Preserving Vietnamese pepper plant over winter

Asked October 9, 2019, 3:19 PM EDT

We have a Vietnamese hot pepper plant with thin red peppers up to a couple of inches long. The plant is in a container and is several feet tall. I don't know if this is a annual or perennial plant. I wanted to know if there is a way to overwinter the plan inside or outdoors to have peppers again next summer. Thank you!

District of Columbia County District of Columbia vegetables plant care

1 Response

Hi- yes, it is possible to overwinter your plant indoors. Chile pepper is a perennial plant but usually treated as an annual in our area.

With the two following options you are trying to keep the plant healthy and somewhat dormant. The plant will not flower and fruit:
1. Place the plant in front of a suth-facing window. If that's not possible, place it where it will receive a mixture of natural and artificial light. Keep the root system moist. The plant will lose leaves and you can trim back branches to keep the plant attractive and tidy.
2. Cut all branches back to a height of 12-18 inches. Keep the plant in a cool location and keep the root system barely moist through winter. Pull the plant out periodically to check roots. You can try different locations and amounts of water based on your observations.

Plant into a slightly larger container when you move it outdoors again. Replace or add fresh growing media and fertilize lightly several times in spring and summer.

Let us know how it works out (jont@umd.edu)
Jon