Monday, 19 November 2012

Overwintering a chilli plant

Some weeks ago I told you about pruning a chilli plant for overwintering. Now I have a good few plants in the house at the moment, all doing fairly well, I am pleased. So I was in the process of tasting chillies again. Now that does take a bit of time as I do have to do some research as well, to try and tell you the most I can. Now with my head in tastes, with the accidental burn at times, I am trying to find words.
At times it is hard to describe a chilli, same as you tasted something new and had to describe the herbs. When I look at Hell’s Kitchen from Gordon Ramsey, I find it most amusing to see wannabe chefs that cannot pick out tastes like peanut butter. Very funny to look at Chef Gordon’s face as well. Sorry I am drifting off topic again.

So when I was staring out the window to get a grasp at a taste, my eye started to focus on a plant..
Good grief, I killed a plant, and then remembered my own tips and tricks. Please excuse me for killing 2 plants in fact, now you see an experienced grower makes mistakes too.

In a post before I told you about the hormone system of a plant. If a plant has ripe fruits, especially a chilli plant, it thinks it is done for the season. So if you pick the ripe fruits, it will ripen off the rest of the fruits. If all fruits are picked the plant will start to flower again, getting in a growing and flowering state again. Now that is all done by the plants hormone system. In fall and in winter it is much the same, with one major difference. If a plant has a ripe fruit on, it will start to die in winter, as it has done its task. How can I forget? Well with my head up the clouds. . .
A plant with black/purple fruits should be observer very good.

So other than the regular tips for your overwintering plant, like don’t overwater; don’t leave ripe fruit in the plant. Now it the plant starts to get in flower mode again, it might drop all its flowers. Now that is a shame if you want to have good chillies early in the year. The main reason for flower drop is low humidity, and there is an easy fix to that. If you do get flowers and the plant is over a radiator or other form of heating, put some water in a pot on top of the heater.
If the flowers open, give the plant a little tap at times or a bit of a shake. The male and female parts are so close in the flower, as said in my post about isolating flowers, it will self-pollinate. But as I do so certainly hope there is no wind blowing through your house, give the plant a shake to imitate the movement of the wind.

Yours sincerely,

Bart J. Meijer

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