Growing Peppers Indoors – Guidelines & Tips
Growing peppers indoors can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience, especially if you are an avid home cook or gardener. It is easier than you might think to grow peppers in an indoor environment, although certain guidelines and tips should be closely followed in order to ensure optimum growth and health of the pepper plants.
The first step in growing peppers indoors is to acquire the necessary materials for doing so. This includes a large pot or container that is deep enough to hold enough soil for a pepper plant, as well as plants containers, fertilizers, and soil. A heating pad may be used as well as a supplemental light source to ensure the pepper plants get the proper amount of light needed for healthy growth.
Preparing the Soil
Before planting the peppers, the soil should be prepared for optimal growth. This means mixing organic matter such as compost and peat moss with the soil to help hold moisture and to provide essential nutrients. A good overall ratio is approximately 80 percent soil to 20 percent organic matter. The soil should be tested to check the pH levels, as too much acidic or basic soil can hinder the growth of the pepper plants.
When watering pepper plants indoors, it is important to water deeply but infrequently. When the soil is thoroughly soaked, watering should be done only when the top two inches of soil starts to feel dry to the touch. An occasional misting with a spray bottle can also help to keep the air humidity level high.
When providing food for pepper plants indoors, an organic fertilizer should be chosen over chemical fertilizers. The fertilizer should be applied every few weeks, following the instructions on the packaging of the fertilizer for the best results. Too much fertilizer can actually harm the pepper plants.
Temperature and Light Requirements
In order for peppers to grow indoors, they need a temperature between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. A grow light can be used to supplement the natural light, and should be placed around 12-18 inches from the plants in order to produce the most intense light. The light should be used for about 12-14 hours each day; as much as 16 hours is acceptable for the peak growing season.
When the peppers have reached their desired size and color, they can be harvested and enjoyed. Wear gloves when harvesting the peppers to protect your hands from the vines and the pepper oils. When using scissors to cut peppers, be sure to sterilize the blades using rubbing alcohol prior to each use.
Growing peppers indoors can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience, as long as the proper guidelines and tips are closely followed. With the right materials and care, peppers can be an attractive addition to any home garden.