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Can a pepper plant be Year round productive?

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

Growing a several pepper plants for the first time, both sweet and hot. Due to some yellow leaf drop as each grows, some are forming a nice mini-tree look in their pots. It would be nice to have year round peppers. Anyone been able to keep their pepper plants growing year round? I live in superhot Texas and am willing to bring in the plants inside on the coldest winter days. Would be nice to have year round jalapenos!

Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9a)

It can be done. Peppers are perennials here. Of course we never really get a true freeze here in the desert, well, except the Big Freeze (BF) a few years back. That was bad and people lost age old trees and plants...

My peppers stop producing bushels in the real summer heat, but kick back in in the fall for the best crop. You could bring them in if it gets really cold if they are potted or cover them if they are in the ground. They will not set fruit in the cooler temps but as long as you can keep the plants alive they will kick in when temps start to warm up in the spring.

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

Well Thanks LocaKelly! i'm going to try and keep the hot jalapeno and serrano peppers in pots over winter and make them pretty little tree-like permanent things.

Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9a)

Good luck. I think they should do well to overwinter for you in Houston!

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7a)

I don't know if this helps or not but I've kept pepper plants indoors for the winter with some success. I'm not positive, but I don't think a pepper plant will perpetually produce even if it was in a controlled enviroment (i.e. 80 degrees constant, 18 hours of light, 6 hours of dark, etc.) so I wouldn't expect a constant supply of peppers. Some people cut them down to just a few inches above the soil and some trim back the roots as well, I usually leave mine alone until Spring. What happens is growth slows and they drop most of their leaves and look pretty much like they're dying (and sometimes they are lol), but if it survives the winter they eventually "wake up" and start putting out new growth once the days start getting longer. Even in a fairly sunny window the new growth tends to stretch for the sun and become elongated so I usually let them go until it's warm enough to get them back outside and then I do some major pruning. I have a tepin plant (wild chili pepper) I overwintered and once I moved it outside I cut it down to about 6" leaving nothing but a woody stalk. It's only been outside a couple of weeks but already the new growth is dense and healthy looking. I can post a picture of it once daylight arrives if you want to see what I mean by major pruning, but just imagine it coming out of winter looking a lot like the twig Charlie Brown brought home as a xmas tree, and then picture just the stump after I whacked it.

This message was edited Jun 11, 2010 11:30 PM

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