Overwintered Purple Bhut Jolokia……

You may remember a while back, that I wrote an article about overwintering a chilli plant….for that, I used a Purple Bhut Jolokia as an example.
Well….I thought you might like to see a picture of the same plant now:

As you can see, the plant has put some good fresh growth on, and there are also signs of buds:

However, the buds will probably be removed, as I’m not looking to get any pods growing on the plant just yet…all I want to do, is get the plant to survive until spring.
I have been watering lightly every week or 10 days, just enough to moisten the compost…and fed a couple of times with a weak solution of Chilli Focus. Since the original article, I have prepared another half a dozen plants in exactly the same way…..and hopefully, I’ll have a great start for next season.
iggy 🙂


4 comments on “Overwintered Purple Bhut Jolokia……

  1. Hello

    Yes I remember that post. Did you take your plants into the house for overwintering? I’ve seen pictures of Purple Bhut Jolokia but have yet to taste one; do they taste similar to the other Bhut Jolokia Chillies? The only ones I’ve ever grown and tasted are Chocolate, CPI and Red. I see that there are many more variations in colour popping up within the Bhut Jolokia and Trinidad Scorpion nowadays.

    I started a couple of Tepin Plants from seed a few years ago, and in the first year they didn’t put out any fruit at all. Someone informed me that the Tepin variety I was growing were known to put out very little, if any, fruit during the first year, so I had to overwinter them. The second year they were plastered in small pea-sized green fruits that eventually ripened to light red. They were VERY hot too. It could only happen to me!

    However, I decided to overwinter the Tepin Plants a third time – the idea being that it would be easier than starting new ones from seed and waiting two years before I had fruit. They didn’t survive a third time, and in hindsight I think one of the big mistakes I made was to leave a few fruits on the plant overwinter. Well, actually, the plants continued flowering and fruiting even after I’d pruned them back for overwintering. What I’ve noticed is that once winter really gets a grip, the humidity level drops in the house and the plants begin dropping the flowers anyway, but obviously the fruits stay on. I didn’t realise that leaving a few fruits on the plants would cause a problem, not until a friend informed me that you’re meant to prune the plants right back and remove all the fruits — he explained that it helps to put the plants into a state of dormancy through the winter months. So not only did I NOT get a few fruits for the springtime, but I killed the plants too. … :-O

    Anyhow, both the plants were in the house, and I DID try my best with them (I didn’t over water, I was very good and just gave them a small amount occasionally), however, I think no matter how experienced we are at growing chilli pepper plants, inevitably we will end up killing a few from time to time. Unfortunately for me, I don’t have any radiators in the house, so I can’t provide the plants (or myself) with any extra warmth. I may to start kitting a few nice jumpers for myself and the plants. … That’s what you get when you live in a time-warp with nothing but sheep for company. 😀

    I have no radiators in the house, so can’t provide myself or the plants with any additional warmth. The humidity level appears to drop through the wintertime anyway, and I know by experience of a previous life that radiators tend to lower the humidity too, so for these reasons I don’t over-winter chilli plants. Someone I used to speak with online informed me that when he worked in IT, some of the techs used to place small bowls of water next to the radiators in the server room, as it raised the humidity level and kept the dust down.

    The bottom line is that overwintering chilli plants will always be hit and miss, because many chilli types are tropical, and when we grow them out of their natural environment we will inevitably end up killing a few from time to time.

    Your blog is great and very informative. I can tell just by reading it that you’ve been at this game for many years.


    • Hello there…thank you for your kind words regarding the blog 🙂 if there is anything you would like me to consider writing about, let me know through the contact form.
      The purple bhut jolokia, is only purple while unripe, it actually ripens to a dark orange and is very much the same in heat & flavour, to a normal Bhut. You are correct when you say overwintering is hit & miss…I’ve been doing it for years, and lost more than survived ! I do feel it’s important not to let the plant retain any fruit, so it can easier be put into semi-dormancy.

  2. Hi Iggy, I’m very interested to see how your overwintered purple bhut jolokia plant is doing now it’s August 2013. I plan on overwintering some of my plants this year, it’s been my first shot at growing and got 20 plants most with fruits so I intend to pick the best 5 or 6. Cheers – Steve

    • Hi Steve, Im a bit busy for a few days….but I’ll get you a pic of the overwintered Bhut A.S.A.P.
      You’ve got nothing to lose by trying to overwinter your plants, I hope they do well for you 🙂

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