Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It’s overwintering chillies I go!

Overwintering Chillies is all part and parcel of growing them. It’s just that it’s kind of brutal. But, we’ve had a couple of frosts this year already and some plants have taken it badly. I’ve binned more than I care to count now. So, time to try and save the rest!

There isn’t a lot of point in me writing about overwintering chillies, there has so much been said about it already.

The Clifton Chilli Club have a great video guide on You Tube that I posted up last year. There’s another great guide from Mark Willis available as well, so I’ll leave that expertise up to them.

Time for me to crack on though…

Overwintering Chillies

This was my Fidalga Roxa plant, it gave me a couple of small chillies late on in the season which I plucked off just before this picture was taken. It wasn’t going to be doing anything else now and while it was still a good healthy plant. The healthier it is, the more chance it has to survive.

Which is a good job.

Overwintering Fidalga Roxa

As I said, it can be quite a brutal experience for the plant, nobody said overwintering chillies would be fun 🙁

I don’t have a lot of room in my house for plants, I’ve managed to sneak around 6 in now and Mrs. Diaries hasn’t complained that much.  I did plan for more to be honest but then I remembered that I needed room for seedlings as well.

As my windowsills ended up looking like this…

Seedlings on a windowsill

For far too long this year due to the late summer I decided I’d better not push my luck with them now.

So they’re going to stay in my “good” greenhouse, for the most part. I’ve kept them elevated off the floor and made sure that none of them are too close to the edge where I can. Definitely none touching the sides.

Overwintering Chillies

I’ve also laid down some paper on each of the shelves to try and keep them somehow insulated. I’ve no clue if this is going to make any difference if I’m honest but I do know that newspaper is an old trick the homeless use to keep them warm and insulated in the winter months. Hopefully it’ll help somewhat overwintering chillies.

So, that as they say, is that. My Chilli Army of 2016 is no more. A shadow of it’s former self.

Overwintering Chillies

I’ve tried to save 44 of them in total.

Some of them, I don’t think they’ll survive. The upper branches on some had been bitten with frost and others had soft nodules.

What is left of them seems pretty strong though. For the most part.

The more observant among you will notice that there are some there with their leaves still on. That’s just me experimenting to see how long they’ll go. The leaves seemed reluctant to come off unlike the others that couldn’t wait to shed them.

I’ve also left the bottom shelf clear. As it’s close to the ground I don’t think any amount of paper will stop the frost getting there.


The rest. Well? They had to go. They’d either been damaged too much, or didn’t seem like they were strong enough to survive.

Plant Pots

May there little chillies grow in whatever place they move on to next.

Plant Labels

Gone. But not forgotten.

It’s not all bad news though. I got to have one last, final harvest along the way.

Final Harvest

Is it time to plant seeds for next year yet?

2 thoughts on “Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It’s overwintering chillies I go!

  1. Mark Willis

    Well, I hope the greenhouse will do the trick for you – and remain upright! I still have some fruits ripening on the plants in my mini-greenhouses, but they probably won’t last long if we get severe frost. For over-Wintering chillis, getting the temperature right is far from easy. One of the ones I brought inside and gave the “Severe” treatment has already started to produce new leaves, which is not a good thing at this stage of the game. It must be too warm. Perhaps I’ll move it out to the garage…

    1. Paul Speight Post author

      LOL – It’s why I kept referring to the greenhouse as the “good” one – It’s the one that hasn’t let me down yet and is steady as a rock!

      A lot of getting them through winter is luck I guess. We can only try.

      I had some plants marked for throwing in the compost bin last year that got through to January without me even trying. Still had their leaves on and everything. They were kind of sheltered but I didn’t water them or anything. If they could do it on their own then with a bit of help these might be OK.

      A lot of the ones I did today the leaves were falling off as soon as I picked them up so I’m guessing they were ready to shut down more than some of the others.

      Is a bit strange seeing my garden devoid of plants now though 🙁


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