Gardening Magazine

Over-Wintering Chillis - Progress Report

By Mwillis
The upstairs windowsills of my house are full of chilli plants!
Over-Wintering Chillis - progress report
Almost all of them have now been "shorn" of most of their growth. The idea is to encourage them to have a bit of a rest during the colder months, ready for a new start in the Spring. The trouble is that with the mild weather we have had, the plants haven't got the message and are vigorously producing fresh new growth.
Over-Wintering Chillis - progress report
This one is an "Aji Limon", shortly after being trimmed. I usually remove most of the old leaves, but they tend to drop naturally anyway.
Over-Wintering Chillis - progress report
This one is an Orange Habanero, which was trimmed about a month ago.
Over-Wintering Chillis - progress report
You can see all the new leaves appearing at the leaf axils.
Over-Wintering Chillis - progress report
Over-Wintering Chillis - progress report
This tall thin one (in the bathroom - notice the frosted glass!) is one of the Turkish ones - "Turkey, Small, Red" as I call it for want of an official name. It was (is) a small slender plant and didn't produce any side-shoots before branching into the characteristic chilli Y-shape.
Over-Wintering Chillis - progress report
This is probably what it will look like in a couple of weeks' time, though this next photo is actually of the plant I grew by rooting a cutting from the "Brazilian Starfish" plant. It has lots of fresh green young leaves now.
Over-Wintering Chillis - progress report
All these chillis are growing in rooms that benefit from our central heating during the day, but the heating goes off at night-time, and the temperature probably drops quite low - maybe 15C or thereabouts? When / if we get proper Winter weather I may have to keep an electric heater on for them during the night as well, because it would be a shame to see such strong healthy plants die off for want of a little TLC. I am realistic enough to accept that they probably will not all survive, but I hope to be able to keep at least some of them going. The ones I most want to keep are the ones that take a long time to ripen fruit, so the Caribbean Antillais, the Orange Habanero and the Aji Limon are top of my list of VIP plants. The quicker-maturing capsicum annuum varieties like Cayenne and Ring of Fire can be successfully grown from a spring sowing.
Anyway, so far, so good. The thing I am worrying about most though is whether I will be able to prevent an infestation of aphids like that I experienced in the Spring of this year. I shall be observing the plants very closely...

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