Chillies in growth
Soon we should sow chilies again and that happens while others are still growing.
2018 was a great chilli year. I myself had so many that I stopped harvesting them in the end. I even shared the chillies left and right. 2018 was also a year with a much higher average of sun hours, so that might be the reason for the abundance of chillies.
Not everyone knows that chillies can overwinter. Most think the plant is annual, but you can actually save it, it doesn’t have to start over again.
There are two techniques to keep the plant alive. One is overwintering in dormant and the other you can call its present state.
The state of dormant
The state of dormant is the same as for dahlias and many other known plants that do not tolerate frost. You cut the chilli down, so they are approximately 6 inches above the ground. The plant should be placed in a bright and cool place and irrigated from time to time.
The biggest risk is fungi attacking the plant. It is important that there can be aired out. When spring comes, then put it outside again, protected from frost. If it is shooting again it’s because the root is not damaged, and the flowers will bloom earlier too.
Its present state
Its present state means bringing the plant inside in a bright place with a temperature between 15 and 20 degrees. Of course, you need to irrigate more, but moderately.
This method means that you gradually harden out the plant to tolerate a cooler temperature.
Most of the chillies I save I put in dormant. Some rot, while others survive. I have an insulated shed with lots of light, but I need to remember airing out, even though the shed is ventilated. The plants are placed close together.
One of the more decorative ones is placed in my bathroom. There is fittingly warm. It is placed in the window ledge close to the window and away from the floor heating. It is thriving. Chillies often lose their leaves before their fruits so a trick is to pick the fruits, so that the energy will be used on the leaves. I still haven’t experienced a leaf-fall, so the conditions must be good in my bathroom.
Om Lars Lund
Danish horticulturist and journalist
Lars Lund has for many years engaged in the garden and greenhouse. Lars has published many books about greenhouses, and he has participated in many Danish horticultural TV shows. He is a walking garden encyclopaedia, and he has answers for most basic cultivation questions – also the more ambitious ones.
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