ShadyStump

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We came across some of those Topsy Turvey hanging tomato planters for free in the spring, so we decided to experiment with them.

(For those wondering, only practical if you're doing just porch/balcony gardening in pots. Of no really benefit if you garden on any scale by any means. For tomatoes, be sure to select a determinate variety.)

We tried out an Italian sweet cherry pepper in one just for kicks, and the upside down growth resulted in some groovy curves, so I'm going to tear the planter apart and attempt a bonchi with it- bonsai style pepper plants. First, though, a few questions, largely for clarification, from anyone with more experience than me.
1: Dormancy. From what I've researched so far, capsicum anuum of all cultivars do require a dormancy period during which they shed leaves, but generally speaking cannot tolerate a freeze. Confirmation please? It's already fairly chilly outside at night (mid-40s F), but still very warm during the day, and the plant is still looking alive and active, though not growing. I'm going with this is a relatively cold hardy variety.
2: Winter storage. If it has a straight up dormant period, I assume the basic deciduous storage rules apply, plus protection from hard freezes. I have a spot in the yard where the past owner looks to have built some contraption in the ground intended, as best we can tell, for composting animal carcasses. It is, however, clean, ventilated, and far enough in the ground that it should maintain a rather constant temperature above freezing and below dormancy thresholds.

I guess the immediate question for me is this: It's supposed to hit freezing temperatures over night the next few days here. Do I put the thing in a real pot and throw it in the hole tonight as soon as I'm off work, or should I find a place for it in the house?
You may now troll away.
Thank you.
 

leatherback

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capsicum anuum
annuum = annual = under normal growing conditions an annual plant. Keeping it alive over winter is possible, but not easy.
I never managed, but then again, I keep my peppers in full ground so I need to dig them to bring them indoors.
 

HorseloverFat

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I am keeping peppers outdoors during summer.. observing 2 of each specie (1 pest resistance, 1 highest yield) And then repotting those two “vips” (OF each variety) into an inorganic mix and wintering them indoors.

I can post some pictures a little later.
🤓

These are the ones that stayed outside.. they got hard-pruned and set against a SW corner.... They will NOT make it through my winter.. but I kind of want to see just HOW long it will take.

76DB3975-CF1A-4C92-9DA8-A433C2041461.jpeg
All my peppers ALSO got badly sunburnt this year.. so they seriously underperformed... but I learned something.
 

ShadyStump

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I was researching peppers thinking I might try a bonchi of a local variety for the native tree challenge, and what I recall is that the "anuum' is derived from how they are generally grown in most climates- as annuals- but that some varieties can live upwards of ten years in their originally native tropical habitat of southern Mexico. There are LOADS of gardening webpages and videos on overwintering peppers, but they tend to have very different ideas. I imagine different varieties respond differently and that's part of why, and that's why I'm asking. I've never had a place to overwinter a pepper before, so I've never tried.
 

HorseloverFat

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I have been a (small)part of small warehouse/greenhouses that were 100 percent enclosed and heavily controlled.. And we did peppers all year round...so they can comfortably “exist” within indoor spaces geared at plants...

Strangely enough.. the peppers I brought in to my “plant area” started going crazy!.... they like warmth! (Obviously, 🤦🏽‍♂️🤦🏼‍♂️)

The green giant bell specie i have Indoors(Still under cayenne, I believe) (2) Were actually started last year around this time indoors. So they have made the transition twice... without skipping a beat.
 

leatherback

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I have been a (small)part of small warehouse/greenhouses that were 100 percent enclosed and heavily controlled.. And we did peppers all year round...so they can comfortably “exist” within indoor spaces geared at plants...

Strangely enough.. the peppers I brought indoors started going crazy!.... they like warmth! (Obviously, 🤦🏽‍♂️🤦🏼‍♂️)

The green giant bell specie i have Indoors(Still under cayenne, I believe) (2) Were actually started last year around this time indoors. So they have made the transition twice... without skipping a beat.
How do you g about moving them indoors? Are they yearround potted or do you have to dig them?
 

leatherback

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that the "anuum' is derived from how they are generally grown in most climates- as annuals- but that some varieties can live upwards of ten years in their originally native tropical habitat of southern Mexic
Yes, I hear that too. But as said. I have failed every time; They die on my when I dig them in fall and bring them indoors.
 

HorseloverFat

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How do you g about moving them indoors? Are they yearround potted or do you have to dig them?
I’ve been growing them in Larg(ER)/whatever I can find or concoct... and i just dig those two best performers, take their roots down to about a quarter (😱), and downpot them into (More)inorganic (I’m a poor guy) mix and brought them inside.
 

HorseloverFat

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Yes, I hear that too. But as said. I have failed every time; They die on my when I dig them in fall and bring them indoors.
Dang! I’m sorry to hear that!

And your aftercare regimens are always so admirably thorough! I now base alot of how I treat my trees after root disruption on things I have learned from your posts....
 

ShadyStump

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I won't be too heart broken if this one doesn't work out. Not even favorite variety at our house. If it all goes sideways, I'll try again in spring with a bit more planning.

@HorseloverFat, in your experience is the dormancy period necessary for their survival, or optional? I know they won't produce fruit during the winter in most cases, but should I treat them a tropical or a fragile deciduous? Or not even comparable?
 

Firstflush

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I’m not aware of any dormancy with regards to an annual vegetable.
Dig them and drop them in a 2-3 gallon pot. Prune them back to nubs like a rose and defoliate.
They do need light, low water and warmth when overwintering.
 

HorseloverFat

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I won't be too heart broken if this one doesn't work out. Not even favorite variety at our house. If it all goes sideways, I'll try again in spring with a bit more planning.

@HorseloverFat, in your experience is the dormancy period necessary for their survival, or optional? I know they won't produce fruit during the winter in most cases, but should I treat them a tropical or a fragile deciduous? Or not even comparable?
Well.. I had a Jalapeno plant (Years ago(...(a tree, by that time)... started indoors with NO growlights.

It spend it’s summer growing/fruiting (Next to about 10 others I grew that year, all in big kitty litter containers)... I decided that I really enjoyed all aspects of this plant, aesthetic and functional, and I wanted it to “do well” for as long as it was able to.

So i brought it indoors, still in the Kitty Litter container and placed it in the corner, very close to a window facing south, and a window facing “da Lake”. It continued to fruit... 1 Jalapeno at a time, throughout winter.. no dieback.

This method I am attempting this year.. is a Dr. Frankenstein-esque Amalgam of the “existing” parts of “trial and error” ...um.. trials. 🤓 So it’s new to me as well.. we can “bounce things of eachother” and learn as this progresses.
 

HorseloverFat

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Or not even comparable?
I think that the only thing I could realistically compare it to is cannabis, actually.

But that MAY be because those were my first real.... personal crops...the first two things I took care of in an indoor environment/one that I had heavy “control” over. so i’m “cross-addicted” 🤣🤣🤣 ...and biased. 🤓
 

ShadyStump

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So then, pot it and put it in the window is what I'm hearing. Well then what am I supposed to do with the big weird hole I found in the ground? Not to mention my two youngest will inevitably rip it apart. Whatever. If it lives it's going to be a gift to my middle daughter. The only one in the family who doesn't like spicy peppers, and she's as interested in bonsai as the others but won't admit it.
 

HorseloverFat

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So then, pot it and put it in the window is what I'm hearing. Well then what am I supposed to do with the big weird hole I found in the ground? Not to mention my two youngest will inevitably rip it apart. Whatever. If it lives it's going to be a gift to my middle daughter. The only one in the family who doesn't like spicy peppers, and she's as interested in bonsai as the others but won't admit it.
Do you have an indoor plant area set up? Or access to grow lights?

That Jalapeno plant was more of an example of their requirements for dormancy, or lack there-of..

I wouldn’t openly advocate indoor overwintering without an appropriate space, these days.

How cold does it get over by you?
 

ShadyStump

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Do you have an indoor plant area set up? Or access to grow lights?

That Jalapeno plant was more of an example of their requirements for dormancy, or lack there-of..

I wouldn’t openly advocate indoor overwintering without an appropriate space, these days.

How cold does it get over by you?

Winters here have been very mild and dry the past few years, but it can still drop to single digits F on occasion, with overnight lows below freezing most nights. So, no, can't leave it outdoors. We have a spot or two in the house we can keep it, just not safe from toddlers. Lighting we can find a work around for.

It's just that some gardening sites say peppers need a dormancy period, but others talk like it's optional, which is the impression I'm getting from you, too. I guess I'll know by spring. If I remember (no promises) I'll update with results.
 

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