How to Overwinter Your Favorite Pepper Plant in Garden Beds & Containers for Earlier Spring Harvests

hi everyone today we’re going to talk
about overwintering peppers now traditionally peppers are grown as an
annual plant because they’re killed off by frost at the end of the growing
season but did you know that peppers can actually be grown as a perennial and
with a little bit of effort you can overwinter your favorite pepper plants
so that you get a head start on your next growing season and you can start
from a plant such as this one right here rather than starting from seed and have
peppers to harvest a whole lot easier so it’s really very simple to overwinter
peppers and today I’m going to show you how to do it in a couple of different
ways overwintering in a container inside your house and overwintering right in
your garden bed so first of all let’s talk about overwintering your peppers
right in your garden beds this is a great option for you if you’re a
southern gardener like I am here in California and we rarely get a hard
frost sometimes get a few nights of light frost but typically our winter
time temperatures at night are in the 40s sometimes in the high 30s so when it
gets this cold you’re gonna see your pepper production definitely slowed down
because peppers are very cold sensitive and your leafs might start to droop this
is the sign that your peppers are ready to be prepared for overwintering so the
first step is to harvest any peppers that might still be on the plant now
I’ve already done this but we do have one little straggler right here so I’m
gonna go ahead and snip it off and the second step is I’m gonna prune back the
plant so we’re gonna prune back the plant pretty severely because the plant
will go dormant in the cold temperatures and we want all of the energy to go into
keeping the plant alive not into producing new leaves or new branches so
we’re gonna go down to the bottom Y here of the plant and we’re gonna prune just
above that prune all these branches off it’s gonna take this branch off and
here’s another y in the plant here so we’re gonna cut this branch off they cut off these extra little branches take these off I’m gonna take the cage
off so you can see this a little bit more clearly then we’re also gonna take
off these little leaves right here because again we want all of the energy
to go into keeping the plant alive not into growing new leaves at this point in
the growing season take off these and see how this branch is a little bit
on the yellow side I take that off now I realize this does look very very drastic
however keep in mind our goal here is not to grow a pepper right now our goal
here is to keep this plant alive and overwinter it so that we have some fresh
new growth come spring now that we’ve pruned it if the next
step is to add some soil amendment and fertilizer so I’m gonna pull back the
leaves here they’re at the base of the plant and I’m gonna add in a handful of
my homemade compost so I’m just gonna sprinkle that in around the base of the
plant and next I’m going to add in a handful of the vermisterra worm
castings it adds good beneficial bacteria and microbes to the soil to
give this plant some good nutrients over the winter time so that it can stay
alive and be really healthy come spring time so I’m just gonna scratch that into
the base we’ve got our soil amendments added now I’m gonna add a little dose of
vermisterra worm tea and the good dirt plant food again the worm tea adds
beneficial bacteria and microbes to the soil and the good dirt plant food is
gonna give it a good dose of nutrients now that we’ve got a pepper plant pruned
we’ve added some soil amendments and fertilizer then third step is to add
some mulch to the base of your plant now the reason why you want to do this is
because you want to protect your plants roots from the cold during the
wintertime even here in California we can get
nights an occasional night into the 20s but definitely we have nights in the 30s
and we want to protect this pepper plants roots from cold so here I’m just
adding some shredded leaf mulch to the base the plant I put a couple inches
down here you can also add straw or wood chips or whatever hat you have available keep it nice and warm over the
wintertime now this pepper happens to be one of my
favorites the California Wonder Pepper and it was very productive over the
springtime so I’m really looking forward to keeping this pepper over the winter
time when the weather starts to warm up this pepper will start to push out new
leaves and I’ll be harvesting California Wonders that much quicker now be spies
overwintering peppers in a warm climate in your garden beds the second option
for overwintering peppers is in a container so this is a great option for
you if you live in a cold winter climate you get lots of hard frost maybe you
have nights below zero maybe it’s just stinking cold all winter long but you
want to hang on to one of your favorite pepper plants so I’m going to show you
how to do that here with this plant right here you can see it’s looking
pretty droopy the leaves are looking terrible but we are gonna overwinter
this one in a container so we’re gonna start with the same steps that we did
when we overwinter to pepper here in the garden bed first I’m gonna harvest any
peppers that are on the plant and I do have one little whoops here we go we
harvested that one you have one little tiny pepper to pick off and then I’m
gonna prune back the plant so again we’re gonna look for the y at the bottom
of the plant here and I believe this is actually two separate plants in here so
here we have the Y at the bottom of the plant and go ahead and click the
branches right above the Y I’m gonna do the same on the second plant right here
peppers you can actually grow very close together the second thing we’re gonna do
now that we have our pepper plant pruned back is we’re gonna place it in a
container now I need to be growing my pepper plant in this CaliKim
five-gallon Smart Pots and I do like growing in these pots because the fabric
is breathable your plant doesn’t get root bound like it does in a plastic
container the roots stay healthier which means you’re gonna grow more pepper
plants once the weather warms up and you can grab these over on my website
already got some potting soil in here you don’t want to dig up your garden
soil and use that for your containers it’s just too heavy your plant won’t
grow as well so I’m gonna carefully dig around the roots of the plant maybe
about six inches or so from the plant itself so
loosen it up now my soil here is already very loose so it’s not too hard to to
loosen this particular plant but do you be careful if your plant is in heavy
clay soil that you don’t damage the roots you can see I’m just digging down
all around the plant loosen it up get my shovel down in there and lift the plant
out then I’m gonna place it right in my container so now that I have my plant in
my container I’m gonna follow the same steps second step is to add some
amendments and some fertilizer adding a sprinkle of compost a handful of worm
tea and I’m also gonna add some more potting soil just up to the base of the
plant here it’s gonna water in the soil amendments give it a good dose of Vermisterra worm tea and the Good Dirt plant food give us a good nutrients the
third step is to add some mulch around the base of your plant now if you live
in a cold winter climate you’re gonna want to move your plant indoors to
protect it from the cold so you really just need a little sprinkle of mulch
around the base of your plant or you cannot add mulch at all that’s really
your option but if you live in a mild winter climate you’re gonna grow your
container pepper plant outside and overwinter it you definitely need to add
a couple inches of mulch around the base of your plant just like we did in your
garden bed and what you might want to do in a mild winter climate if you’re gonna
overwinter outdoors is put this up against your house on your patio up
against a stone wall just to give it a little bit of extra protection from the
cold during the winter so if you’re in a cold winter climate what you want to do
now is bring your container pepper plant inside put it by a sunny windowsill or
pop it under grow light it doesn’t need a ton of light but you just don’t want
to put it in your garage or somewhere where it’s gonna be in the dark all the
time keep the soil moist once the weather warms up you can transition it
to the outdoors slowly and you’re gonna be really excited to see brand new
grow from your pepper plant you’ll be harvesting peppers that much sooner than
if you grow them from seed and of course you’re gonna want to plant some new
seeds as well because you’re gonna want to have some brand new varieties of
peppers too so comment below let me know if you’ll be overwintering pepper plants
either in your garden beds or in a container and make sure you subscribe to
this channel because we will be coming back and doing updates as these pepper
plants to grow and pop out moving this way thanks so
much for watching we’ll see on the next video

13 thoughts on “How to Overwinter Your Favorite Pepper Plant in Garden Beds & Containers for Earlier Spring Harvests

  1. My new book: Organic Gardening for Everyone: Homegrown Vegetables Made Easy – release date, December 24, 2019. Pre-order now at

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    Good Dirt Indoor Potting Mix: 10% off with code “calikim10”
    Smart Pots containers (excluding CK Smart Pots): 10% off w/ code “calikim” at
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    Are you overwintering your favorite pepper plant?

  2. Your vids are so helpful. I always enjoy the garden, and I love growing peppers because they are just so easy to grow!!

  3. It's my first time overwintering peppers in my greenhouse up north. Say a prayer for me! Lol we have harsh Winters. So far so good, I'm hopeful!
    SIDENOTE: I also have kale, lettuce, collards greens, onions and a pineapple. This is going to be a fun winter!!!!

  4. Great idea. In all of my 50 plus years of gardening I never heard of this. I'm up in southern New Hampshire zone 5. Already 2 feet of snow on the ground. I'll have to try this next winter. Take care

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