Growing Peppers Indoors – Guidelines & Tips
Growing peppers indoors is a rewarding activity for the home gardener. Peppers are a warm weather crop that can be grown successfully year-round indoors if you follow the correct guidelines and tips. Following is some useful information to help you become successful at indoor pepper gardening.
The first step to growing peppers indoors is to purchase pepper seedlings from a garden center or plant nursery. You can also start your own pepper seedlings indoors, using potting soil and a good light source. It’s best to keep indoor pepper plants in a warm area, such as near a heat vent or sunny windowsill. Pots, trays, and other containers can be used – just make sure it has good drainage.
Watering & Feeding
Once your pepper seedlings are established, it’s time to water and fertilize. Pepper plants prefer moist, but not water-logged soil. Water thoroughly and let the soil dry out slightly between watering. Be sure not to over-water. In terms of feeding, you can use a liquid fertilizer at half strength. If you prefer a more natural approach, you can use a compost tea or fish emulsion once every 6 weeks.
Light & Temperature
Pepper plants need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight a day to flourish. If you are growing peppers indoors, place them near a window or use a grow light. Temperature affects pepper growth, so try to keep the temperature of the room between 18-24 degrees Celsius.
Pests & Diseases
Indoor pepper plants can suffer from a range of pests and diseases. Common pests include aphids, spider mites and white-flies. These can easily be controlled by rubbing the leaves with an insecticidal soap, or using a pesticide if necessary. Diseases, such as rot or powdery mildew, can be prevented by maintaining proper humidity levels and providing adequate air circulation. It’s also important to keep the plants free of debris, and to remove any dead or diseased leaves immediately.
Peppers generally take 3-4 months to mature. As your peppers begin to turn red or yellow, you can cut them off the plant with scissors or a sharp knife. Be sure to pick them when they are fully grown, but before they start to shrivel. Enjoy your fresh, homegrown peppers in your favorite dishes!