Knowledge from Olle Garden Bed: How to protect Pepper Plants from the Winter

If you spend any amount of time out in your garden in the late fall and winter months you have probably noticed that some plants are just not where you thought they were. Now is the perfect time to learn how to overwinter pepper plants so here are a few quick tips for you. The following content also has some reference value for plants on raised garden beds.

Growing hot peppers doesn't need to be too much more complicated than any other vegetable. They perform well on the same schedule once they are established, require very little attention and care, and can provide a generous reward. If you want to learn how to plant peppers in winter, then let's get started.

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Peppers may not be the first on your list when considering the best winter plants for POTS and borders, but if you do have these abundant plants in your garden, then learning how to overwinter them is certainly worth the effort and attention when planning a winter garden.

As a tender exotic, chilies and other bell peppers thrive outdoors at temperatures consistently above 50°F (10°C), but below that they will begin to lose their leaves and go dormant. If the temperature is below 35°F (1.6°C), the plants will die completely, so take precautions and follow these expert tips to safely see these treats until spring.

How to overwinter pepper plants

Whether you have just one precious plant or a well-curated chili collection, it's worth overwintering with the strongest and healthiest plants. Many plants are attacked by aphids at the end of the growing season, so check them thoroughly and spray them with water or even insecticidal soap before bringing them indoors to help keep them out.

The same goes for overwintering geraniums and overwintering begonias; Just two of the best winter flowers to plant and protect.
Deciding what action needs to be taken to get them through the colder months depends on your local climate and how you grow them.

How to overwinter potted pepper plants in it

"For potted pepper plants, simply bring them indoors and place them near undamaged south-facing Windows," says Bob Z, who writes the blog Chile. "Place them in a sunny window and allow the top layer of the soil to dry out slightly between watering. The pot should have good drainage capacity - a drip tray/bucket is needed to collect runoff. As mentioned earlier, it is normal for overwintering pepper plants to drop a lot of leaves when they first enter the house.

Potted plants can be returned to the outdoors once the temperature climbs consistently above 55°F (12.7°C) and there is no chance of frost.

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How to raise and overwinter pepper plants

Growing peppers and pepper plants at the border will ensure they get all the moisture and nutrients they need and leave the roots free to grow as well, but when the temperature starts to drop and there are first frosts, you need to protect them and bring them indoors.

"The pepper plants in the garden can be dug up and placed in a right-sized pot," Bob explains. Remove as much of the existing soil as you can, checking the roots for any nasty aphids and, if found, removing them before repotting them in fresh, free-draining compost.

Mark McMullan, author of Thechileman blog, said: "Dormant plants should be cut down, leaving only a small stump a few inches above the soil line. Leaving behind dying vegetation encourages pests and diseases such as whiteflies.

Even after the most severe pruning, dormant plants will sprout new vigorous growth when the warm spring weather returns, assuming, of course, that they have survived the winter.