Q: I love hot peppers and grow ghost peppers in two containers. What is the best way to care for them if I bring them inside for the winter?
A: Even though we think of peppers as being annual plants, many different kinds are perennial and can be kept alive for several years if given the right winter conditions. Successfully keeping the peppers alive in winter depends on how much light you can give them. The minimum is two 40 watt fluorescent tubes. Four tubes per plant is even better. You’ll have to figure out a way to stand them on end on either side of each plant. Place them as close to the leaves as possible. I think 16 hours of artificial light per day is adequate. Peppers like it warm! The temperature around them should be in the low 70’s.
Unless your storage area is really dry, the plants will not need much water. Insert a finger into the soil every few days to see if it is damp or dry. Apply water only when the soil is dry; don’t let it become soggy. Use water soluble fertilizer one time each month. When it is warm enough to bring them outside in May, the plants will have a huge head start compared to starting from seed.