Vegetables and Herbs
a complete guide to growing peppers indoors

Growing peppers indoors

A complete guide to growing peppers indoors. I love pepper and I use peppers in lots of recipes. They come in so many varieties from subtle flavor to hot spice.

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So I set out to grow tons of peppers in my indoor vegetable garden.

Choose the right variety of peppers

There are literally thousands of varieties of peppers. The most popular varieties
are:

Growing peppers indoors Growing peppers indoors

Bell peppers

These are very popular. They are used in lots of recipes to add a little flavor, moisture and color.

Bell peppers start out green and turn to yellow, orange and red as they mature.

There are benefits to letting the peppers ripen longer.  Red Bell Peppers are sweeter and have a much high nutritional value than green bells.

Poblano Pepper

These peppers are common in Mexican dishes. They have a mild flavorful heat.

Poblano can be dried, called Anchos, and taste similar to sweet raisins

Anaheim peppers

Also known as California green Chile and Chile Verde.  Anaheim turns deep red as it matures.  They are often used in American Southwestern recipes.

Cayenne Pepper

One of the best known peppers.  Cayenne peppers is one of the hottest peppers.  Often dried a powered.  Most people have cayenne pepper on their spice rack.  You can dry your own Cayenne Pepper then grid it for a fresher, richer flavor then store bought.

Cayenne is the main ingredient in chili pepper

Jalapeños Peppers

Jalapeño peppers are common ingredient in Mexican recipes.

Banana peppers

These are great for adding flavor to sandwiches and salads.

Growing peppers indoors Growing peppers indoors

complete to guide to grow peppers indoors in a container

Peppers will do very well in containers.  If you want some good tips on choosing the right recycled containers for planters clink here. Whether you grow them on a balcony, porch or indoors, there are a few general things you should know:

The best way to germinate peppers

Peppers like warm soil.  So start your seeds in a warm place and use a heating pad designed for seed starting. Soil temperature in mid 70s to 80s is good.

The soil should be light and fluffy with high organic matter.  Make sure it is well drained.  Peppers like a consistent lightly moist soil.

To learn the difference between potting soil mixtures check out organic vs non organic potting soil.

A trick for starting pepper plants

Peppers like it warm, however, they like a bit of coolness when starting out.  After your seedling grow the first set of true leaves, move the plants to a cooler place.  the area should be in the 55-60 degree range.  Let your plants live in the cooler environment for about 30 days.

This 30 days of slower growth will end up giving you a faster growing and fruit producing plant.

After 30 days put you peppers in a warm environment.  They do great when the temperature is in the 80s

Transplanting peppers and choosing the right pot

As with most plants, peppers do not like their roots disturbed.  Carefully transfer your plant into a bigger pot as it grows.

Peppers have a large root system and they like room to stretch.  Your pot should be at least 12″ deep and be about 2″ wider than the plant.

A 5 gallon bucket is the perfect size for most peppers.

Make sure that the soil is well drained.  Peppers require a consistent moist but not wet soil.  They need about an inch of water a week.  Letting them dry out can be devastating but so can wet soil.  Make sure your planter has good drain holes.  The best way to water the peppers is using a spray bottle.  Remember to spray the soil not the plant.

Peppers like a soil that is a little acidic with a PH around 6.2 -7.

How much sunlight do peppers need?

Peppers need at least 8 hours of full sun.  If you grow peppers indoors you many need to add a grow light to supplement the sun.  Peppers do just as well in natural light as they do under a grow light. Check out more about grow lights here

Should I prune Pepper plants?

There are lots of opinions on this topic. There are many long standing theories including pruning early will encourage more fruit later.  Pruning will give the plant more space for larger fruit.  And pruning discourage the plant from growing leaves and encourage fruit

Northcentral Florida did a very good study, where they grow bell peppers in a greenhouse.  They pruned the plants in very specific ways.  The results showed that pruning does not increase yield but rather decreases the yield slightly.  This was a decrease in both weight and number of fruit.

That is not to say that you shouldn’t prune your peppers.  Pruning does encourage a larger, woody main stem.  This means your plant is stronger and sturdier overall.  It will allow the plant to hold fruit longer for ripper peppers.

It is important to wait until the plant is at least a foot tall before you do any prunning.

Don’t forget to pollinate your indoor plants

Pollination is important for all fruits growing outside or inside. Pollinating is simple and easy. Check out how to pollinate here

If you don’t pollenate your plant will still flower and fruit but the fruit will be small and lack some taste and nutrients.

Growing peppers indoors Growing peppers indoors

Here is an example of a Bell Pepper with and without pollination.

Fun facts about peppers

Did you know that cayenne pepper can stop a cut from bleeding? Sprinkle cayenne pepper on the wound or mix with water to make a paste to press against the wound. This will quickly clot the blood.

If you cook these fresh peppers in your microwave they can arch and spark. This can damage your microwave or even cause a fire.

The high concentration of minerals combined with shape is the main issue. Iron, magnesium, and selenium in high concentration in a rod-like shape will cause the arching. Peppers will be more likely to arch if they are cut into long pieces.

This happens with fresh vegetables only. Please don’t try this at home! If you want to see it, go to YouTube, there are lots of videos to watch and you don’t have to damage own microwave.

I hope you found this complete guide to growing peppers indoors helpful


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