Friday, January 20, 2012

Almost Indoor Pepper Garden

{sub-title: Garden Fail #1}

Many weeks ago we decided to over-winter several pepper plants in our office. Many still had ripe fruit on them and it's way too cold to leave them outside at night.

We have overwintered this two-year-old anaheim pepper plant before. I started it from seed in spring 2009, and this is the exact same plant. This will be the third winter that we bring it inside. It's still cranking out nice-looking peppers! (I gave this plant its own special post here).

That's the anaheim plant in the green pot. We brought in the cherry, bell, serrano, and jalapeno peppers overwinter. The office actually gets a little humid with all the plants and the sunlight, and we water as necessary. We'd never over-wintered this many plants before, and I thought it would be an interesting experiment to see if they would all make it.

{Yellow bell pepper that I harvested from the indoor crop}

For example, we harvested this big juicy yellow pepper from the plants indoors, as well as a handful of other serranos and cherry peppers. Everything seemed to be going well until we went in one day and saw that one of the plants had exploded in aphids. We took that plant outside so the aphids wouldn't infest the other plants. Once again, everything seemed to be going well until I went in last week and saw almost every single plant crawling with aphids. I'm talking it looked like the pots were moving. It was indescribably disgusting. We moved them all outside again, but at that point the cold temperatures were too much for the plants and they just died. 

We were able to save a few that didn't have any aphids on them. Don't they look pathetic?

So the lesson I learned was, wait until the temps are cooler before bringing plants inside in case there are bugs waiting to manifest themselves. I hope they pull through, especially my 3-year-old anaheim pepper plant. 

Do you overwinter any vegetable plants?


  1. So sorry to learn about the aphids destroying your plants. That's so heart breaking. I hope your anaheim pepper plant recover.

  2. I brought a little Rooster Spur pepper in this year, the same thing happened to it! Maybe they need a good dousing with insecticidal soap before you bring them in. How disappointing for you!

  3. Oh how sad!
    I've never overwintered any veggie plants. I don't even have houseplants due to a cat that would eat all the leaves. How fun to keep getting fresh veggies in winter, though! I hope your pepper plant pulls through!

  4. oh no! they looked so beautiful and healthy. that's such a bummer, i'm sorry. before frost i brought in a pepper plant, two tomato plants and three pots of herbs, mostly basil. the veggies did great up until late november when all the peppers and tomatoes ripened, then the plants just gave up. herbs are still going strong. i also brought in an olive plant, small fig tree and three dwarf citrus--most of them dropped most of their leaves, but they're still alive, and i have some nearly-ripe mini-oranges i'm excited about.

  5. Oh, I've never tried bringing in vegetables plants inside. So, I was surprised at the aphid infection. Too bad it was so cold out. :( But, that's the way we learn lessons, I suppose.

  6. Aphids are so gross! I avoid houseplants because of the bugs and don't overwinter anything. How frustrating for you. I really hope they make it. My seeds from the Seed Exchange came. :o) Thanks for the info.

  7. I have very few indoor plants, because of lack of windows that get enough sun. I'm afraid my winter veggies come from the grocery store. Too bad about your peppers. They looked fabulous while they lasted.

  8. Oh no...they look so sad! That's definitely a good lesson to learn...I've had the same thing happen with plants I tried to's so hard to find just the right time to bring them in! I hope your peppers pull through :-)

  9. Sorry about your aphid problem. That yellow one and the Anaheim pepper looked great, though. Hope they were not among the aphid afflicted.


  10. Aphids give me the creepy crawlies. Sorry to hear the infestation.

  11. Oops, typo. Sorry to hear about the infestation.

  12. sorry to hear about the aphids :o( that is usually what gets my plants. I try to overwinter my pepper plants too, but the aphids usually get them no matter how much i try to spray them with soapy water.
    last year I took cuttings of a tomato plant and it made it through winter, until i put it out on an nice 70 degree day and forgot about it at night when temps dipped below 30's.


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