Growing Peppers Indoors – Guidelines & Tips
If you have a sunny windowsill or a greenhouse, growing peppers indoors can be a rewarding experience. Peppers are warm-weather plants so they thrive in hot climates. However, if you provide the perfect environment indoors, they will produce plenty of fruits just like they do outdoors. You don’t need a lot of space to grow peppers indoors, just a warm sunlit spot in your home and a few tips and tricks.
Choose the Right Variety
When it comes to growing peppers indoors, you should opt for smaller varieties like bell peppers, jalapenos, and banana peppers. These pepper plants don’t require as much space as larger varieties, like poblanos and cayennes, and they are easier to manage. Also, the smaller peppers tend to mature faster, giving you earlier harvests.
Container and Potting Soil
Choose a container with drainage holes at the bottom and quality potting soil with compost. When potting the seedlings, make sure to use seed-starting mix that is specifically designed for indoor pepper plants. Avoid using garden soil, as it can be too heavy and retain too much moisture.
Light and Temperature
The amount and intensity of light is essential for peppers to thrive indoors. Choose a sunny windowsill or position the grow light about two feet above the plants—any closer and you risk burning the plants. During the day, peppers prefer temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, while nighttime temperatures should stay around 55 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
Watering and Fertilizer
Pepper plants need to be kept consistently moist, so you should water your plants at least once or twice a week. Pepper plants don’t need a lot of fertilizer, but you can apply a balanced liquid fertilizer every two weeks to ensure they produce robust growth. Make sure not to over-fertilize as it can lead to pepper plant diseases.
Pests and Diseases
The most common pests include aphids and spider mites. These pests can be controlled with insecticides or with a more natural approach such as Neem oil. Diseases common to indoor pepper plants are fungal diseases, which you can avoid with proper ventilation, air circulation, and avoiding overcrowding. Overwatering can also cause pepper plant diseases, so make sure not to overdo it.
Peppers will be ready to harvest in 6-10 weeks, depending on the variety. The peppers turn red, yellow, or orange when they’re ripe. To harvest, use your finger or a pair of scissors to carefully cut the pepper off of the plant.
Growing peppers indoors is not as complicated as you might think. With the right varietal, container, potting soil, light, temperature, watering, and fertilizer, you can create the perfect environment for your pepper plants to thrive. With minimal effort and maintenance, you’ll be rewarded with plenty of peppers in no time.