Growing chili pepper plants in pots is not difficult, though pepper plants do have certain needs, so consider these tips to help you achieve a good pepper harvest.
First, you need a warm spot to grow your peppers in pots or containers, either inside or outside the home. The potted plants should be protected from the wind and receive at least 6 hours of sun. Any less and you'll hinder pepper production.
If you need support for your growing pepper plants, insert a stick near the main stem and tie the plant to the stick with a string.
Choosing a Pot for Growing Chili Peppers
Choose a pot or container that offers sufficient drainage. You don't want to waterlog your plants, as that is the main cause of disease and other issues with growing. A 5-gallon pot that is 12 inches deep is good for most single plants. Choose a larger pot or container if you live in a warmer climate to accommodate growth.
What about Soil for Growing Peppers?
Choose a good quality soil or potting mix for growing your pepper that allows for good drainage. Add compost or manure before planting if you'd like.
Watering Your Pepper Plants
As with growing chili peppers in general, keep the soil moist but do not overwater them. For pepper plants in pots or containers, do not let the soil dry out completely. When peppers start to grow, cut back on your watering schedule a bit, but again, do not let the soil dry out.
Optimal Growing Temperature for Growing Peppers in Pots
The ideal growing temperature for chili pepper plants is between 70-90 F (21-32 C).
What Fertilizer Should I Use for My Pepper Plants?
Tomato fertilizers work well for chili pepper plants, as do compost and well-rotted manure. A good 5-10-10 fertilizer is usually sufficient for peppers. Work it into the soil before transplanting, about 3 pounds per 100 square feet. We use a solution of fish emulsion and seaweed.
Once the peppers begin to appear, fertilize one more time. You can also use manure or compost, which releases more slowly into the soil. Much, however, is affected by your soil, so you may want to consider a soil test if you are having issues.
Pinching Your Pepper Plants for Bushier Plants
When the pepper plant is about six inches high, clipping the growing tip will result in a bushier plant. Remove any flowers that appear early, as the early flowers diminish the plants overall energy.
Diseases and Nasty Pests
Stay vigilant with your pepper plants. Keep a constant eye out for common diseases like bacterial spot, mildew or rotting. Pests like aphids or spiders are common as well, so watch out for them.