Friday, August 19, 2011

My Most Favorite Garden Plant

In my recent 2011 Pepper List post, I mentioned that this Anaheim pepper deserves its own post. This is why:
I love it for various sentimental reasons. I started this Anaheim pepper from seed in March 2009, which was the first year we decided to grow our own vegetables. Of all the pepper seeds I planted, it was the only one that germinated. It has grown from a spindly seedling into a healthy plant and heavy producer. I was so proud of having grown something from seed that first year that I wanted to keep it over winter. (At the time I didn't know or realize that you could "over-winter" some vegetable plants and that it's actually quite a common practice). We brought it inside and settled it by the west-facing back door so it would get plenty of sunlight. We watered it and misted it every now and then to keep it humid in the dry winter air of the house.
It did very well! By early spring 2010, while still indoors, it started to produce blossoms and buds again. We moved it outside once the temperatures got warm enough, and it grew enough last summer that we transferred it to a bigger pot. Some of our other pepper plants seem to die off, but this one kept going. Last year, we decided to overwinter it again. In the fall of 2010 we moved it to our spare bedroom so we could close the door and keep our cat away from it. The room has an east-facing window, and we left the shades open all the time. The plant thrived even more. The closed door and intense morning sun created a sort-of greenhouse in the room, which stayed fairly humid throughout the winter. This is now where we keep our seedlings and other plants that we're over-wintering.

This is a tough plant! It has survived extreme temperatures like the record-breaking brutal heat of Summer 2010, cold autumn nights before we decided to keep it inside over winter, a spider mite infestation, and an attack from my cat that left it with a broken limb (part of the reason we moved it to a cat-free zone).
This plant is in now its THIRD growing season, and it continues to do well. We've been reading up on how to collect and save seeds, and we're planning to harvest and save the seeds from the best fruit. I want to preserve its genes for future totally awesome pepper plants.

Anaheim peppers are supposed to be on par with jalapeños in terms of heat, but ours are fairly mild.

Do you have any favorite plants (vegetable or otherwise)? Do you have any sturdy, repeat producers?


  1. Nice looking peppers. Mine did not do that well, so not on my favorite list.

  2. Wow-I had never thought of overwintering a pepper. I hope it lasts for many years to come!

  3. That's really impressive! I've never heard of overwintering veggie plants. I have tons of favorite plants. Too many to list!

  4. Thanks everyone. I wasn't sure if I could overwinter any plants either. We've only tried the pepper plants and we haven't had problems.


Hello, and thanks for stopping by my garden site. I appreciate the time it takes to read posts and comment. Happy Gardening!