growing chili plants indoors

Your Guide To Growing Chili Plants Indoors

Let’s get into growing chili plants indoors so you can have some sanity this winter with some sizzling chili heat. Chili plants, or chili peppers, are from the genus Capsicum, which are members of the Solanaceae nightshade family. Planters can generally grow chilies inside or outside, as long as there is a warm and sheltered spot. With that being said, the usual question is, “Will chili plants grow indoors?”

Chili plants will grow indoors. Gardeners can grow chili plants indoors throughout the year, and they even grow in homes during the winter months. All chili species are in most cases suitable as houseplants; nevertheless, there are some considerations to follow when growing chili plants indoors. 

In order to achieve success in growing chili plants indoors, one must not be complacent and should be cautious about tending them. Read more to find out about such important things and be confident that your chili plants will successfully grow indoors.

Growing Chili Plants Indoors 101

Chili peppers need heat to sprout and thrive. It typically takes around three (3) months from sowing to flowering. Then the fruit matures for another three (3) months. (3)

When growing chili peppers indoors, ensure to benefit from warm, sunny days to grant them that extra boost by placing them outside for a couple of hours. Commence with seeds of peppers in clean containers — purchase seedlings or tiny plants to grow indoors. Afterward, transfer them into permanent containers.

When growing seedlings or small plants, be sure to provide 10-12 hours of sunlight each day. In addition, position plants six inches (15 centimeters) under a grow light for about 14 to 16 hours. A beaming window to the south is ideal for a small-scale greenhouse to sprout seeds.

When starting from seeds, it is recommended to use a warming mat for germinating seeds. Start seeds in a warm spot, away from direct sunlight. Keep the soil moist — a plastic covering aids in holding moisture. (4)

As seedlings germinate, increase the amount of sunlight. Appropriate lighting is essential to prevent the plants from growing spindly when reaching for the light. If the rooms get lesser light or the days become shorter, planters should sustain them with artificial plant light.

For artificial plant lights, fluorescent tubes in daylight white imitate sunlight well. According to Chili-plant.com, many chili growers utilize “LSR 865 with a light color of 6500 Kelvin for cultivation”. The lamps are economical, with a low electricity requirement. Furthermore, light-emitting diode (LED) has also become progressively compelling for chili planters.

Hot peppers in pots will require turning the pots as seedlings tilt toward the light; nonetheless, this will not be necessary if they’re directly under artificial lighting. In Gardeningknowhow.com, it is stated there to “pinch the first flowers down to the stem to encourage heavier fruit set and just pinch the first few blooms so as not to interrupt the 70-day growing cycle”.

When caring for peppers indoors, it is required to water them a few times a week. Allow the soil to dry out between watering — check it by putting your forefinger down a couple of inches (roughly five centimeters) or by using a moisture meter. Although pests are predominantly rare on chili plants grown indoors, it is still better to keep an eye out for them. (4)

What chili varieties will grow more effectively indoors?

Not all varieties of chilies will be grown as successfully as others; however, planters have several choices. Smaller chili plants like ornamentals will grow better indoors because they do not need as much room as larger chilies. Opt for chili variations that are not much larger than 80 centimeters.

The foliage of ornamental hot pepper plants is appealing to the senses. Peppers are ornamental, and they grow relatively well indoors. Ornamental pepper is perhaps the best hot pepper to grow indoors.

Fruits of ornamental pepper are green, orange, red, and yellow; consequently, you can use them in cooking, but they are intensely hot. For a pepper plant to be used routinely, try growing the Carnivale Cayenne Blend Hot Pepper in a pot — bears long, slender peppers that ripen in a rainbow of shades, including green, purple, red, and yellow. Even though any hot pepper variety will work well, adhere with compact types, as these varieties adapt better to containers. (4)

The Fresno chile or Fresno chili pepper, Peter Pepper, and Thai Dragon Pepper are ideal for indoor planting. Utilize flower pots approximately 15 centimeters tall, with coasters for cultivation. Moreover, some indoor chili varieties include the Apache, Poinsettia Chili, Mirasol, Prairie Fire, Etna, Habanero Cristina, Macho, and Cayenne.

Apache is the first choice to grow chili plants in pots on window sills, which bears medium-sized red or yellow chilies. For the Poinsettia Chili, its sight and taste make the indoor cultivation truly rewarding. Another good choice for indoor chili planting is the Mirasol Pepper which doesn’t grow more significantly than 60 centimeters and produces large quantities of thin chilies around five (5) centimeters long.

The Prairie Fire is ideal for home or office, as it is conceivably among the most miniature Capsicum annuum varieties. Another variety that’s perfect for indoor sowing is the Etna Chili, as it has compact growth. Cayenne Chili plants are also comparatively easy to grow — can stand well as a pot plant in a vivid room with its height of 0.8 meters or 80 centimeters.

Habanero Cristina chilies grow well indoors at approximately between 50 and 80 centimeters high with bushy growth. Additionally, Macho chili peppers ripen to violet, and they are adapted to a few hours of sunshine. In conclusion, planters can select several varieties of chilies to grow indoors.

The Top 3 Frequently Asked Questions About Growing Chili Plants Indoors

What are the things to consider when growing chili plants indoors?

It would be best if you considered several factors well about growing chilies indoors. 

  • Planters should consider the temperature. Plenty of chili plants prefer the warmer climates, with some species growing best in more moderate temperatures; besides, other types prefer cooler temperatures in the evening. Capsicum annuum, which is the most prevalent and substantially cultivated among the five domesticated capsicums, grows best with abundant sunlight and moderate humidity. In contrast, Capsicum chinense (customarily known as a “habanero-type pepper”) grows best in moderate temperatures and higher humidity. (2)
  • Light is also a consideration. A small number of sunlight results in narrow stems. It would be best to place chili plants close to brightly lit windows that receive numerous hours of sunlight.
  • When growing chili plants indoors, make sure to water them appropriately. Water when the soil is moderately dry and until the soil is somewhat moist. Be careful not to overwater them as you might rot the roots, thus killing the chili plants.
  • Feeding the chili plants can help, mainly when growing them indoors. Generally, chilies only require to be fertilized every two (2) weeks, and fertilizer should be utilized as recommended on the package. Miracle-Gro or a comparable plant food or fertilizer is suitable for feeding the plants. These fertilizers consist of three (3) vital elements that nourish the plants: nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium (N-P-K). (2)
  • Air quality is of great significance as well. Polluted air, which can be caused by smoke or other irritants, can alter the growth of chili plants.
  • Monitor your chili plants closely. Some yield more quickly than others, although most of them may take some time. Chilies usually start relatively slow; therefore, it is beneficial to grow them indoors for about a few weeks (around 8-12 weeks) before transplanting them outside.

What is the best indoor location for my chili plants?

When growing chili plants indoors or at home, it is vital to have plenty of sunlight. They are heat-loving plants; therefore, it is ideal for placing them near sunny windows. If there is no nearby sunny window, planters can provide them with artificial light such as a LED lamp — ensuring that the chilies have enough heat and light required to grow indoors.

A shining window to the south is best for a tiny greenhouse to sprout seeds. Rocoto Peppers like to grow in semi-shade as well as on windows to the east. Regular repotting can also be beneficial in producing healthier and larger transplants.

What is the best time for growing chili plants indoors?

January and February are the ideal months to start planting your chili pepper seeds indoors though it is still possible to sow the seeds even until the end of March. An advantage of early sowing is that there will be sufficient time for chilies to ripen before the end of summer. Take note that the hottest chili varieties require the most prolonged growing duration.

If there is no ample time to grow chilies from seeds, you can purchase chili plants. It usually takes around seven (7) to ten (10) days for seeds to germinate. After that, you can relocate seedlings to a warm, sunny window sill.

References

  1. Chili pepper https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chili_pepper
  2. GROWING CHILI PEPPERS INDOORS https://www.chilipeppermadness.com/growing-chili-peppers/growing-chili-peppers-indoors/
  3. Chili plants in the house https://chili-plant.com/chili-care/chili-plants-in-the-house/
  4. Indoor Pepper Care: Growing Hot Pepper Plants Inside https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/pepper/growing-hot-pepper-plants-inside.htm
  5. How to grow chili peppers https://www.thompson-morgan.com/how-to-grow-chilli-peppers
  6. CHILI PEPPER https://www.bulbolight.com/blogs/how-to-grow/chili-pepper-indoors

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