When it comes to you successfully growing chili peppers indoors then there are a number of key things that you need to take into consideration so that your plants do not just flop. The last thing that you want to do is to spend all of this time growing them only to then discover that you have done something wrong and they are just not going to fruit. However, by paying attention to these nine tips it should mean that this is less of a possibility.
Tip 1: Be Aware of the Materials that You Need.
The first tip that we are going to look at is just making sure that you actually have the exact things that you need in order to successfully grow these plants. Now, you do not need too many things so forget the idea of having a huge shopping list as that is just not required. Instead, the only things that you need for this are as follows.
- Chili pepper seeds or seedlings.
- A pot to grow them in.
- A watering can and some water.
- The correct soil.
- Nutrients for the soil.
- Some sun and light.
- Some patience to wait for them to grow.
- Enough space for them to grow as nature intended.
That really is everything that you need.
Tip 2: Think About Getting Them to Germinate Rapidly.
This is another important tip but you should try to make sure that you get the plants to germinate rapidly as this is just going to speed up the entire process. In order to do this, there are four things that you should look at doing as it has been shown time and time again to just get the ball rolling faster than if you just left everything to its own devices. It should be noted that we are not playing about with nature here just giving it a helping hand when it may have otherwise struggled somewhat.
So, the four things that you should do are as follows.
- Put the chili seeds between two pieces of damp paper towels.
- After this, place the seeds and paper towels in a container that can be sealed.
- Place the container in a cupboard that is warm and dry as well as being quite dark.
- Leave them alone for the first two days before checking them although it can take up to five days for the initial germination process to be triggered.
By doing this you are going to find that the seeds get off to a good start and you can then move onto the next step in a shorter period of time.
Tip 3: Dealing with the Planting.
The next tip is connected to the actual planting of the seeds and plants because this is also an area where it is all too easy for things to go wrong and you can make a mistake. Getting the planting wrong can really hinder the plants and will slow down the growing process and this is not exactly something that you want to happen.
With this, there are several important points to keep in mind to help you to stay on the straight and narrow.
- Get your pot and your quality potting mix and fill the pot.
- Get your seeds from the container and sprinkle them over the top.
- Cover the seeds with a light dusting of compost just enough so you cannot see them.
- Lightly water the compost but do not over water so avoid soaking the soil.
- Keep a close eye on the container for the first signs of those plants coming through.
Now, as you can see this is not difficult but it is important that you do not put too much compost above the seeds and also avoid using too much water.
Tip 4: Achieving Successful Germination.
So, you have followed the planting advice and you are then waiting for germination to really start to appear so you can then move on to the next step which is transplanting. In this instance there are a number of important factors to look out for in connection with successfully germinating the seeds.
Now, in order to achieve germination you have to know the kind of conditions that they need to really break through the surface and to begin to evolve into successful plants. The kind of things that you need to do on a regular basis are as follows.
- Keep the soil on top moist but never soak it.
- Keep the container warm and near sunlight.
- If required use grow lights to help with the initial germination.
- Wait until the first two sets of leaves have appeared before you think about transplanting.
- This could take up to a month to happen.
If you are able to do this then you know that the germination process has been successful. However, this is only the start of it in all honesty because you must also then look at transplanting them to allow them to grow in the manner that they need to.
Tip 5: Transplanting them Successfully.
The idea of transplanting is that you take a container that has a number of seedlings and move them into larger individual pots so they are able to grow without fighting for either space or resources. This allows the plants to grow stronger than ever before and it is going to lead to you having a higher yield with the fruit which is certainly not a bad thing.
However, once again you have to make sure that you are doing the transplanting part correctly as it is all too easy to do it wrong and this can also stunt the growth or pretty much stop it in its tracks.
So, how do you do it without making a mess of things and then go on to have strong chili peppers that have been grown entirely indoors? Well, these steps are going to often prove to be key.
- Make sure that your pots are clay and unglazed as it helps reduce moisture in the soil.
- The pots should be 3 inches in size as a minimum.
- The pots should be filled to just under the surface with a quality compost.
- You should make sure that they are lightly watered and kept warm.
- Alternatively, put one in a single
2Lpot if you do not wish to then have to transplant them again later on.
- Add some balanced fertilizer into the soil before transplanting.
- Make a hole big enough for the root and then gently press it in.
The key is in the size of the pot and the quality of the soil that you end up using. By doing this, the transplanting should be a success but of course you need to keep a close eye on things.
Tip 6: How to Correctly Feed the Plants.
This is an important point that we need to cover as there is a very real need for you to be aware of the way in which you correctly feed your pepper plants. You see, people believe that they are going to need a lot of fertilizer but that is not the case as they are lighter feeders than tomato plants even though they do come from basically the same family.
You cannot fertilize them too much prior to the fruit being set because even though they will pick up those nutrients it will only lead to them producing more foliage and less fruit. However, things are different when the fruits develop because then there is a greater need for them to get the correct nutrients.
In general, you should use a fertilizer that is balanced in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium because too much of one and not enough of the rest is going to cause a variety of problems. So, with fertilizer you should certainly think about the following.
- Add in some fertilizer when you have transplanted them.
- Leave the fertilizer alone as long as you use a slow release one until the fruit appears.
- At that point fertilize them once a week and use something with a high potash content.
- Never overfeed them with nitrogen as that causes problems.
Tip 7: Getting to the Flowering Stage.
Next, we need to look at getting to the flowering stage because this is also something that is very important as you have to understand what you need to do in order to get them past this stage and onto the all important fruiting part. Remember, just because you have got them to flower does not mean that things are going to be a rip roaring success just yet as you can still make a mess of things if you are not careful.
- Keep the temperature around
70F. Anything lower is going to result in the flower just not developing as they should or they could drop off.
- Make sure you water on a regular basis. If it gets too dry or too wet then the flowers are also going to be damaged.
- Do not over fertilize or else the plant will continue to grow leaves and very few flowers.
- Make sure it gets enough light. Too little light means the stems are narrower leading to less flowers.
You cannot just afford to leave the plants as they are and hope that they get to the flowering stage as they do require some coaxing on your part. However, if you keep those points above in mind then it should make life easier for you.
Tip 8: Dealing with the Fruiting.
The fruiting is of course important because that is the entire reason as to why you have gone to all of this trouble in the first place. However, once again there are various key steps that you really should follow just to make sure that you do get fruit appearing in the first place because the wrong conditions is hardly going to lead to the plant providing you with peppers. So, you should keep these points in mind when it comes to getting to the fruiting stage.
- Do not make the plant too hot or too cold as changes in temperature will result in a poor yield.
- Start to fertilize the plants more often when the fruit starts to appear as it needs those nutrients to develop better peppers.
- You actually need a bit less water when the fruit is developing which is different to what most people think.
- Be aware of blossom end rot or diseases appearing on the fruit as this can be a sure fire sign that you have trouble ahead and you have to act now.
Tip 9: Caring for the Plants and the Harvest.
The final tip is connected to actually caring for the plants as well as the harvest aspect which is, of course, the fun part as you get to taste what you have grown. Now, as with the other tips there are several things to take into consideration that will make life easier for you and if you keep them in mind and are able to follow through with them then you should see stronger plants giving you better fruit to then harvest.
- Make sure that they are kept near a sunny window. They need lots of light for a minimum of 5 hours a day to really grow and develop.
- If you cannot do that, then use LED grow lights as this provides them with the correct spectrum of light for both the vegetative and fruiting stage.
- Make sure that the plants are not in a draught as this changes the temperature too much and they will not like that. However, you must check that air is circulating as that is important to stop fungus growing.
- When you see the first sprouts appearing above the soil then it is time to give them a bit more water which you then cut back on when they are more mature.
- Harvest them just one by one so if you are growing a number of plants then stagger them. You can keep peppers fresh in various ways but nothing is better than fresh off the plant.
So, as you can see, the nine tips that we have mentioned above are not exactly complex and yet they can make such a huge difference to the eventual outcome that you are able to achieve with your plants. However, the key is to just make sure that you understand what you are doing in advance of even getting started and by the end of it all you should have some chili peppers that you can rightfully be proud of.