Taking cuttings from pepper plants...

Hello all. I have a question I hope you can answer. In my garden I have jalpeno, habenero, and cayenne pepper plants. They have been producing for a month or two now, and I was just wondering if it is possible to take some cuttings from these to keep indoors for the winter(or did I have to do this before flowering? If so, what do I have to do to keep them alive? Will they have to be kept on a certain light schedule to keep producing, or can I get them back into a vegetative state(what I want to do) until next spring?
Thank you for your time, and I greatly appreciate any advice!
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Don't waste your time with cuttings. I would suggest preparing some good potting soil and amend it with a little organic fertilizer. Dig out your plants with as much root as you can and transplant them into pots. Add some lava sand if it's available in your area to help retain moisture. Let them establish in the pots and give them as much sun as possible. Do not over water. Most people tend to over water plants indoors in pots. I don't know what your zone is, but I would suggest that unless you are in zone 8-10 they will not continue to produce. The goal would be to keep them alive and overwinter them so you can replant outside after soil temps have warmed. Then you will have a huge head start on next years production. I live in zone 8 in Texas and have a chili pequin plant that stays in the ground year round. It freezes back to the ground in the winter, but has come back for 3 years in a row. I have harvested well over 1000 plus peppers and sun dry them for use on pizza or whatever. Some I dry in the toaster oven for a more "toasted" taste. They are great. Previous to having acreage we kept a chili pequin in a large pot for 7 years and even used it as a Christmas tree a couple of years. Your plants have only been producing for a month or two? Hmmm. I've been getting peppers since late April...but again...it is paradise..( oh sorry....TEXAS) lol..hope this helps. Thomas

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by the way...that is 1000 peppers per season. They are small. :-)

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You are cruel... <lol>
I have a 5 year old Chili pequin also, (a wild volunteer no less) in the back of the main garden. It's nearly 3' tall and almost as wide, and produces more than I can use, much to the delight of my cockatoo. ;-) She adores the things fresh off the plant! It also freezes back each winter, but comes back strongly and I do NOT prune it! The exsisting branches come back. ;-)
I'm experimenting with doing some cuttings from it. I did 5 earlier this spring but the plant was already blooming. 1 of the 5 cuttings survived and is rooting. I just snipped, dipped, and stuck it into miracle grow potting mix. Snip it and dip it into liquid rooting compound.
I DO have a greenhouse. Oh, and I am also in Paradise (central Texas)
On an interesting note, my neighbors _never_ clean their rain gutters and there are a variety of plants growing in them. There is a small chili pequin at one end that is producing! It's maybe 1' tall. I'm considering taking a ladder over there in the middle of the night and pepper-snatching the plant. <G>
K.
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Your bird story reminds me when my plant was in an 8" pot in my back yard. I would come out in the morning and have to constantly do battle with a local mockingbird that felt like all the ripe peppers were his. I'd yell at him and he would just sit there and stare at me. He got up lots earlier than I did so he got the harvest first usually. Guess that's why they call 'em "bird peppers".... Thomas
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You know what they say about the "early bird"! <lol>
I find mockingbirds to be charming. The best thing to do would be to just cover the plant with bird netting used for fruit trees. :-)
K.
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On 9 Sep 2004 16:39:44 -0700, Dr snipped-for-privacy@yourmom.com (Lost) wrote:

You could just dig up the whole plant and bring it in for the winter. I have a chiltepin pepper plant that I've been doing that with for about 6 years now. It doesn't produce in the winter, but it does survive, and gets right back into production in the spring as soon as I move it back outside.
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On 9 Sep 2004 16:39:44 -0700, Dr snipped-for-privacy@yourmom.com (Lost) wrote:

Unless they're difficult to get varieties, I wouldn't bother. The time, money, and effort you put into keeping the plants alive would far exceed just buying new ones in the spring.
Are you looking to extend your growing season or get an early spring start? I'm always reluctant to let the growing season end, and I try a variety of things to keep the plants going for an extra month or so. By late Nov/Dec, though, there isn't enough sunlight to produce much in the way of peppers, and I finally have to let the cold have them.

I have over-wintered peppers in a cool, dark room before; but it was only for just over a couple of months. I cut them back, cut any new growth back, and watered lightly.
Otherwise, to over-winter them in a house, you'll need good light, regular water, and a place that doesn't get hot air directed towards it from the heating vents. Watch out for aphids, they always seem to crop up shortly after bringing the plants inside, and with no natural predators, they can do a lot of damage in a very short time.
When you take it back outside in the spring, be sure to harden it off slowly, any leaves that grew over the winter will not be able to take direct sun. Also watch out for windy days, the wind can damage those new leaves, too.
Penelope
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Penelope Periwinkle wrote:

My overwintered chiles always produce fruit months sooner than the ones I start from seed. They also produce far more over the course of the summer than plants that spend months building a root system.
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On Fri, 10 Sep 2004 09:53:43 -0700, Jon Shemitz

Yabut, he was talking about taking cuttings, not whole plants. It would be far easier and less costly to buy plants in early spring and put them in a cold frame or use Wall O'Water until the weather warms up. Remember, you have to maintain the pepper plants at 50 F or above and keep good light on them if you want the cuttings to grow well enough to produce early peppers. I don't know about you, but I don't have unlimited space or resources. With the same space and energy I would devote to rooting and growing cuttings, I can seed twice as many peppers, and have them producing almost as early.
I picked my first ripe tomato grown from seed in the first week of May. I picked my first ripe pepper grown from seed in mid-June. The Grenada Seasoning pepper plant that I over-wintered had ripe peppers in late May/early June. To be fair, it might have produced ripe peppers a little earlier, but I pruned it back heavily when I took it outside.
Penelope
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(Lost) wrote:

600 watt HPS for light, with me watering should suffice right? I would only have 3 plants and 3 cuttings under it, so I think that should keep them in decent shape for next spring. Basically my intentions in this little experiment are to get the pepper plants to grow nice and big(think 4ft. habenero plant). I love my peppers and I am limited on space, so I figured this would be a good way to get more.
Now that I have heard a some of experiences, I think I am going to take whole plants and cuttings. Any other suggestions/hints?
Thanks to all!
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Dr snipped-for-privacy@yourmom.com (Lost) wrote:

Good luck and keep us posted... and don't overwater! Plants indoors typically need less water than plants outdoors. Overwatering kills more plants than anything else.
I've had the best luck using Miracle Grow Potting mix.
K.
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On 12 Sep 2004 11:53:22 -0700, Dr snipped-for-privacy@yourmom.com (Lost) wrote:

I don't have to, I have a garden full of them, some are even closer to 5 feet. Habaneros are the big rowdys of the garden, they all get wide and tall. I have Chocolate habs, Caribbean Reds, and Devil's Tongue this yea; and several other varieties of _C chinense_ .
Did you say what zone you were in? I'm guessing my season is longer than yours.

Or you could plant more prolific varieties of your favorite peppers. I planted Jalora jalapenos this year, and I've been very impressed at how early the peppers came in, and how many peppers/plant I'm getting. I had to put tomato cages around them because their branches were so heavily laden with peppers I was afraid they would break.

Just be sure to get large enough containers. Since you want large plants next spring, I wouldn't use less than 5 gallon containers for the plants. I use those plastic containers that you can get at Walmart or Lowe's or most any big box store, the plastic totes that are made to store clothes and stuff. They run between 3 and 4 dollars and last me several seasons before the plastic starts to crack. Drill a few holes in the bottom, and you're good to go.
Penelope
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I don't know where you live, but here in SW Ohio where hot pepper plants totally freeze out in the winter, I too tried keeping plants inside and growing over the winter. I never tried cuttings, I usually just dug up the whole plant as they were not too large and I would just prune them back a bit. I did this for about 3 years. What I found was that I often had huge problems with whitefly or aphids. Even when there was no significant bug problem, they did not produce much earlier than the plants grown that year from seed and ususally were not as productive either. It also helps to have more light than just a windowsill provides. So now, I just start seeds in Feb. to get a good headstart and I get all the pepper I and all my friends can use. However, I would be the first one to tell you to go ahead and try bringing both cutting and whole plants in for the winter anyway, as I think experimenting in this way is a great learning experience.
Linda
Lost wrote:

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Linda Barsalou wrote:

I have had very good luck with potting up the entire pepper. Mine continue to produce over the winter as long as they get extra light (I use my seed starting rack). They don't produce as much but they do produce some.
Ever since the ladybugs have decided my house is a nice overwintering spot I haven't had any trouble with the white flies or aphids. The ladybugs tend to collect in my main bath and I just put the peppers there or I re-locate some ladybugs right onto the plants.
Mary
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