Any gardener would love growing peppers because of their unique taste and crunchiness. This explains their popularity as garden plants.
But how long do pepper plants last? Can they provide you with bountiful yields year after year? Let’s find out.
The Life Expectancy of a Pepper Plant
The life expectancy of a pepper plant is between three to five years. However, there are several variations to this lifespan that you need to consider.
1. Growing environment
Cold weather proves pretty intolerable for pepper plants, leading to reduced lifespan. Unless overwintered, chances are high your plants won’t survive.
Conversely, warmer temperatures are conducive to their growth and prolong their lifespan.
2. The Pepper Plant Species
Different pepper plant species differ in their lifespan. Typically the plant is considered annual and will complete its life cycle in a year.
However, some species fall under the perennial classification. The list below gives you a breakdown of all the major species and their lifespans.
|Capsicum annuum||Sweet Peppers, Cayenne, Bell, Paprika, Hatch Chile||1.5 – 3 years|
|Capsicum baccatum||Aji-Amarillo, Aji Limon peppers||4 – 6 years|
|Capsicum chinense||Scotch Bonnets, Trinidad scorpions, Ghost peppers, Habaneros, Carolina reaper||3- 5 years|
|Capsicum frutescens||Tabasco, Thai Hot peppers||3- 8 years|
|Capsicum Pubescens||Rocoto, Manzano peppers||5- 10 years|
Indoor and outdoor plants tend to differ in longevity. The same holds when growing peppers.
Peppers Grown Indoors
An indoor-grown pepper plant could give you yields for the next ten years, and this is because of the consistency and predictability associated with an indoor environment.
Proper care also does wonders for the plants and increases their odds of surviving year after year.
However, one needs to ensure plentiful light when growing peppers indoors. Low light will make the yield drop significantly.
Peppers Grown Outdoors
Unlike the indoor environment, outdoor conditions can be unstable and inconsistent.
For instance, rapid temperature changes significantly affect the lifespan of your plants. They could die from a sun scald or a hard freeze.
It is thus advisable to grow them in warm tropical environments.
Another common problem outdoors is the infestation of pests such as scale bugs. This needs to be taken care of using appropriate remedies.
How To Make Your Pepper Plants Live Longer?
Pepper plants require proper care to last more than a year. To maximize their lifespan, consider these best practices.
1. Prune / Cut off Dying Sessions
Pruning is vital for any plant to thrive, and peppers are no exception. It accelerates the growth of healthy pepper fruits and prolongs the life cycle of your plant.
Clip off old and discolored leaves to allow new and healthy ones to grow.
2. Provide Enough Sunlight
Pepper plants require 7-12 hours of bright sunlight and warmth, typically found in subtropical locations. Avoid growing your pepper in winter temperatures below 13 degrees Celsius.
Overwintering is common among gardeners living in cold or icy regions. It means preserving your garden plants under warm shelter until the arrival of warmer months.
The essence of overwintering is merely to preserve your plant; there is no yield during this time.
A Step-by-Step Process for Overwintering Your Pepper Plants
i) Start the overwintering process when the night temperature falls below 12.8 degrees Celsius.
The process is more straightforward if the pepper plants are potted. If you planted them in the garden, dig them up by their roots and prepare a new potting mix.
ii) Collect all fruits and spray the entire plant with a pesticide.
This is vital to get rid of pests hiding underneath the foliage. Neem oil solution works pretty well as a natural pesticide.
iii) Relocate your pepper to a cool, dry spot.
Your plant does not necessarily need light since it isn’t producing during overwintering. Maintain a temperature range of 20-30 °C.
iv) Water the plants regularly depending on need.
Check the soil surface with your finger to determine the soil moisture level and judge whether the plant needs water.
A dry and crusty soil surface is a good indicator of a thirsty plant.
v) Prune old plant parts.
Once your pepper plant enters dormancy, you’ll notice the leaves shrivel. Prune and eliminate old branches and withered leaves.
vi) Take note of the last frost date.
It helps to introduce the plant back to warmer and bright conditions for growth.
Pepper plants require good care to thrive and live longer. This typically involves providing them with slightly acidic to neutral soil rich in nutrients, getting rid of weeds, ensuring regular watering, and protection against harmful bugs and insects.
Peppers add quite a distinct taste and flavor to our foods. Everybody loves them.
They typically have a lifespan of up to 3 years, with some species growing up to 10 years.
Regardless of the species, you can make your pepper plant live longer by following the above-mentioned best practices.
Job Kiniale is a certified crop scientist and gardening enthusiast with a passion to help beginning gardeners navigate their newfound hobby. Let’s talk about plants, backyard ideas, and general gardening advice. Outside work, Job loves spending time with family.