Growing Peppers Indoors – Guidelines & Tips
Growing peppers indoors is an increasingly popular way to enjoy your own supply of the popular vegetable. Whether you’re looking for an abundance of mild, sweet peppers or a bumper crop of the hottest peppers, growing peppers indoors can provide all that you need. With the right guidelines and tips, you can become an indoor pepper-growing magician!
Requirements & Conditions
Peppers are generally very low-maintenance plants, and can thrive in a variety of conditions. Nonetheless, there are some key requirements that you should aim for in order to ensure your pepper plants thrive:
- Light: Peppers require full sun to grow – or a minimum of seven hours of light per day. Despite growing indoors, it’s important to ensure that the plants get the sunlight they need! Consider using a grow light and shifting the plants occasionally if needed.
- Temperature: Peppers won’t grow in temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius) or below 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit (10-15 degrees Celsius). Aim to keep the temperature in your grow space between 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit (18-24 degrees Celsius).
- Soil: Peppers respond well to a nutrient-rich potting soil. Check your specific soil choice for the correct fertilizer ratio, and be sure to water the plants regularly with pure water.
- Humidity: Peppers are tropical plants and do better in higher levels of humidity. Use a humidifier to maintain the correct level of moisture in the air. This will help your plants to thrive and fight against diseases like root rot.
Container Selection & Planting
Once you’ve sourced the right conditions for your pepper plants, it’s time to consider the actual planting process. Here are some useful guidelines for success:
- Choose a container with at least 12 inches (30cm) of space for the roots to develop. The container needs to have drainage holes in the bottom to let any excess water out.
- Fill the bottom third or so of the container with potting mix, and add a few handfuls of compost for extra nutrients.
- Carefully place the pepper seeds into the damp soil, spacing them out by about 6 inches (15cm). Pepper seeds can be quite small, so take care when planting.
- Cover the seeds lightly with potting mix and press down lightly. These seeds love warmth, so be sure to keep the soil warm between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (18 and 24 degrees Celsius).
- Once the seeds have sprouted and the plants reach a few inches in height, thin them out so that you keep only the strongest and healthiest plants. This will encourage healthy growth without overcrowding.
Care & Maintenance
Once your pepper plants are well-established, there are several care and maintenance tips that you’ll need to follow for the best results.
- Water: Water your pepper plants when the top few inches of the soil has dried out and only water with pure water. Tap water containing chlorine or fluoride is not recommended.
- Fertilizer: Feed your peppers with liquid fertilizer every two weeks or so. This will ensure the plants are getting enough nutrients for vigorous growth.
- Pests & Diseases: Watch out for any signs of pests, diseases, or rot. Combat them with natural remedies, such as Neem oil or a mixture of baking soda and soap.
- Harvesting: Finally, when the peppers are ripe and ready to pick, use scissors or pruning shears to harvest the fruit instead of pulling it off.
It’s as easy as that! With the right conditions and a little bit of care, you’ll be enjoying your own bounty of delicious peppers in no time!