How to grow peppers indoors?

Contents

How to Successfully Start Peppers Indoors

When you consider the high price of organic red (and yellow and orange) peppers at the grocery store, they might be one of the vegetables that are the most worth it to grow.

The taste of fresh red peppers from the garden is so amazing that you’ll likely find yourself snacking on them before they make it into the kitchen for a recipe.

At our house during the pepper harvest season we eat as many as possible in favorite summer dishes, and then when we get our fill we freeze them for winter, throw them in our favorite salsa recipe, and make roasted red peppers for winter hummus wraps.

I think they’re one of the most exciting and rewarding vegetables to grow. So much so that I plant around 35 sweet peppers in my garden each year.

Peppers can be tricky to grow sometimes. The varieties you plant very much determine the success you’ll have. So, it’s worth it to grow your own seeds so you can experiment and find the best varieties for your garden.

The seeds can also be a little tricky to get to germinate, so in this post, I’m sharing the step-by-step process I use for successfully starting pepper seeds indoors each winter.

This post contains affiliate links.

Tips for Starting Peppers Indoors

I’ve been growing red peppers in my garden successfully for many years, but I’ve had trouble during the seed starting process with getting them to germinate. Peppers can be tricky because they like very warm temperatures for germination. A soil temperature of 85 degrees F is ideal. In cold weather areas like mine, this is difficult to provide in most homes.

Without supplemental heat, you might have spotty pepper germination. Over the years I’ve had the best success with using either a seedling heat mat underneath newly planted seeds or an electric soil warming cable buried in the soil of the tray. You can read more about the warming cable in this blog post.

Peppers should be started about 10 weeks from your last frost, although I’ve found that with the extra heat mine grow pretty quickly, so I’ve pushed my start date back an extra week or so this year.

The step-by-step process for starting peppers indoors.

Step 1: Don’t plant seeds directly into dry soil. It’s important to pre-moisten your seed starting mix before planting in it so the seeds don’t float to the top. Put some soil in a watertight container like a bucket and add water until it’s moist but not wet.

Step 2: Fill your pot/cell packs/tray with the soil mix. Because I start a lot of pepper seeds, I like to use a growing tray. If you’re only starting a few seeds you can use pots, 4-pack or 6-pack plastic containers, or whatever you prefer.But, make sure it has drainage holes. (You can see the heating coil popping out of the soil in the upper left.)

Step 3: Use a wooden plant label to make rows across the flat. Short rows across the width allow you to seed a higher number of varieties.

.

Step 4: Place about 10 seeds down each row. As you finish each row make sure you label it with the name of the variety. I use old yogurt containers cut into strips..

Step 5: Cover the seeds with soil and pat gently to make sure they’re in contact with the soil.

Step 6: Water the rows well. Seeds like to be moist but not soaked during germination. I like using a bike water bottle to control the flow.

Step 7: Don’t forget to keep records! Write down the variety, amount, and date started.

Want to join me in the excitement of growing your own organic plants at home? Check out this video series about creating a personalized planting calendar, how to build your own grow light rack, and what to look for when shopping for seed starting mix.

Step 8: Put the seed tray into another flat with no holes or something else to catch any water leakage so it doesn’t drip onto your floor.

Step 9: Insert the tray into your “germination chamber”. I recommend using a large, clear plastic bag. A germination chamber holds in the heat and moisture and helps the seeds germinate more quickly. You shouldn’t have to water the flat again until after germination.

Step 10: Put the flat somewhere warm. I placed mine near an outlet to plug in the heating coil. It’s sitting on the dresser in my guest bedroom.

Step 11: Monitor the flat daily. As soon as the peppers germinate remove the tray from the plastic bag and place it under the lights on your seedling rack. If you leave them in the bag they’ll get leggy quickly and sometimes die if it’s too hot under there.

I’ve had peppers take almost three weeks to germinate under cool conditions, which can mean your plants will be pretty puny when they go out into the garden. The warmer you keep them the more quickly they’ll germinate and grow.

Starting your own pepper seeds is the best way to get a huge harvest of red peppers this summer! You can experiment with different varieties and see which ones perform best for you. (Two of my favorites are here and here.) Over time you’ll have a list of reliable varieties that provide you with more red peppers than you can possibly eat.

Don’t forget to check out Super Easy Seed Starting, the how-to video series with more tips and techniques for successful seed starting this season. Preview some of the videos here.

.

SHARE IT ON PINTEREST

Read more about seed starting:

5 Common Mistakes of Seed Starting

Easy to Assemble Seed Starting Rack

5 Best Seeds to Start

Gardening How-to Articles

Growing Chile Peppers Indoors

By Susan Belsinger | December 2, 1999

It’s a challenge to grow chile peppers indoors. Like tomatoes, they need an environment that’s warmer and brighter than most homes. However, growing chiles indoors is a worthwhile project if you don’t have a garden. The best indoor environment for chiles is a greenhouse, of course, but you can also grow them with some success under lights.

An indoor pepper plant will probably never grow as large as one planted outside, and the fruits will most likely be a bit smaller. Selecting plants that grow well in containers will give you the best shot at a good indoor chile crop. The best chiles to grow indoors are the ornamental and smaller hot chiles that are often grown outdoors as container plants. Some chile varieties that grow well indoors and in containers are piqu’ns, chiltepins, habaneros, and Thai peppers (see “Encyclopedia of Chiles”).

These small plants have a long growing season. They fruit and flower for a longer period than short-season chiles, so you will have a greater chance of harvesting fruits from them. The small chiles grow to 6 to 12 inches in height with an equal diameter. Since the peppers stand out prominently above the foliage, these plants make colorful and decorative houseplants. These chiles can be very pungent.

Growing requirements for these smaller, long-season peppers are the same as for other chiles. Outdoors in the southwestern United States where they grow best, chiles like hot daytime temperatures—80° to 90°F plus—and warm nighttime temperatures of about 70°F. To succeed with chile peppers, your home or greenhouse temperatures should be within 20°F of this optimum range. Artificial light, such as a fluorescent tube, placed 3 inches above the plants will raise the temperature by about 10°F. A heat mat beneath the plants will also provide warmth.

Keep the Chiles Coming

If you have been growing chiles outdoors in the garden and want to prolong the harvest season, try digging some of the smaller ornamental peppers, potting them, and bringing them indoors. If you have the space and the desire, try to keep some going all year long.

They will have a tendency to slow down during the winter months and may lose some leaves and turn a pale green, but do not overfertilize them. Let them rest, consider cutting them back if they get leggy, and look for new growth in the spring.

The most important factor in growing chiles is light. Just to survive they need at least six hours of bright sunlight a day (southern exposure is best for this) and about eight hours of indirect light (from eastern or western exposure). If you are growing peppers on a windowsill and they appear to be just hanging on, supplement their natural light with artificial light. If you can put your indoor chile plants outside on a porch, balcony, or deck for the summer season, this will benefit them enormously.

If you are using only artificial light, your chiles will need 16 hours of light a day, so you might want to place them in an out-of-the-way corner, a closet, or the basement. The plants do need some rest, so it’s a good idea to set the lights on a timer that turns the lights on and off automatically. You don’t have to buy fancy growlights—common fluorescent fixtures with either ordinary cool white or warm white tubes will do. The size and number of fixtures will depend on how many plants you want to grow. You can hang the lights from a ceiling or shelf, or under a work table. Attach chains to the fixtures so that you can easily raise and lower them. Place the lights about 3 inches above the plants and raise them as the plants grow taller, maintaining that 3-inch distance from the plants.

As your chiles grow in their containers, you may have to transplant them more than once. A 10- to 12-inch pot will probably be large enough to grow a small plant to maturity. For larger chiles use a 16- to 18-inch pot. Be sure that your pots have adequate drainage; you’ll need a saucer, underliner, or tray on which to place the pots.

Commercial soilless mixes of spaghnum peat or composted bark combined with equal parts of vermiculite or perlite are good for growing chiles. Water the chiles well when you transplant them into a new pot. As they grow, be careful not to overwater them. Keep the plants on the slightly damp to dry side; the medium will turn a lighter color as it dries out. Feed your chiles every three weeks, or according to the fertilizer manufacturer’s directions. Kelp and fish emulsion are good organic fertilizers, and granular or concentrated liquids that are mixed with water are widely available and work well.

Chiles will start to mature about 10 to 12 weeks after you have transplanted them and will continue to bear fruit for several months. Harvest them when the fruits are shiny and bright green or beginning to turn yellow, orange, or red, depending on the variety. If your chiles appear to be under attack by bugs or pathogens, consult “Disorders, Pests, and Diseases of Chiles.”

Susan Belsinger is a food writer and photographer. Her work has appeared in publications including Gourmet, Food & Wine, Kitchen Garden, and Organic Gardening magazine. She is the coauthor of New Southwestern Cooking, (MacMillan, 1985), The Chile Pepper Book (Interweave Press, 1994), and Classic Southwest Cooking (Jessica’s Biscuit, 1996). She gives lectures and demonstrations on chiles throughout the United States and Canada.

55shares

  • Pin
  • Share
  • Twitter
  • Flipboard
  • Email

You already know that natural sunlight is the best source of light for your vegetable garden. However, your veggies might not be getting the 14 to 18 hours of sunlight it needs. That could be because of a long winter, or you’re just not in an area that gets a lot of sunlight. The alternative is growing your plants indoors with grow lights. While it is a second-best option, it’s still a good one because technology has improved quite a bit over the past few years.

The best grow lights for vegetables are now affordable, efficient, and they don’t produce nearly the same amount of heat as grow lights from the past. Not only will you be able to place these lights right up next to your seedlings to give them the most intense light possible, you also won’t have to worry about your electric bill soaring.

Table of Contents

6 Best Grow Lights Comparisons

IMAGE MODEL FEATURES
LED Plant Grow Lights, Shengsite
  • Wattage: 50W
  • Diameter: 13.1 inches
  • Weight: 2.1 lbs.
Check The Price
Hydrofarm Jump Start Grow Light System
  • Wattage: 54W
  • Dimensions: 31.75 H x 18 D x 50 L inches
  • Weight: 11.1 lbs.
Check The Price
Dimgogo 1500w Double Chips LED Grow Light
  • Wattage: 1500W
  • Dimensions: 17.8 L x 10.9 D x 4.8 W inches
  • Weight: 8.15 lbs.
Check The Price
Newhouse Lighting Dual Head LED Clamp Grow Light
  • Wattage: 10W
  • Dimensions: 4.5 L x 20 D x 3.25 W inches
  • Weight: 1.1 lbs.
Check The Price
Roleadro LED Grow Light Bulb
  • Wattage: 45W
  • Dimensions: 4.5 L x 20 D x 3.25 W inches
  • Weight: 1.7 lbs.
Check The Price
Hydrofarm HPS Mini Sunburst with Lamp
  • Wattage: 150W
  • Dimensions: 5 H x 17 D x 9 L inches
  • Weight: 8.9 lbs.
Check The Price

Do Vegetables Need a Special Type of Grow Light?

You may have seen a surge in information on grow lights for cannabis. With the recent changes in legal growth and sales of cannabis, it’s become a hot topic. That telltale purple glow isn’t just for weed, though. All plants need a little something different, whether it’s the amount of sun each one gets, the nutrients, or pruning, but they all need light.

Vegetable plants don’t require any special kind of light to grow, so you can purchase and use anything from incandescent or HPS to fluorescent or LED. All it really comes down to is how much money you’re willing to spend in upfront costs, long-term, and for replacement bulbs. You may also want to consider how cold your grow room is and whether it can handle the heat some grow lights give off. It’s possible you want to use a couple of different types of lights for growing, but most of them now offer full spectrum light, so you don’t have to search for the natural white light, blue lights, and red lights to encourage photosynthesis.

Is Price an Indicator of Quality in Gardening Grow Lights?

Sometimes we shop for items and lean toward buying the more expensive product, believing that if it costs more, it must hold a greater value. That isn’t necessarily the case with lights for indoor gardens.

When you purchase fluorescent lighting for your plants, you may also need to buy a ballast, as you can’t just plug a T5 tube light into a regular lamp. So, there are some extra costs associated with a T5 setup. You can find some of these starter setups that include the ballast, so all you have to do is hang the light and plug it in. However, they are a little pricey. And you’re looking at an average of 20,000 hours of lifespan from those lights. So, you’ll need to buy replacement bulbs sooner rather than later (2 years). Fluorescents lean toward the blue spectrum, so they’re great for the vegetative stage, and help produce bushy plants, but you canfind some in full spectrum light now.

Another popular choice for grow lights is HPS, which many indoor gardeners have sworn by for the flowering and fruiting stage. The warmer light isn’t the best for seedlings or for the vegetative stage, though. They’re surprisingly affordable, but they’re a bit outdated and are likely to become obsolete soon because they’re costly to run. These lights produce tons of heat, and you’ll need to have a well-ventilated grow room. Plus, you’ll have to plan on spending more on electricity because these lights suck up the juice.

One of the newest lights to hit the industry is the LED grow light. At first, it seemed LEDs wouldn’t be able to produce enough light to help plants grow at all, but it turns out that LEDs can offer a full spectrum of light to help plants grow from seed to harvest. Compared to other bulbs, LEDs are a bit expensive to buy, but they are more energy-efficient than any other light source. Not only do they use just pennies of electricity per day, they also produce very little heat. You can scooch your seedlings up close to this light source and not worry about burning. Then back the light off as your plants grow. You’ll have enough white, red, and blue to go from itty bitty seeds to big, bushy plants, and finally to the flowering stage. And soon, you’ll be able to harvest the vegetables.

What to Look for in Grow Lights for Your Veggies

To get the most bang for your buck, you should look for a light that works as hard as you do to make sure your little seeds grow up into big, bushy plants that will produce lots of flowers, and then vegetables.

Find a model that doesn’t require you to buy any other equipment. Many types for growing have onboard fans, or won’t require cooling at all. Some LED bulbs, for example, only require you to have a lamp for you to screw the bulb into. You can also find some setups that include a fixture, so all you have to do is plug it in and put your plants underneath it. Others may require you to hang the fixture from your ceiling.

Look for a light that doesn’t use up too much electricity, and one that has a long lifespan. You should also keep an eye out for grow lights with long warranties. Should anything go wrong with your light, it’s better to return it for a repair or replacement than have to pay for a whole new light. It’s also helpful to have a light that has a built-in heat sink that will absorb heat that is produced by the glow.

Top 6 Best Grow Lights for Vegetables Reviews

50W LED Plant Grow Lights, Shengsite UFO 250 LEDs Indoor Plants Growing Light Bulbs with Red Blue Spectrum Hydroponics Plant Hanging Kit for Germination, Vegetative & Flowering

  • Wattage: 50W
  • Diameter: 13.1 inches
  • Weight: 2.1 lbs.
  • Number of LEDs: 250
  • Lifespan: 50,000 hours
  • Warranty: 1 year

Check The Price

There are more than a few reasons why this Shengsite UFO LED grow light is so popular. Its size is ideal if you’re growing just a couple of plants, and the round shape ensures that all the plants get some light. The 250 LEDs produce bright light, which is what plants crave. And because these are LEDs, you can place the fixture close to your plants’ leaves without worrying about burns. You’ll hardly notice, by your ear, anyway, that this light is on because it doesn’t hum like other lights, and there’s no fan to make noise.

This light is only rated at 50W, and even then, that’s not entirely accurate. It clocks in at about 34W of actual power that it draws. That’s both good news and bad news. The good part is that it doesn’t suck up a ton of energy, and you’re unlikely to notice any change to your electric bill – even if you use this for 16 to 18 hours per day. The bad news is that you’re not getting what’s advertised. Perhaps the biggest issue with this light, though, is the design on the back. The power cord is right next to where one of the hanging cables go, so it sits a bit off balance.

PROS

  • Bright light
  • Quiet operation
  • Works well for vegetative stage
  • Includes warranty
  • Energy-efficient

CONS

  • Has some design flaws

PRO TIP!

For a couple of vegetable plants or a small indoor garden, this LED light for growing could work well.

Hydrofarm Jump Start Grow Light System

  • Wattage: 54W
  • Dimensions: 31.75 H x 18 D x 50 L inches
  • Weight: 11.1 lbs.
  • Number of bulbs: 1
  • Lifespan: 20,000 hours
  • Warranty: 1 year

Check The Price

One of the downsides of choosing a fluorescent grow light is that you can’t easily plug it in anywhere and start showering your seedlings and plants with light – except in the case of the Hydrofarm Jump Start Grow Light System. It’s a little pricey to start, but when you consider everything you’re getting, it could be worth it. You get a tall and long stand that will accommodate several of your little vegetable plants, and there are cables you set up to make adjusting the light easily. You can have the lamp close to your plants and soil to help with germination or pull it up high to just give it the light and little warmth.

There are no fans built into this system, so you may want to add one to help dissipate the heat generated by this lamp. It isn’t a ton of heat, but it may be significant enough to warrant a fan. Also, the light that this T5 bulb generates is more of a natural white light, but it isn’t a full spectrum. You may notice your plants getting leggy as they grow and falling over. So, there’s a chance you’ll need to switch out lights for the flowering stage. This is a good light for seedlings and herbs, but the bulb isn’t going to last very long – up to two years with continuous use.

  • White light
  • Quiet operation
  • Good for germination
  • Includes warranty
  • Energy-efficient
  • Bulb isn’t a full spectrum
  • Lifespan of the bulb is short

If you’re looking for a fluorescent grow light system to get some seedlings started, this could be a great grow lamp for beginning your vegetable garden.

Dimgogo 1500w Double Chips LED Grow Light,150 Chips Full Spectrum LED Grow Light for Greenhouse and Indoor Plant Flowering Growing (10w LEDs)

Check The Price

The life of a vegetable plant requires a few different types of light, and you get all of them with this full spectrum LED grow light from Dimgogo. This 1500W grow lamp includes 150 LEDs using dual 5W chips, so this is a bright light that glows purple, so you know you’re getting the reds and blues your plants crave. It also includes the natural white light that your plants want for all cycles of their lives, from seedling to growth to flowering to fruiting.

The grow lamp itself is a decent size that should provide enough light for about half a dozen plants or so, depending on their size. The LEDs ensure that your plants get lots of bright light, but not a lot of heat. Any heat that is produced by these lights are pushed away by the three onboard fans, and out through the several vents in this unit. You’ll have to pay a bit more upfront for this light, but its operating costs are quite low. The only issue that’s been noted is that the quality control is a bit lacking, so you may get a defective unit. The good news is that this grow lamp comes with a three-year warranty, which is longer than most.

  • Uses dual 5W chips
  • Full spectrum light
  • Works well for all stages
  • Excellent warranty
  • Energy-efficient
  • Poor quality control

If you’re looking for a powerful grow lamp for your vegetables that’ll last long and includes an excellent warranty, this may be your best bet.

Newhouse Lighting Dual Head LED Clamp Grow Light

  • Wattage: 10W
  • Dimensions: 4.5 L x 20 D x 3.25 W inches
  • Weight: 1.1 lbs.
  • Number of LEDs: 10
  • Lifespan: 50,000 hours
  • Warranty: 30 days

Check The Price

When you have to bring your vegetable plants inside for the winter, they still need light to keep growing, and the Newhouse Lighting Dual Head LED Clamp Grow Light can provide the light needed for a couple of small plants. This grow lamp isn’t like the big fixtures that you hang from a ceiling, rather it’s a clamp lamp. So, you can plug this in, clamp it to a table or desk, and then place the lights where you need them. The flexible necks make it easy for you to move one head above your plants and the other to the side or down below to ensure each leaf is getting some artificial sunlight.

This is a small unit, though, so you won’t be able to light a large indoor garden. Plus, it’s only a 10W light, which means you aren’t getting the most intense light possible. With such a low wattage device, though, you shouldn’t notice an increase in your electric bill at all. Also, you can turn one light on and one light off, if you don’t need too much light. The reds and blues of this LED grow light can help with seedlings, the growth stage, and flowering, but it may struggle with the fruiting stage. This LED grow lamp doesn’t come with the best warranty – you only have 30 days to return it if anything goes wrong.

  • Adjustable lights
  • Works well for most stages
  • Easy to use
  • Use one or two lights
  • Energy-efficient
  • Poor warranty
  • Small in size

If you need a small lamp to keep your vegetable plants going indoors, this one might work well for you.

Roleadro LED Grow Light Bulb, 45w Plant Growing Lights Lamp Panel with Red & Blue Spectrum for Indoor Plants, Hydroponic, Greenhouse, Succulents, Flower, Seedlings Growing

  • Wattage: 45W
  • Dimensions: 4.5 L x 20 D x 3.25 W inches
  • Weight: 1.7 lbs.
  • Number of LEDs: 117
  • Lifespan: 50,000 hours
  • Warranty: 1 year

Check The Price

The Roleadro LED grow light at 45W is a popular choice because it’s small, affordable, and effective for helping vegetable plants and other types go from seeds to plants and even to the flowering stage. It does all of that without ridiculous operating costs, and this grow light is easy to set up. This is a suitable unit for a few little ones, but if you have a larger indoor garden, you’ll have to invest in a few of these.

The biggest difference between this LED grow light and others is that the manufacturer included an external power supply, which keeps this unit incredibly lightweight. However, the power block does get extremely hot, which could be a hazard. At least it isn’t producing heat right over your little plants, though. Because these are LEDs, they’re quite energy-efficient, but you won’t get the full 45 watts – it comes in around 24W of actual power draw. Also, there’s no on/off switch, so you’ll have to hook this up to a timer or unplug it to turn it off, and plug it back in to turn it on.

  • Lightweight
  • Works well for most stages
  • Includes warranty
  • Has an external power supply
  • Energy-efficient
  • No on/off switch
  • Gets extremely hot

If you need a grow light for your vegetable garden you brought indoors to keep them going until spring, this could be a good choice.

Hydrofarm HPS Mini Sunburst with Lamp

  • Wattage: 150W
  • Dimensions: 5 H x 17 D x 9 L inches
  • Weight: 8.9 lbs.
  • Number of bulbs: 1
  • Lifespan: 24,000 hours
  • Warranty: 2 years

Check The Price

One of the best things about this Hydrofarm HPS Mini Sunburst grow light is that it can cover a 3-foot-by-3-foot area, which is larger than some grow lamps in the same price range. This grow light is meant for plants that have already gone past the seedling and growth stages and are on to flowering and fruiting. That means that if you’re trying to grow peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, herbs, and other veggies, this light could help you see all of them come to fruition.

The grow light is quiet, though there is a noticeable hum from the HPS bulb. It does produce a bit more heat than LED grow lamps, but you can keep the light farther away from your blooms and produce to prevent burns. You get a two-year warranty with this grow light, which is good because you may notice defects. The lifespan of HPS bulbs with continuous use, though, is a little more than two years. So, your bulb is likely going to just barely outlive the warranty.

  • Easy to use
  • Quiet operation
  • Good for flowering, fruiting
  • Includes warranty
  • Bulb isn’t a full spectrum

If you’re looking specifically for a grow light to help with flowering and fruiting stages of your indoor vegetable garden, this one could work for you.

Conclusion

Choosing the right grow light for your indoor vegetable garden comes down to a few different things. If you just need one for the flowering stage, then you can skip most of the LED grow lamps. But if you’re looking for a grow light that covers all stages of the growth cycle, then only one on this list really makes the cut and could be considered the best grow light for vegetables.

The Dimgogo 1500w Double Chips LED Grow Light,150 Chips Full Spectrum LED Grow Light for Greenhouse and Indoor Plant Flowering Growing (10w LEDs) offers full-spectrum lighting to help with all stages of your vegetable plants’ lives. Plus, this small, but powerful grow lamp uses LEDs, so you won’t notice much of an increase in your electric bill month after month. The LEDs have a long life – up to 50,000 hours, which equates to more than 11 years of continuous use. However, if you run across burnt-out bulbs or a defective unit in the first three years you own it, the manufacturer warranty should cover you.

55shares

  • Pin
  • Share
  • Twitter
  • Flipboard
  • Email

Pepper As A Houseplant – Learn How To Grow Indoor Peppers

If you’re a pepper fan, be it hot or sweet, and regret the end of summer and the colorful fruit, you might be wondering if you can grow pepper plants inside. It is possible to grow peppers as a houseplant; in fact, many floral departments sell ornamental peppers to be grown as indoor ornamentals. If you want indoor pepper plants for the purpose of eating, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that growing peppers indoors is a success.

About Growing Peppers Indoors

Fruit from a pepper plant grown inside will never get as large as those grown outdoors; however, they will still pack the same amount of heat. The best pepper plants to grow inside are smaller peppers such as pequins, chiltepins, habaneros and Thai peppers, or small ornamental varieties.

Indoor pepper plants need the same requirements as those grown outside. They need enough space in a container for their roots to grow. They need plenty of sunlight; a south- or west-facing window is ideal. If you don’t have enough light available, use a grow light.

Remember that peppers like it warm; how warm depends on the variety of pepper. Ornamental chili peppers like lots of sun but moderate humidity, while the little Scotch bonnets and habaneros prefer a moderate temp and high humidity. Most of the hot peppers like cooler nighttime temperatures and dislike either hot or cold drafts.

Most peppers like a temperature of about 80 F. (27 C.) during the day and 70 F. (21 C.) at night. This may be hard to achieve, but try to stay within 20 degrees of this. You can increase the temperature by putting the plants under a light or on a heat mat.

How to Grow Indoor Peppers

If the growing season is coming to an end but you have surviving pepper plants outside, bring those in containers indoors. If they are in the garden, dig them up carefully and repot them in a plastic pot in the evening when temps are cool.

Water the plants and place them in a shaded area outside for a few days. Keep an eye on them for pests and remove them. After a few days, place the peppers in an in-between spot such as a porch. After the pepper plants have acclimated, bring them indoors and put them either under grow lights or in a south- or west-facing window.

If you are starting from scratch, plant the seeds in an equal mix of peat moss, vermiculite and sand (soilless medium) in a pot with adequate drainage holes. Push the seed just below the soil level. Keep the soil moist and the pots in an area with full sun. Depending upon the variety, germination should occur between 14-28 days.

Water the peppers when the top of the soil feels slightly dry to the touch. Avoid overwatering lest the plants roots rot.

Feed peppers grown as a houseplant with a balanced fertilizer such as a 15-15-15.

Growing Hot Peppers Indoors: The Basics

56shares

If you are a fan of chili peppers and lack the sunny outdoor space to grow your own, you should know that pepper plants can be grown indoors. In addition to providing you with their delicious fruit, pepper plants are attractive enough to serve as decorative plants as well.

Indoor pepper plants may actually be easier for novice gardeners to maintain when compared to outdoor ones. You will have greater control over a number of factors that influence your plant’s health including heat, light and moisture. You will need to balance these effectively for a successful harvest.

How is growing chili peppers indoors different from growing them outdoors?

It is unlikely that the most well-lit house will be able to compete with the outdoors in terms of the amount of light offered. As a result, the pepper plants that you grow will probably not get as large as outdoor ones. The peppers themselves are also likely to be smaller. The key here is to choose a hot pepper variety that is on the smaller side wherever you grow it. The types that grow well in containers will give you your best shot at success. These include chile de arbol, cayenne peppers, and bird peppers. The brightly colored peppers stand out from the leaves and can make these pepper plants an appealing addition to your décor.

What are the most important factors to consider for optimal growth?

  • Temperature: Chilies do well in environments with high daytime temperatures and nighttime temperatures that are only slightly cooler. Ideally, you want to provide them with about 80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and about 70 at night. Try to stay within 20 degrees of these temperatures. You can raise the temperature for your plants by placing an artificial light about 3 inches above them. If your home is particularly cool, consider putting your pepper plants on a heat mat for additional warmth.
  • Container Size: For a smaller pepper plant, a pot that measures 12 inches in diameter should be adequate. Larger ones may need an 18-inch pot. These pots should have good drainage, which means that you may need to place a saucer or tray under them to catch the runoff.
  • Soil: If you have a yard, you can simply go outside and shovel some dirt into your pots; however, this increases the risk of exposing your pepper plants to pests and bacteria. Your best bet is to use a potting mix. A mixture of sphagnum moss and cow manure can also deliver good results (but beware the smell for indoor use). Look for a 40/60 mix with 40 percent sphagnum and 60 percent cow manure.
  • Water: You want to keep the soil damp but not wet. Too much water can reduce the heat of your peppers and increase the risk of fungi.

Can indoor hot peppers get as hot as they would outdoors?

As long as you avoid overwatering, there is no reason that your peppers should not be just as hot as they would be in an outdoor environment.

Are there any concerns with growing indoor chilies around pets or children?

The capsaicin in chili peppers will not permanently harm your pets (or children), though they can cause pain and discomfort if eaten in the short term depending on the amount of capsaicin in the chili pepper. Your options are to plant milder varieties that are more family-friendly or to place the plants well out of reach. Note: many ornamental peppers are surprisingly spicy. That’s because they are bred to accentuate their beauty, without much concern to overall flavor and heat. Be aware of this if considering growing an ornamental pepper indoors or in a container with kids or pets about.

Do indoor peppers follow the same growing cycles as their outdoor counterparts?

Because indoor chili pepper plants are not subjected to the rigors of the elements, it is possible to keep them fruiting through the winter. You just have to ensure that the temperatures are kept within the optimal range and that they have sufficient water and light.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *