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When it comes to planting and growing seeds you may have heard that planting pepper seeds indoors can be a bit of a challenge for beginners. But don’t worry; you have come to the right place. After learning all the amazing tips and tricks in this article, you will be able to plant pepper seeds indoors successfully.
If you love pepper, whether hot, sweet or even for the beauty it adds to your garden, you might be wondering about planting pepper seeds indoors.
There are a few things to keep in mind to make sure to grow peppers indoors successfully. Read on to find out everything you need to know about planting and growing pepper seeds indoors.
See also: Can Pepper Plants Grow In Indirect Sunlight? (Here’s the Truth!)
Hot Pepper Plant Characteristics
The table below shows a snapshot of everything you need to know about pepper plants to help you successfully grow them indoors.
|Genus name||Capsicum spp.|
|Common Name||Hot pepper, chili, chili pepper|
|Pepper plant size||1 to 5 ft. (30.48 to 152.4 cm)|
|Pepper plant spread||Depends on variety, but generally about 1- to 3-ft. (30.48 to 91.44 cm)|
|Soil requirements||Well-drained, rich, moist|
|Soil pH||6.0 to 6.8 (slightly acidic)|
|Hardiness Zones||9 to 11|
|Ideal Pot Size for Pepper Plants||– A 10- to 12-inch (25.4 to 30.48 cm) pot for a small plant to maturity|
– A 16- to 18-inch (40.64 to 45.72 cm) pot for larger pepper plants.
|Temperature for growing peppers indoors (1)||Fungal and bacterial leaf spots may appear. If this happens, remove and destroy the affected plants. Avoid planting peppers in any places where you previously grew other nightshades, including tomatoes or eggplants, because these species suffer from similar diseases.|
|Common Pepper Plants Pests||– Aphids and thrips can infest older plants. Symptoms might include crinkled or very narrow leaves. To prevent the spreading of the disease, destroy any infected plants |
– Cutworms can cut off young plants at the bottom level. Surrounding the base of the plants with foil, toilet paper tubes, or something similar will protect them.
|Common Pepper Plants Diseases||Fungal and bacterial leaf spots may appear. If this happens, remove and destroy the affected plants. Avoid planting peppers in any places where you previously grow other nightshades, including tomatoes or eggplants, because these species suffer from similar diseases.|
The Best Pepper Plants to Grow Inside
Smaller peppers are the best pepper plants to grow indoors. Here are a few suggestions of pepper plants you can grow inside.
- Shishito Pepper Seeds: Native to Japan, Shishito peppers have thin skin and delicious sweet peppers.
- Chiltepin Peppers, generally, you can find wild peppers growing under plants as they prefer a shaded area. Chiltepin Peppers grow only to about a foot (30.5 cm.) in height and are ripe in 80-95 days.
- Jalapenos pepper thrives well indoors because it is one of the best peppers that grow well in short seasons and cooler climates. In addition, it thrives in containers.
- Pequin Pepper is native to the United States; you can find it growing wild in different regions of Texas. It is easy to grow in almost any kind of garden soil.
- Habaneros peppers are an excellent plant to grow indoors and require relatively little space. Before planting, add a large amount of organic material into the soil to boost fertility and drainage. Habaneros peppers will thrive indoors with proper care, producing slightly curved green or even red fruits.
- Thai Pepper Plant: Small Thai chili plants are only about a foot (30.5 cm.) in height, making a good pepper plant in the container. In addition, the fruit of the pepper lasts a long time on the plant, making Thai chili plants highly ornamental indoor plants.
See also: How To Start Cucumbers Indoors: An Ultimate Guide.
Indoor Pepper Growing Kit
One of the biggest issues most people face when growing pepper plants indoors, or any vegetable, indoors is creating the appropriate growing conditions. If you can replicate their needs inside the house, you can successfully grow peppers indoors.
Before growing peppers indoors, consider these few items because having a proper setup can enhance your indoor gardening experience.
- A dedicated area to grow your plants: You can choose to put them on the floor and hang the lighting above them. But it will be easier on your back if you invest in a table, shelf, trunk, or any other flat surface to give your plants a place to sit.
- Grow lights: To grow hot peppers successfully indoors, you need to give them enough light, according to the University of Texas at Austin experts. Insufficient light leads to your plans being leggy and weak. In most cases, you might need a grow light when growing peppers indoors unless you have an indoor sunroom or other extremely well-lit spaces in the house. Some pepper plants are easier to grow in low light, including Thai Pepper, which can produce loads of peppers for you even under a T5 fluorescent shop light or compact fluorescent (CFL) grow light. However, other pepper plants, including jalapenos, will not give you many peppers, even if they have tons of foliage.
- Grow mat or a heating pad: It helps provide the warmness your pepper plants need without heating your whole house. While a heat mat underneath the plants will also provide warmth, placing grow light about 3 inches (7.62 cm) above the pepper plants will raise the temperature by about 10°F, according to The Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
- Container: Ensure that it is sufficiently large to support your pepper plant and drains well. The size of your container depends on your available space, the type of chili pepper plant you want to grow, and how big you want your pepper plant to be. Because generally, different chili peppers react to container sizes differently. For example, the Jalapenos pepper generally provides fewer pods when constrained in a small pot (1 gallon or smaller). Like the Thai Dragon, Thai varieties can still produce loads of peppers even in a smaller container.
Tips For Growing Pepper Plants Indoors
- Remember that indoor pepper plants need the same requirements as those grown outside. They need sufficient space in a container for their roots to grow. They need plenty of sunlight; ideally, place them in the south- or west-facing windows, according to The Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
- Peppers plants need full sun. If you don’t have adequate light available, use a grow light because peppers like it warm; how warm depends on the pepper variety. Generally, ornamental chili peppers plants thrive in lots of suns and moderate humidity.
- Habaneros prefer mild temperatures and high humidity.
- Most hot peppers thrive in cooler nighttime temperatures and do not do well in hot or cold drafts.
- Peppers require growing temperatures of about 80 degrees Fahrenheit (26 Celsius) during the day and 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 Celsius) at night. You may not be able to keep these temperatures at these levels, but if you can maintain them within a 20-degree range, your plants will still thrive.
- You can boost the temperature by placing the plants under grow light or on a heat mat without you requiring to raise the temperature in your entire home.
What Month Should You Start Pepper Seeds Indoors?
The best time for planting pepper seeds indoors is about 6 to 10 weeks before transplanting, which should be finished two to 2-three weeks after the anticipated final frost. Most pepper seeds sprout approximately every week at a temperature of 70-80 degrees F, so mid-march is the most suitable time because it gives the finest temperature and all necessities are met.
Hot peppers can be very finicky, so germination can be spotty, depending on the variety. Here is a little tip to avoid surprises:
- Put the seeds between damp sheets of paper towels and place them in a zip lock bag in a warm place. Not only will it speed up the process of planting pepper seeds indoors it will also ensure that all of your seeds sprout.
See also: How To Grow Broccoli Indoors: A Step-by-Step Guide
How Deep to Plant Pepper Seeds?
For the best harvests and healthy lush plants, pepper seeds need to be planted in deep beds; most gardeners recommend 18-24″ (45.72 to 60.96 cm) of soil depth. Small peppers can develop properly in two-gallon containers. However, large plants want a minimum of five-gallon pots, and all peppers thrive exceptionally well with the greater room.
One essential component to preserve in thoughts is that you should not overwater your peppers flowers in containers, as they do not like soggy feet. They will flip yellow and wilt if overwatered, which is a common indication of over-cherished pepper plants!
It is ideal to allow the soil to dry out barely among watering to make certain that the pepper pots are not waterlogged. Bear in mind having sizeable. Deeper pots will make you waterless, as they are able to save moisture longer.
See also: Starting Green Beans Indoors: Everything You Must Know.
How To Plant Pepper Seeds Indoors?
There are three methods for growing peppers indoors.
- Move an established plant indoors: If the pepper plants you want to grow are already established in your garden.
- Wait for the temperature of the day to be cooler.
- After the temperatures decrease, dig the pepper plant up to put less stress on it.
- Transplant the plant into a container and put it in the shade.
- At this point, ensure your water your pepper plant daily.
- After a few days, move the pepper plants under another shaded area and put the pepper plants in an in-between spot like a covered porch, the edge of your garage, or even a carport.
- And after the pepper plants have adjusted, bring them indoors and place them under grow lights or in the west or south-facing window.
- Transplanting a pepper seedling, when you purchase a seedling and plant it in a container.
- Fill the container with high-quality soil and dig a hole in the center.
- Ensure the hole is sufficiently large to cover the roots and support the pepper seedling’s root system.
- Press tightly and firmly on the soil around the base of the plant to ensure no air reaches the roots.
- Ensure you only plant one seedling per container for suitable spacing.
- Starting your pepper plants from seeds:
- Pick the peppers after they become their color and the skins start to wrinkle and ridge.
- Carve open the pepper and shake the seeds out of the fruit and right into a bowl.
- The seeds require drying every week or to keep properly until you’re planting them immediately.
- You will want to avoid using plastic lids, as they retain too much moisture in the soil and plant environment for wide hot pepper varieties.
- Add a fan or any other source of ventilation to provide more oxygen to the germinating plants and prevent fungus.
- Spread them out in a separate and isolated layer on paper plates, allowing them to dry completely in a cozy, dark, and dry location. If you have these tricks up your sleeve, no harm can ever come your seedling’s way.
- Plant the seeds in an equal combination of vermiculite, peat moss, and sand (soilless medium) in a pot with proper drainage holes.
- Push the seed slightly below the soil level. Maintain the soil moist and the pots in an area with full sun.
- Depending on the variety, pepper plants germinate between 14 to 28 days.
- Water the peppers once the top of the soil appears slightly dry to the touch.
- Avoid overwatering lest the plant’s roots rot. Feed peppers are grown like you feed houseplants with a well-balanced fertilizer such as a 15-15-15.
- Put pepper plants in a shaded area outside for a few days.
- Watch out for pests and remove them if you notice any pests around them.
After successfully planting pepper indoors, you will need to learn how to care for them as they continue to thrive.
Caring For Pepper Plants Indoors
- Adequate lighting: To thrive indoors, pepper plants require at least 6 hours of sunlight. But to produce fruit, they need about sixteen hours of lighting per day, according to the Texas University at Austin. Providing about sixteen hours of light for your pepper plants will encourage them to start or continue thriving indoors. Try to give them as much natural light as possible and then supplement the remaining hours with a grow light.
- Consisting watering the plants properly: Pepper plants, particularly hot peppers, need to dry out between waterings but ensure they get at least 1 inch (2.54 cm) of water each week.
- Put the pepper plant in your sink and use the spray nozzle of your faucet to water your plant until the water is running out of the bottom of the container.
- Let the plant sit and drain in your sink before putting it back in its area.
- Use a Balanced Fertilizer To Your Pepper Plants
- Use a dose of balanced fertilizer two weeks after you plant your pepper and again when they start to flower.
- You can also add some organic matter before planting to provide good drainage and nutrients.
- Some gardeners add a small handful of Epsom salts to the soil at planting time as a magnesium boost.
- Remember that overfeeding pepper plants generally lead to leafy plants without fruits.
- Generally, peppers are heavy feeders, but their fertilizer requirements change indoors because they face less water loss through evaporation, less environmental stress, and overall fewer nutrient demands.
See also: How Much Light Does Lettuce Actually Need to Grow Indoors? (Find out now!)
How Many Pepper Seeds Per Hole?
Use the germination rate information for an individual plant to calculate the optimal number of seeds for what you’re planting. Just make sure when you’re using new or clean pepper seeds, you may plant one in a hole.
- Plant two-three in the hole if you’re using aged seeds with a low viability rate. If multiple germinate, thin out the weakest when they have 2-3 sets of genuine leaves.
- If you place more seeds than needed, competition for sunlight, water, and minerals increases, and requirements are unmet. It is possible that only one seed will sprout and may wilt shortly due to no proper nutrition, so placing multiple seeds is not optimal.
Planting pepper seeds indoors is very satisfying for you and your loved ones. The flavor of clean and succulent peppers hand-picked from your garden is so unique you will probably find yourself snacking on them before they make it into the kitchen for a recipe.
More importantly, ensure you give your pepper seeds enough light and nutrients to thrive.