Yes! All chili pepper varieties can be grown indoors. Some chili varieties will grow really easily, but others will need a more adapted environment.
I have been growing chili peppers indoors in my apartment for many years. Here I share some of my own findings and some research that I have been doing lately to take my chili growing skills to the next level.
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Below I will discuss more in-depth why chilies can be grown indoors. After that, I'll give you an overview of how to actually grow chili peppers inside. To end the article, I'll give you a few ideas for which chili pepper plants you can try to grow indoors.
Table of Contents
Can chili peppers be grown indoors?
All peppers can be grown indoors.
If you don't have much space outdoors or live in an apartment, you can successfully grow hot peppers indoors.
You may actually find that growing chili plants indoors is more manageable than outdoors. This may be to your advantage, especially if you are a beginning gardener.
The reason for this is that you have more control over the various variables that determine the health of your chilies. These variables include the amount of water, type of soil, amount of heat, and type of light. You'll also find that these variables differ among the various chili pepper varieties.
Furthermore, if you do have some chilies outdoors, but the climate in your location does not allow you to keep the plants outside in the winter, you can bring them indoors. When the winter is over, you can place them back outdoors again.
In fact, you can grow chili peppers indoors all year round if you wish. Indoors, chili plants are not subject to changing seasons. If you care well for your plant, it will live for many years. You'll be able to harvest fruits from it multiple times throughout the year.
Chilies originate from a warm climate and thus thrive under such. If you want to grow chilies indoors, you'll need to recreate similar conditions.
The majority of chili peppers prefer temperatures between 21°C and 27°C. Indoors, this is perfectly doable. A few degrees above or below will probably not make a big difference.
If you need to increase the temperature, you can put the plants on a heat mat or under a light source that also gives off some heat.
If the temperature regularly goes below 18°C or above 32°C, your pepper plants may start to drop some of their flowers. The blossoms will simply drop off the plant. This is a reaction to temperature stress.
When growing chilies indoors, you'll also find that the fruits usually will not get as large as when grown outside. Nevertheless, their hotness will still be the same.
Although chilies will usually be grown in pots indoors, it is also possible to grow them using hydroponics. This may be a more hygienic solution instead of growing your plants in soil. In your kitchen, for example, this may be a better option.
How do you grow chili indoors?
Here are some simple steps that you can follow to grow chili pepper plants inside your home in containers.
Find a sunny place on a windowsill to place your plant. You may have to turn your plants regularly when they are located on a windowsill for them to grow their leaves in all directions instead of only towards the light that comes through the window.
If you feel there is not enough light, you can find a place under a grow light. In any case, placing your plant under a grow light will extend the growing season. Like this, you can start growing pepper plants all year round.
Start germinating some seeds using a Jiffy pod, or buy a small plant. Place these in your selected spot. Ensure that they have 10-12 hours of sunlight a day. If you use a grow light, you can increase this to 14-16 hours a day. Place the grow light about 15 cm above the plants.
If you start with a seed, you can begin by germinating many seedlings. Subsequently, select just a few of the fastest-growing. When germinating the seeds, you may also consider placing them on a warming mat and in a mini greenhouse. Such a mini greenhouse has a covering that keeps the moisture inside such that the growing environment is humid.
Once the plants are large enough, you can transplant them into their final container. This pot should have a height of at least 15 cm. It should have drainage holes so that excess water can run off into a low tray or similar. The drainage can be increased by adding some perlite to the potting mix.
When watering, it is better to underwater than to overwater. Only water the plants when the soil feels dry to touch. Also, make sure to only water such that little or no water will drip out through the container's drainage holes.
The flowers on the chili peppers will usually self-pollinate. Still, you can help them on their way by using a fine brush or a plastic swab to carry pollen from flower to flower.
You can harvest the peppers once they have matured. After that, you can prune the plant using pruning shears. After a while, it will grow back and start flowering and producing fruit. Note that chilies have a +/- 70-day growing cycle.
Best indoor chili plants
The best varieties of chilies to grow indoors are probably the smaller ones. Usually, space is more limited inside than outside. These smaller chili plants are a maximum of 80 cm tall.
Personally, I have good experience with:
- Grandpa's Home Pepper
- Aji Charapita
- Orange Tabasco
- Lemon Drop
In fact, the Grandpa's Home Pepper was created by someone living in Siberia. This pepper plant was primarily cultivated to be grown indoors on a windowsill. The plant stays small but delivers a lot of lovely hot red fruits.
Other pepper growers recommend:
- Thai Dragon
- Peter Pepper
- Apache Pepper
If you don't have much space inside, you may definitely want to steer clear of Rocoto Peppers as this will become an actual tree.
So yes, it is definitely possible to grow chili peppers indoors. All peppers can, in fact, be grown indoors, given the right environment.
Growing chilies inside has several advantages over growing them outside. You have more control over the variables that determine how the plants grow. You can control the amount of water they receive, the amount of light they receive, the type of soil in which they grow, etc...
This also means that you can grow chilies all year round for multiple years if you wish. One single plant can supply you with numerous harvests of fruit.
Find a place in your home where there is a lot of light, or add some light using a special grow lamp. Make sure that the temperature stays within the preferred range of your peppers. Water them multiple times a week to keep the soil slightly moist but make sure the roots do not rot.
At some point, the plants will start to flower, and later fruits will develop in the place of the flowers. Now, you can harvest your homegrown chili peppers.