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I bought a chilli plant and left it indoors by the window in its original pot. It's had two waterings since I bought it, spread about a week apart. I cannot remember exactly when the problems started, but some days after I brought it home it started to wilt, and the leaves started to dry and shrivel along with some of the peppers. I've cleaned up a lot of shriveled leaves that have dropped off by themselves.

When I first noticed the wilting, I picked most of the matured chillis in case it was suffocating (it had a lot of chilli clusters), and I removed the shrivelled leaves. No improvement. I hope I didn't shock it more with the plucking.

I live in cold, rainy London and my windows are not double glazed. Perhaps it was the recent cold front that shocked it? I watered it once after the wilting and that did not help. I'm hesitant to water it again in case the problem is fungus (but no white stuff on the soil that I can see). I've since moved it to my kitchen counter away from the cold window sill. No improvement still after a day in the warmth.

It still has some baby leaves, under-developed chillis, and several matured chillis. I think I can save it but not sure the next safe step. Any thoughts?

Full plant Shriveled chillis

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  • Because your soil is bone dry, your plant is thirsty. Please water more often and spray with water daily to heal the damage. It's hard to replicate the greenhouse conditions, but withholding water is not a technique. Stable cold is not a problem, drafty conditions are. Next week, it goes back to the window for the light it craves. Oct 28, 2023 at 23:49
  • Maybe it's thirstier than I thought, I typically don't have to water my plants more than once a week, and less often in the damp cold like this season. But I recently changed flats and it's true that there's more draft now because I don't have double glazed windows anymore. I'll check the mosture of the soil every day and see how it is.
    – Ryan
    Oct 31, 2023 at 17:15

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Your pepper plant is perhaps what we might term "quite mature and tired". It has reacted to the move to your home as any old established creature might do, by showing some pain and discomfort, being quite unused to the new conditions. However such specimens can be rejuvenated without too much trouble. It wants to be warm (above freezing is ok but warmer than that if possible) and have light. Don't expect too much of it until next spring when you could renew it by removing the plant from the pot, cutting off the bottom half of the root ball and removing all the old soil from the remainder. Trim back any dead roots and cut back the top growth by half. Replant in fresh soil and give it light as the days get warmer. It will thank you.

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  • Do you think it's ok then to keep it by the cold, drafty window? It doesn't typically freeze in this city in winter.
    – Ryan
    Oct 31, 2023 at 17:17
  • I regularly keep peppers in close to freezing conditions over winter. Pull them into warmer conditions if freeze threatens. Oct 31, 2023 at 23:22

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