I have finally managed to make one of my chili plants (variety unknown) live into its second year! I've kept it indoors so far this winter. As it will be spring in a couple of months (I'm in the UK), what should I to prepare it for next year? Should I prune it back and if so, how? Should I change the soil?

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  • Has it produced fruit? These would be diagnostic as to the variety (or broad family of varieties - they cross easily). Going by the leaves I would lean towards Capsicum Annuum which are also the most popular incl. bells, jalapeños, etc.
    – winwaed
    Commented Jan 29, 2012 at 4:11

2 Answers 2


Chili plants do not really need much care to go into their second year. I usually just move them outside after frost has passed, let them transition themselves to the new environment, and plant them on a cloudy day into the garden, at the same depth as they were originally. During this whole time, water very plentifully, until the plant begins actively growing. If you want to prune, trim the softest new growth from the stem tips. This leaves the toughest part of the plant for the transition.

  • That's about how I do it, no trimming, and the plants grow nicely once they're used to the garden again. Commented Feb 1, 2012 at 0:07

I've never pruned peppers. As with jmusser, if they survive winter in a pot, then I plant them out after the last frost (this is Texas so it is fairly warm by the time frosts are guaranteed gone).

If you are keeping it in a pot (seems popular in the UK, although you should be able to plant them out in a similar manner as tomatoes), then I would remove the dead plant, and probably the nearly dead green stalk; then choose a larger pot. I find pots restrict the size of a pepper plant (those in beds grow much bigger).

Otherwise I think it looks healthy. At this stage, better than any 'edible' pepper plant that I've managed to overwinter! (I currently have some ornamentals doing well, but they are tiny plants with tiny fruit)

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