Growing Peppers Indoors – Guidelines & Tips
Growing peppers indoors can be a rewarding experience but there are some important guidelines and tips to consider in order to be successful. Peppers are ideal for “branching out” and learning how to grow your own vegetables and herbs, and can be a great way to provide your family with some fresh produce. Here are some simple guidelines and tips to help you get the most out of your indoor pepper growing adventure.
Choose the Right Variety
The start of a successful indoor pepper growing experience is to choose the right variety. Choose one that will have the best chance of succeeding indoors, such as varieties listed as dwarf varieties, determinate varieties, and bushy varieties. These will be more tolerant to container size and environment conditions, and be less susceptible to heat stress. In addition, choose a variety with a maturity time that fits your growing schedule.
Container Size & Soil
Once you’ve chosen the right variety, it’s time to decide on the size of the container and the type of soil that you’ll be using. Pepper plants need some depth for their roots, so it’s beneficial to select a container that’s at least 1-2 feet deep, depending on the variety. As for the soil, look for one that’s well-draining but also retains moisture. Try using a combination of potting soil and compost to increase the nutrient content of the soil.
Select the Right Light Source
Light is essential for a successful pepper growing experience. Too little light and the plants will struggle to yield peppers, while too much light can cause the plants to wilt. Select a bright light source that has adequate spectrum of wavelengths for the pepper plant’s needs. Generally, about six hours of sun per day is sufficient for most peppers varieties.
Water & Temperature
Keep the soil evenly moist but not overly wet. Consistent moisture levels in the soil, combined with warm temperatures, will be necessary for a successful pepper crop. Peppers do best when kept between 60-85° Fahrenheit. Additionally, strategize the positioning of the plants to take advantage of natural heat sources such as windowsills, radiator heat, and hot air vents.
Adding food to the soil during the growing season is important to better yield, increased crop size, few pests, and improved growth and well-being of the peppers. When applying fertilizer, follow the instructions on the packaging provided by the manufacturer. Generally, fertilizer should be applied once the plant has sprung forth its first flowers, and then every two to three weeks thereafter until harvest.
Harvest & Storage
Harvest the peppers when they reach their desired color or size. Make sure to remove the whole pepper, stem and all, so that there are fewer opportunities for pests or disease to infect the remaining peppers on the plants. To store peppers, make sure they are dry and place them in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator.
Growing peppers indoors can be rewarding and fun. It’s important to remember the guidelines and tips we’ve discussed, such as choosing a variety that’ll do well indoors, selecting a container and soil, finding the right light source, proper watering and temperature, fertilizer, and harvesting and storing correctly. With a little effort and patience, you’ll be rewarded with plenty of delicious peppers!