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Perennial Pepper Plant?

Posted by jeff_leites 9 San Fernando Valle (My Page) on
Thu, Feb 21, 13 at 23:18

This may be hard to believe, but I just harvested the last of my red bell peppers last week. Now I'm wondering what to do with the plant. If it makes it until spring, will it produce more peppers, or am I better off just starting with a plant?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Perennial Pepper Plant?

Jeff: Peppers are perennials. Is it putting out new foliage? If so, you may want to prune back the old stuff a little. A lot of people(in colder climates) overwinter them--- which you can get all the info you need in the HOT pepper forum. I'm surprised the cold snaps SoCal has gotten this winter didn't do it in. I've got a thai pepper that made it through the winter without overwintering but I bring it into the garage every night.

Sucks though. The tons of fruit that it's put out the last few months have no HEAT to them whatsoever. :(


RE: Perennial Pepper Plant?

Jeff, I am up in Tujunga/Sunland... hey neighbor!

I am actually interested in breeding sweet peppers for perennial habit, so I am interested in what you've got there.

Some of the chiles, particularly the Manzano/Rocoto chiles have a good frost tolerance. I have one that is over a year old and putting out new leaves right now. I might try cross-breeding sweet peppers with the manzano, with the aim to end up with a hardier sweet pepper, but no idea if I will be successful with that.

Anyway... I would love to get some seeds from your plant...especially from any fruit that comes from this point on. Any idea of what variety you have? Hybrid or open pollinated? Regardless, I am interested.

RE: Perennial Pepper Plant?

Thanks for the info.
Yukkuri - There is no fruit left on the plant, so I don't have any seeds. This isn't a chile pepper, it's a red bell. The only time I grew chilies was when I picked up a plant that had been mislabeled :-(
I don't remember where I bought it, I like to get my plants at Sego's nursery on Burbank in North Hollywood, but I've also bought plants at Lowes, Home Depot, and Armstrong.
If it matters, I grow all my veggies in containers.

The picture of the tag is all I know about it.

RE: Perennial Pepper Plant?

Thanks for posting that. To be clear, yes, I am interested in sweet red bell peppers that have overwintered.

I'll assume it is a hybrid, so the genetics will not be stable, but that's fine because it's the genetic lottery ticket I'm after anyway...

If it produces again this season, please save seed and we'll work out a trade or something.

Point being that seed produced in the second season would likely contain some traits related to the experience of having overwintered and come back into production. Those are the traits I am looking to breed for.

RE: Perennial Pepper Plant?

Peppers are definitely perennials. As long as they're protected from frosts (which you shouldnt have much problem with in zone 9), they can put out fruit for years. We have a habanero plant in a 2.5gal container that has a fruit from last season ripening up plus flowers. This plant is at least 3 years old now and has given us dozens of peppers, survived thunderstorms, hurricanes, and cold fronts without a problem. It's a small plant, for sure, but I attribute that with the container size more than the viability of plant itself. Try amending the soil with some compost of fertilizer for the next season.

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