can give them good light (I *could* turn my seed starting setup on... 8) but that means less space for my seeds later on.... :roll: What's that saying? "rob Caine to give to Paul?" :wink: ) I just started bringing the peppers inside (to ~65ºF) from the unheated garage because it's down to 40º at floor level, but maybe I should put them back. :o

What's the coldest it gets for you, Lorax?

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robbing Peter to pay Paul :) Peter and Paul were Apostles, Cain was Old Testament.... Anyway the alliteration is better that way :)
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:lol: Doh! :oops: :roll: I just wasn't in the mood to look it up and of course got it wrong! :lol:

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lorax
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The coldest overnight temp I've seen this year is about 5 C (so what's that, about 40 F?). This has actually been one of the coldest years on record, too - normally our overnight low is about 10 C.

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I hear what you are saying about the garage, Apps. What say you about it, Soil?

One thought I had about the difference between the greenhouse and garage is that the greenhouse may get pretty warm during the day when the sun is shining while the garage would stay cold.

How warm does your greenhouse get during the day on the cold days, Soil?
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applestar
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Oh! good question Garden5! :D

Also, doesn't Lorax's revelation give you ambitions to keep your peppers going for a few years? 8)

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soil
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they can handle below 40 thats for sure. i have peppers still outside that took a nice 32 degrees the other day and a light frost. still alive and growing . with 40 degree temps im more than sure youll be able to overwinter them.

my greenhouse can get pretty warm. id say in the 70's when its 30's outside. specially if i hook up the solar heater. at night we use thermal mass to slowly release heat( salt water filled barrels)
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Interesting topic.

I've got a couple of varieties of peppers in the garden that are still going. We've had a few nights of cold temps, mid-20's, and I fully expect them to be dead one morning, but when I check them, they all look fine. I'm going to leave them and see how long they can take it. They are the only things left in the garden. Everything else is gone and top dressed for the winter.

I'll be excited if they make it. The jalapeno produced like crazy this year. I got some cowhorns too. The Macho Nacho giant jalapeno never produced this summer but it's got fruit on it the last month. It will be nice if they make it and I can start with 5' tall plants next spring.

Fingers crossed.

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JM, [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=31409&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0]Here's[/url] a thread where you can learn a lot of tips to help a plant make it through frost :wink:. Peppers can be pretty tough.
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applestar
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I was tending to my hot peppers today while my thoughts wandered.

- On going posts in [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=175258#175258]The Winter Pepper Torture[/url] thread

- "Results are pretty much even across the wet and dry seasons, but better in periods of low to no ashfall from the volcano." -- lorax in a recent growing avocados from seed question (... what is the condition like then? Similar to cloudy/overcast skies? Hot? Cold? High geomagnetic activity? -- put an earth magnet near the seed? :P ...)

- Victrinia's replies to my question in this thread:
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=32211

I'm actually looking for some more advice on how to prune hot peppers. That's why I'm posting here. My peppers are growing in some weird ways! :shock:
-- New shoots coming out of odd places, headed in odd vectors, MULTIPLE shoots growing out of same knob -- which one to leave and which ones to prune off? I took photos and will post them later.

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well gee whiz....now I feel like the pepper plants I grow here in Va are only babies and I never actually see peak performance out of the plants. I'm gonne have to over winter a few now. They should do well in my greenhouse too when it is done because it usually doesn't get below 20 here. A few dips into the teens but not many.
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About 2 years ago I planted tons of cayanne, calabrese cornaletto, anaheim, jalapeno, and serrano plants.

Living in SoCal (San Pedro) there isn't any frosting, so these plants have been growing, blooming, and producing ever since. Heck, I was even picking peppers in December as they were still coming on! I have noticed a larger fruit production with every passing year.

The same goes for my eggplant. I planted eggplant in spring of 2010 and am still getting flowers and fruit. In fact, I actually got a little too close to a couple of them with my weed wacker back in November and accidentally chopped a few down to the ground. Wouldn't you know it, those remaining stumps grew out new foliage and looks to be ready for blooming in the next month!

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ThomasCA now you have me thinking oveerwintered eggplants. (a NEW PROJECT! For next winter 8) )
I wonder if I could do that without bringing flea beetles inside.... :?

GardenRN, I have to warn you that, as some members have mentioned here or elsewhere, aphids are a big problem with overwintered peppers.

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knock on wood, they haven't found me yet. I'm walking with my head ducked down hoping they stay at bay.
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