Growing Peppers Indoors: Guidelines & Tips
Growing peppers indoors is a great way to extend the growing season and enjoy some homegrown peppers all year long. With the right climate and a few tips, everyone can have a steady supply of peppers in their kitchen. Here are some guidelines and tips for growing peppers indoors.
Select the Right Variety
When growing peppers indoors, the most important step is selecting the right variety. Not all peppers are suited for indoor growth, so it’s important to pick a variety that is rated for indoor use. Some favorites include:
- Mild varieties such as bell peppers and Anaheim peppers
- Hot and spicy varieties like jalapeños, habaneros, and poblanos
- Exotic varieties like ghost peppers and chilhuacle chiles
Provide the Right Climate
Indoor peppers thrive in warm, humid environments. A good first step is to buy a grow light. These lights produce both light spectrums and UV rays that peppers need to grow. You’ll also want to provide regular misting of the plants, and a humidity level between 60-70%. You may need to invest in a humidifier to keep the humidity at the ideal level.
Start Pepper Seeds
Starting indoors offers gardeners the opportunity to get a jump start on growing peppers. It’s best to start seeds about four weeks before the last frost date in your area. Start peppers in a potting soil mix, and place in a location that has a temperature of 70°F or more. Plant seeds in small 4-6 inch pots, and water carefully.
Transplant Peppers Outdoors
When pepper plants are about 8 inches tall, they are ready to be transplanted outdoors. Choose a location with good air circulation, plenty of sunlight, and adequate drainage. Plant peppers in soil amended with compost or aged manure and give them an adequate supply of water. If the temperature drops below 55°F for more than a few hours, bring them indoors.
When peppers are full grown, they should be harvested at their peak ripeness. For sweeter flavors, allow peppers to fully ripen on the vine. When they are ripe, gently twist off the stems. Peppers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
With proper climate control and some expert gardening tips, anyone can enjoy growing peppers indoors. From mild bell peppers to hot jalapeños, there are many varieties to choose from. Just remember to start first indoors with plenty of light and humidity, then transplant outdoors and enjoy the harvest.