When done right, spicy pepper plants will provide abundant fruits that can amplify a variety of dishes in your kitchen. At NatureZedge we love our spicy peppers and know the benefits of eating a chili pepper every day. Often people ask me is it difficult to grow your peppers? and what happens if you find that your spicy pepper plants are not growing, there are simple adjustments you can make to ensure you provide the best environment for healthy and big pepper plants.
So whether you’re new to gardening or just looking for some tips on how to make peppers grow faster, we have answers for you. The following guide will provide tips on how to grow big pepper plants that will bear the maximum amount of fruit!
🌶️10 proven steps to get the perfect peppers every time!🌶️
Step 1: Grow Pepper Seedlings Indoors
One of the most important steps in growing pepper plants is to start your plants off indoors first. The warmth of your home or a greenhouse provides a stable environment that encourages the germination of the seeds.
For maximum growth:
- Dampen paper towels and put seeds in between.
- Place paper towels with seeds inside into a zipped plastic bag.
- Place the plastic bag in a warm place that will be undisturbed.
- Allow seeds to sprout within the plastic bag.
If growing pepper plants from seeds is a bit arduous for you or you find your pepper plants not growing from the seed, it is recommended that you obtain sprouted plants from a greenhouse or a store.
Step 2: Harden Seedlings After Sprouting
- When the seeds sprout a few inches, harden them by setting the seedlings outside after watering.
- Avoid putting them out in direct sunlight or in windy conditions for the first few days. Set them outside for a couple of hours a day for 7-10 days.
- Transfer the seeds to your garden only when the night temperatures are around 55 to 60°F.
Step 3: Plant Peppers
Before placing the plants in the ground, sprinkle fertilizer on the roots to encourage strong roots. When planting, avoid placing the sprouted plant too deep in the ground—burying them too deep can cause the soil to crowd the stem and suffocate the plant, making it difficult for water and nutrients to reach the leaves and flowers. Plant the seedling at soil level so the ground soil matches that of the soil the seedling is currently rooted in. Keep in mind that one pepper plant should have at least 1.5 square feet of space. These plants need room for their roots to branch out and to collect water and nutrients.
Step 4: Water Pepper Plants
Water the plants evenly so that the soil feels moist to the touch, but don’t drench the plant with water as it can compromise its flowering. You know you are overwatering pepper plants if you see curling in your plant’s leaves.
It is recommended to water peppers about twice a week, but this ultimately depends on your weather. If the soil feels dry, increase the watering. If the soil feels flooded, decrease the frequency of watering.
Step 5: Fertilize Plants
Fertilizer helps peppers take in important nutrients and supports growth. Aim for an all-purpose, balanced fertilizer, like a trifecta fertilizer, as peppers need a balanced source of nutrients for it to grow well and to produce more peppers.
Without a balanced fertilizer, a plant may grow tall but bear very little fruit. The plant could also be stunted in growth but produce many peppers. Both of these situations are undesirable because you want a pepper plant that balances growth and flowers to sustain quality fruit.
Fertilize your plants every couple of weeks throughout the growing season. It is best to apply the fertilizer underneath the layer of mulch to help maintain proper moisture and a healthy growing environment.
Step 6: Maintain Proper Soil Conditions
The soil of your pepper plants needs to be maintained to ensure strong and hardy peppers. Because peppers are tropical plants, they need the sun to grow. The soil should be warm at about 60 ºF, and the plants should also receive around 8 hours of full sun per day. On the other hand, it is important to keep in mind that too much sunlight can be damaging as well—it is important to balance all these factors!
Step 7: Prune Pepper Plants
Pruning pepper plants is not crucial, but it does encourage growth. Cutting the top stem off allows the plant to branch out more and to provide more room for flowers to bud.
Only prune your plants if the growing season is on the longer end. If it is not long enough and frost approaches, the side shoots will not have enough time to grow and your harvest will be significantly smaller.
Step 8: Remove Pests
Pay careful attention to the health of your peppers, and take action if you find pests lurking.
Spicy pepper plants are especially attractive to flea beetles and aphids. Luckily, a controlled amount of diatomaceous earth usually will be enough to keep the pests away from your plants.
If you prefer to create a pest removing mixture, you can do so with these ingredients:
- A cup of rubbing alcohol
- 1 tablespoon of liquid soap
- 2 cups of water
Mix these ingredients and spray onto your plant to ward off pests.
Step 9: Harvest!
Harvest your peppers based on the plant’s estimated maturity time. If you grow your plant from a seed, use your fruit’s color to determine maturity. Know that all peppers start green, and keep in mind the color your peppers should be when fully ripe depending on their type.
When you harvest, avoid pulling the pepper off of the plant. This damages the stem and can compromise the plant. Instead, use sheers or a knife to cut the fruit off, leaving a stub of the stem.
Step 10: Enjoy Your Peppers And Plant Again
If you have followed these steps diligently, you will have a bountiful harvest of spicy peppers that are ready for consumption.
After a successful growing season, move your pepper plants to a different location for the next year. Because these plants can attract pests, moving them annually prevents pest problems as it discourages the gathering of the creatures.