Forum home Fruit & veg

Pepper plants

I've just stood my last year's pepper plants outside during the day, having kept them indoors all winter. They keep producing new white flowers which then shrivel up and drop off. I wonder if they will produce fruit now they are outside with a chance to get pollinated? Also, should I remove the existing peppers to encourage more to form?


  • What part of the world are you?
    In the UK it is really hard work to keep them overwinter, which I have done once.
    If any peppers set, cut them off when ready to use. In the right climate they can be perrennial, in the UK we usually treat them as annuals.
  • East of England. Have had no problem keeping them over winter, it's just that the new flowers don't seem to be setting fruit, and I wondered if leaving the ripe peppers on is preventing this. Have put them outside in case pollination is needed.
  • scrogginscroggin Posts: 433
    I would say it's still too cold, it's barely reached 15°C here in the South East. If all you want is to pollinate the flowers I would leave them inside and hand pollinate using a small paintbrush, I do that with my chilli plants and it works fine.
  • LynLyn Posts: 23,190
    I always hand pollinate mine,  they never go outside.
    I wonder why the OP is leaving ripe peppers on them. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Please tell me then how to hand pollinate them? Do I spread the pollen from one flower to another? Sorry if this sounds daft, but I don’t have a clue! 
  • philippasmith2philippasmith2 Posts: 3,675
    Follow the advice given by @scroggin - dab the open flower with a small brush making sure you get pollen on the brush and transfer it to another flower. Do that each time another flower opens.  You can usually tell if it has worked as the successfully pollinated flower will close up.  The plants will still require warmth tho - it's too early to put them outside IMO.
    I'd advise you to remove any ripe peppers each year - little point in leaving them on - it is sometimes possible to overwinter the basic plant and you then have a headstart for the following season when you can then renew the compost and treat them as you would normally.  Good luck  :)
  • Thank you everyone. I will do as you suggest. The plants are back inside now! 
  • msqingxiaomsqingxiao Posts: 482
    I overwintered my cayenne pepper on a southwest facing windowsill in North London (temperature can reach 20C on a sunny winter day without heating), and it just started putting out the first small pepper :) I noticed the pepper before I noticed the flowers tbh. Think cayenne peppers are self-pollinating. The peppers last year didn't taste very hot to me though, probably because even indoors during the summer the temperature was not high enough (even with last year's heat wave!)

Sign In or Register to comment.