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I planted some chili plants at the beginning of the season and they have done very well so far. Had quite a good crop. The varieties are Apache, Carolina Reaper, Chocolate Habanero and Trinidad Scorpion. I'm growing them indoors in relatively small pots, three, four and five liter ones. I live in an 8b hardiness zone.

Lately, autumny, cloudy days and rain have started creeping in, and the plants have started looking droopy with slightly yellowish/brown, crinkly leaves and producing small fruit that doesn't grow too much before turning red. Also some elongated fruit. I was thinking these were all signs that it was time to start preparing them for overwintering.

Everywhere I look they mention trimming them down to the stem and keeping them around 12-14 Celsius, once their leaves start falling. My problem is that I live in a very well insulated building where temperatures rarely drop below 20 Celsius, even during winter. Light is naturally limited however and an LED white light I have does not seem to revive them or help give them more energy.

My question is, should I:

  1. Leave them like they are, give them as much light as possible, and let them survive the winter like that?

  2. Trim some of the surrounding vegetation and leaves, the bottom ones and the ones looking crinkly, brown/yellow and keep them like that over the winter?

  3. Trim down to the stem anyway?

  4. Any other suggestions?

Happy to provide more information and pictures as needed.

EDIT: Added pictures.

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  • Could you add photo? My chilies doesn't et much light on winter, but it is not a problem. They suffer at beginning (sometime they lose leaves), but before the end of winter you get many flowers, and healthy plants. But a photo would help us to see how is it your starting point. I would not trim. Commented Oct 5, 2020 at 10:04
  • the biggest problem I've had with overwintering chilies is aphids. However mine spend the summer outside in pots and then I move them indoors when temps get too low for them outside. If yours have always been inside - as might be implied by your stating that you grow them indoors - then you might not have that problem. I have heard anecdotally that forced air heat exacerbates any aphid issues.
    – That Idiot
    Commented Oct 5, 2020 at 10:13
  • Thanks for the quick replies guys. I added some pictures. Let me know if you would like any more. The big one is the Carolina Reaper with a couple of the Apaches next to it and a close up of a not so browned leaf. I hope you can see how they are drooping. The Carolina Reaper could also do with a bit of water. Commented Oct 5, 2020 at 20:02

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Your photographs show chili plants which are in mostly in good health.

Red and blue light emitting diodes (LEDs) work better for plants than white electric lights.

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Put the chili pepper 🌶 plants outdoors if the weather should be predicted to be above 50 degrees Fahrenheit for more than a month.

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