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There is one essential ingredient when growing peppers indoors. That’s light. Or as the saying goes…”let there be light”.
Actually, peppers are one of the most versatile fruits or vegetables you can grow indoors.
They can be eaten fresh, cooked into dishes, or used in spice mixes. Growing peppers indoors is a simple process that allow you to enjoy peppers all year round.
I had my first experience of growing peppers indoors when I was just a lad growing up on a farm with parents who were expert gardeners.
Peppers of different varieties were a major part of their extensive garden with Portugal peppers and Bell peppers among their favorites.
My mother never let a vacant piece of land or a spare spot in the house or in our extensive verandah go to waste.
And peppers were often the plant that would fill these spots. In fact, you would often find a Portugal pepper plant splitting a couple of geraniums. No, not in the same container but different pots.
It was like a United Nations of both edible produce producing plants and decorative plants.
She just knew how to make it work. So if you have been thinking about growing peppers indoors to get that year round supply, then I’m going to give you several tips to make sure you get it right and get those pepper plants providing you with juicy produce all year long.
Pepper plants are difficult to grow. Actually, and I guess I can say this now, they are really easy.
But there are a couple of things you’ll need to provide them if you grow them inside.
And we’ve already revealed the main ingredient. That’s light!
Growing Peppers Indoors – Choosing Your Pepper Plants
So let’s get started growing peppers indoors. The first thing you have to decide is how many plants and what variety you want to plant. I’m going to choose two Portugal pepper plants and Two Bell pepper plants.
The reason you need to decide what type of peppers you want to grow is that some people prefer to grow them as ornamental plants and will give the fruit away. If that’s you, that’s fine.
Ornamental varieties don’t require as much space and you can put at least two plants in a five gallon containers.
But the Portugal and Bell varieties should be planted one to a container as they can get quite large.
Where do you get your pepper plants? Head down to your local garden center or nursery or order them online. I grow them from seed but I’m assuming you don’t have the space outside for a garden and growing produce inside is your only alternative.
Speed up the process and buy yourself seedlings.
Choosing Your Soil
Soil is important obviously but don’t get too carried away with having to choose the perfect foundation.
Buy as much as you need to fill a three to five gallon container. Yes, this is not going to be cheap initially but think about the year round peppers you’ll have access too.
Choosing The Right Location
Light is extremely important. Choosing the right location is crucial. And it needs to be light friendly.
A spot near a window that gets sunshine through it from the moment daylight starts. Pepper plants love sunshine. In the garden, they’ll need at least six to eight hours of sunshine a day.
If you can’t provide this by simply putting them near a window, then you have a couple of options. The first one will cost you money, the second will cost you a little muscle.
Grow lights are a fantastic way to provide indoor plants with the light they require to grow and produce produce.
One I’ve been testing with good results are the Grow Plant Lights series and the Gooing Top LED Grow Light. They are really affordable and provide the light I require. As I mentioned above, don’t overthink this.
If you would rather prefer to shop offline, again, you’ll find grow lights at most major stores or simply head to your nearest garden center.
The second option is to move the plants outside in the direct sunlight for several hours a day.
Do you have a spot around your home or on your balcony that the sun dumps lots of sunlight on daily?
Just one to two hours a day may be all you need provided how much light your plants have access to inside.
The Maintenance Phase
Maintenance when growing peppers indoors requires checking regularly for pests such as mealybugs and making sure your plants get the appropriate amount of water.
For pest control, a product such as Natria Insecticidal Soap should be sufficient and just follow the directions. I generally only use it at the first sign of pests which is almost never in the environment I have set up.
I suggest checking your plants thoroughly at least once a week to check for any pests.
Watering is important. The soil should be moist but not soggy when initially planting the seedlings.
A good way to check if your plants need watering is the simply finger test. Just poke it in the soil. If it feels dry, then water is needed. I told you not to overthink this process.
Always make sure you use containers with escape holes on the bottom so the water doesn’t sit and create soggy conditions. A plate under the container would also be a good move as the water filters out.
One more thing when planting your seedlings…don’t bury the crowns of the plants. Make sure the stem only is planted in the ground.
For those of you who are keen to grow ornamental varieties, the following video is short but an excellent guide to growing them inside.
It’s an uncomplicated tutorial and you’ll only need to watch it a couple of times.
Conclusion: Growing Peppers Indoors
So wrapping up what you need when growing peppers indoors. Here’s the shortlist:
– 3-5 gallon containers
– organic soil
– sunny spot near window or grow lights
– take plants outside for a couple of hours during sunny periods
– check for pests at least once a week
– watering when needed
This will become second nature to you very quickly. Yes, it can be intimidating when growing something the first time but seriously, pepper plants are hardy.
And best of all, you’ll have produce to roast or crush for powder all year round.