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tutorial The Comprehensive Guide to Over-Wintering

Pfeffer said:
Not to troll you, but I begin to differ. I deem pruning an necessary evil for my OW plants. Many pests like nematodes, aphids, mites, gnats etc can hide in the foliage and top soil.

If you just prune the foliage the plant really doesn't really cares, if there is still sufficient nitrogen in the soil (don't fert!). In about a week it really bursts with fresh, healthy leave growth. I also refresh the soil, untangle and do some minor pruning on the rootball as well.. Just to prevent issues with the soil (nematodes, salt buildup from liquid ferts, aphids, gnats).

Just don't prune to much woody stem material, you want to keep those. Foliage will just regrow.
I see your point, and given the adequate lighting, temp, etc - you wouldn't be wrong. Taking all your leaves off wouldn't likely kill the plant but it really is just an unnecessary step to take.  
 
However, my quote there was in context to: 
 
 

beardedchunk said:
Hey thp,
I have a couple trini scorpions and a bhut that haven't really done much, save for the start of flower buds in the past week or so. I plan on keeping the same regiment of east window am and west pm at the moment. Would it be wise to prep for over wintering and trim or just keep as is. They're all around 6-8" tall with little to no secondary growth. Thanks for your time!

 
 
Someone that wasn't uprooting/transplanting and wanted to know if pruning was necessary. 
 
For you, pruning is necessary and if its what works for you then grow on! 
 
I missed the part about them being 6" to 8" tall, those are not adults yet, so it might be unnecessary stress. Though I always change the soil, as this clearly reboosts my plants (I use soil with worm castings, perlite, bat guano and peat) so I think the soil get's depleted even though I refert with liquid nutes.
 
Just wanted to make sure the guy planning to OW spares himself an aphidcalypse.
 
I despise aphids, and I have done the whole nuclear reset method many years in my time growing and overwintering plants on this earth. Uprooting, gently knocking off all soil, rinsing root mass of all soil and would be insects, pruning all the foliage off, rebuilding soil and potting up all fresh start like. But I don't do that anymore, as I found it to be a bit aggressive and unnecessary. In the event I notice any aphids while overwintering indoors, I've found vigilant removal by hand is usually all that is needed to keep them at bay and If I want death and destruction to all insects, good or bad, a light application of pyrethrin/sulfur is the red button. Its POTENT, organic, safe up to day of harvest, and it's residual toxicity rate falls off completely within a few days, as opposed to other very common organic solutions which have toxicities that build with every application. This means that I can drop the bomb on aphids while still providing a safe environment for my bees and ladybugs just days later.  :P
 
I have a horrible problem with aphids on my 3rd floor balcony. After two years of spraying and rinsing I finally decided to squish. It works better than anything I've ever found. I'm not sure if the dead aphids get rid of the new ones or it just makes me feel better after a hard day of work,but for a small infestation I have found it the best solution.
 
Ok so it's almost spring here in Chicago and I'm anxious to bring my ow's back outside. We should be in the 40s and 50s for the most part for the next couple of weeks but lows will be below freezing from time to time at night.

I know peppers in general will survive as long as the roots don't freeze. I could bring them in the garage each night. We're only talking about 3 plants here.

My question is if I would be doing more harm than good by bringing them outside this early and before we get into the 60s or 70s? I don't want any shock or stunted growth. I'd harden them off as you would small plants when the time comes. Any thoughts on this?
 
A sunny window indoors around room temp is always going to be better than full sun out in 40-50F :) 
 
Genetikx said:
Ok so it's almost spring here in Chicago and I'm anxious to bring my ow's back outside. We should be in the 40s and 50s for the most part for the next couple of weeks but lows will be below freezing from time to time at night.

I know peppers in general will survive as long as the roots don't freeze. I could bring them in the garage each night. We're only talking about 3 plants here.

My question is if I would be doing more harm than good by bringing them outside this early and before we get into the 60s or 70s? I don't want any shock or stunted growth. I'd harden them off as you would small plants when the time comes. Any thoughts on this?
 
Pepper-Guru said:
Looks great! You can prune any dead, diseased, or damaged older leaves at this point. She looks ready for plant out! Whats the temp there in AZ?
 
It's pretty darned mild here.  I think we hit freezing temps less than a dozen nights.  A typical winter high is 40s to 50s.  The peppers don't really like it, but they can cope.
 
Perhaps the biggest benefit is that the temps are not cold enough to kill off the predatory bugs.  Aphids have been a a non-issue.
 
I did trim a few scrawny branches, and can't help but pluck a few of the poor old leaves every time I pass by.  For the most part, I just left them as-is.  I'm very glad to see that new growth is emerging all along the branches.  The plant will be back in business in no time!
 
Hi all. We've finally had a bit of decent weather here in Ontario after a long, crappy winter. I treated my OWs to an hour of real sunshine. ;)
 
150403-OWpeps_zps1nzjynb0.jpg

 
So I hope I'm on the right track here: harden them off again, trim off any dead/brown leaves, fertilize them with a weak fert once it's time to get them outside? TIA.
 
I don't know what happened to a number of my over winters. They were doing fine until a week or so ago. Then the leaves just starting going limp and branches turning brown. Very disappointed.
 
hot stuff said:
I don't know what happened to a number of my over winters. They were doing fine until a week or so ago. Then the leaves just starting going limp and branches turning brown. Very disappointed.
That helps me out thing in perspective. My dogs snapped off one of the 3 main branches on my Carribean Red. At least it's alive though. Sorry about you possibly loosing yours so close to the season.
 
anyone have some suggestions to "wake up" an overwintered plant?

I have a bell pepper that is still green and has a few leaves but hasn't done anything since it was placed outside a month ago. Should i give it a solid dose of ferts? My intention was to gift it to a coworker but i'd feel bad giving him a green stick in some dirt.
 
pulled it from its pot, cleaned it off and repotted it with some fresh compost and hopefully it will start doing something. This was its current state for 7 months, i'm surprised its still alive actually:
 
IMG_1148.JPG
 
I heard that if you cut off green peppers before they start turning to other colors that they will keep producing more pepers, but stop if they turn. Is this true or not. Can i use this technique on a plant that has started to produce small fruits or even more that have started or completely turned them? Should i trim them off (fruits/pods) as the season moves on so i can overwinter?
 
Fearnoth said:
I heard that if you cut off green peppers before they start turning to other colors that they will keep producing more pepers, but stop if they turn. Is this true or not. Can i use this technique on a plant that has started to produce small fruits or even more that have started or completely turned them? Should i trim them off (fruits/pods) as the season moves on so i can overwinter?
Well, it depends. If you have a near perfect soil environment and weather conditions, then it doesn't matter what you do, short of chopping the plant down, to interfere with how many pods its going to throw at you. On the other hand, if your plant isn't growing near its full potential or your root zone environment isn't so great, etc then sure, picking a immature pods will make it seem as though it begins to produce more flowers...and even that is variety dependent. Really though, the plant is only taking a impermanent opportunity to utilize what little nutrients are there to begin with and are now, due to being picked of existing fruit, for a short time freeing up soil nutrient to produce more flowers. After all, the plant is trying to ensure survival.   So the real answer is that "It shouldn't work this way in our minds". Pepper plants vegetate and flower simultaneously. There isn't a photo period sensitivity, and again they are perennials. We should look at them as a continually fruiting vine that fruits linearly down each vine arm and any side branch that occurs due to a nutrient rich soil environment. The more ideal the root zone environment, the more branching that occurs. The thing is, once a node has produced its initial fruit set, that's it. There is rarely a time where an older, mature node will just outright produce more flowers. That is unless the plant is pruned significantly and given a new rooting environment. Then more branching will occur at older nodes and on those branches is where new pods will form. I've even under watered plants in containers to the point that I've had complete leaf drop. Then to come back after some good rains to find completely new branches forming at each leafless node.
 
thats the longer answer, but the short answer could be: "Sure, you could try it and see how it goes, but nothing will have as good of an outcome as leaving the plant to do what it needs to do" 
 
Remember more roots = more shoots = more fruits :)
 
Just thought I'd share my experience with OW. The plant had been pest-free due to a very good ladybird population. No sprays or pest-control of any kind was used.
 
In mid october prior to frost, plant look like this, and decided I'd try and OW it. It was a Bhut Jolokia.
2014-10-14%2012.42.26_zpsnf14axay.jpg

 
It was in a 10L bucket and quite rootbound. I cut of most foilage, and most of root mass. Scraped off 1-2 inches of soil from the top. (and placed unripe peppers with bananas, and many matured)
imagejpg3_zps9b7680ed.jpg

 
Repotted the plant in 5L pot indoors (maybe 2,5L of rootball left, and placed 2,5L of fresh soil in there as well)
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One month later, in mid november, plenty of new growth. Trained shoots, watered sparingly and barely used nutes during the winter.
2014-11-14%2012.31.07_zpsen1s2qu6.jpg

 
At spring, the plant picked up the pace, and grew fantastically. 
 
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