cover plants at 37-40 degrees?

tonight the temps are supposed to be in the upper 30's to 40. i wouldn't cover a sweet pepper under those conditions but do hot peppers benefit from being covered from such cold temps? my scotch bonnet has quite a few green fruits still.

tonight the temps are supposed to be in the upper 30's to 40. i wouldn't cover a sweet pepper under those conditions but do hot peppers benefit from being covered from such cold temps? my scotch bonnet has quite a few green fruits still.


I was just about to post the same question. We will hit about 35F tonight/early morn and I still have Habs and Japs I'd like to continue ripening.
Temps here are to warm up following tomorrow for at least the next ten days. So, if I can get them past today, I have a shot at ripe peppers.
I do not worry about covering plants. I have had them survive sub freezing temps for 4 nights in a row with no problems what-so-ever.
The weatherman always seem to be a few degrees off.. I personally cover mine if they are predicting 37 or below. Here's a good story on why I do.. I work at a nursery/produce market and we have to go through the when or when not to cover all the plants routine there as well. One year it was predicted 37 for the nights temps, The boss told me don't worry about covering, thinkin they'd be fine.. YEP, hit 32 that night. We lost 5000dollars our cost in plants that day.. Needless to say, I don't take any chances anymore, There, or at my own house. Never hurts to be on the safe side ;)
I would say it depends on the location of your plants. I would be less worried about covering them if they're next to the house. Also if your area gets windy I would cover because windchill may cause a problem from an otherwise non issue.
wow, this means I have been bringing my plants inside every night for the past two summers for no reason!

Damn, that's a lot of unnecessary work! :crazy:

I put my 2 Hab plants out earlier this year and became convinced that leaving them out overnight in temps below 50F was the reason they became poorly and have had a bad year.

I kind of like my little rigmarole of taking them out/bringing them in every day, though it does get a bit much and now seems very pointless, especially during the summer months.

I've a lot to learn! :rofl:
They're calling for a low of 42°F tonight so I'll stand down.

Tomorrow night it's dropping down even more so I'll play that by ear…I'll know more later what to do.
quite a range of opinions.

i've never covered sweet bell peppers at these temperatures. tonight they are predicting 40 with winds but that's in the hartford area and it gets colder here so where i am 37 is likely if they say 40.

i was just out and it feels pretty cold with a steady 10 mph wind so frost is not possible with winds like this and 40 is not likely to be 32. now if 35 was predicted then 32 is probable here again depending upon whether it is breezy or not.

tomorrow night it is supposed to be colder and i will cover my 2 plants for sure if for no other reason than they are not near the house, the garden has some trees on the north side and a lot to the west and south. in the past, it is somewhat protected from frost when surrounding areas get hit.

i questioned this because my scotch bonnet and fatali are not exactly from places that experience temperatures in the upper 30's at night. throwing a comforter over them would keep the ground warmth around them all night, both plants are no taller than 14 or 16" and cold air settles close to the ground. one night last september i was out there at 1 am covering tomatoes and beans when the wind stopped and it was getting just a bit colder than predicted and frost was likely vs at 6 pm when they called for a bit windier night. it is not so easy working in the dark and who knows what critters are out there, bears are common here but at least at those temperatures the mosquitoes are not going to attack!
Not even close to being true.

that's what i thought too. i've had many times over the years seen temperatures go to the mid or lower 30's BUT not 32 and never saw any harm done to sweet bell peppers. 32 will kill the plant unless you cover it to keep frost off the leaves.

peppers and basil can't survive frost while tomatoes have endured 32 or 31 with just some burned leaves. smooth leaved plants vs hairy leaved plants, those hairs keep the frost off the leaf.

12:30 am temperature is 41 wind speed is variable about 0 to 5 mph
Yeah... it's supposed to get down to 42°F (or 40°F, depending on who you believe) where I live tonight. My plants are pretty mature, so I'm not really that concerned at this point. Sure, it's not good, but there's still several degrees to go before it hits frost/freezing temperatures.

I have to agree with BigCedar though... ALWAYS keep checking, and checking, and checking the weather--as much as possible! I recall the last few years several fall nights when the low was supposed to be above freezing. The actual low ended up being several degrees lower than forecasted, many times around freezing and bad enough to cause frost damage to several plants. I would watch night temperatures like a hawk, or if you're not able to, set up the frost cloth before night falls if temperatures are supposed to reach 5-8 degrees above freezing. Be sure to water thoroughly with plenty of really warm (but not hot!) water if it's already really cold outside and expected to get near freezing.
I've had plants survive up to 4 nights in a row of temps down into the high 20's. Leaves and peppers intact.
Was this a specific species? Or certain varieties of different species? I'm just curious. I've seen many browned, dead leaves on a few plants over the years in just the lower 30s...
There were Fatalii, Naga Morich, Chocolate Habaneros and Jalapenos. My outdoor thermometer reach a low one night of 28 and the other three nights were 29 then it was back up to lows in the mid 40's for 2 weeks. But all these plants were a very good size, 4-5 feet tall and 3-4 feet wide. That also has a lot to do with it unless it gets windy. Either way, when the cold starts coming I leave plants out until we are supposed to get a wicked nasty FREEZE, not frost. After that the main stems are usually still alive so I dig them up after the leaves and smaller branches have died, trim back and begin overwintering.
We were in the 30's last night in mid-michigan, my garden is next to the house so not sure exactly how low the temps got for the pepper plants. Just checked my scotch bonnets and hot lemon peppers and they appear just fine. The lows for the next few days are supposed to be better, so I think I've got another week and a half at least.