Last year I overwintered chilli plants for a headstart this year. I posted How I overwinter chilli plants here. The poor things were scalped, trimmed and crammed into tiny pots ready to hibernate. I brought the smaller more manageable plants indoors but left the two largest plants in the greenhouse at the allotment.
So how did the overwintering go?
The plants that I brought home died.
The ones left at the allotment all winter survived… Go figure. I feel it may be that the larger plants had a much thicker stem and the ability to lay dormant through the winter. The smaller ones probably didn’t get enough sunlight in my dark kitchen.
Here are the two that made it through, both Jalapeno varieties. One was scalped to oblivion, only leaving the main structure of the plant. The other was left with more leaves on (as an experiment) and they are both showing signs of coming back to life. I started watering them once a week from February with water that was left in a can in the greenhouse. That way, cold water wasn’t shocking the roots when I poured it in.
They are both starting to grow new leaves on the branch nodules. The larger one is slowly dropping the old leaves from last year and growing new in it’s place.
These plants are now 4 years old, the main trunk is approx 1 inch in diameter and thick and woody. Exactly what I wanted! A chilli tree!
OI really hope they are as successful as they were last year. But it’s nothing to worry about if they are not. I’ve got lots more chilli plants coming along nicely in the polytunnel. They’ve been in there for the past two weeks hardening off. I do cover them with fleece to protect against the frosts but to be honest, I think the tunnel is immune to frosts as there are a lot of tender plants in there that seem to be doing really well.
Do you have any over wintered plants coming back to life? Let me know!