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How to Grow Peppers

Updated on January 17, 2015

How to Grow Peppers from Seeds

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How to Grow a Pepper Plant

Pepper plants are an easy vegetable to grow and require very little effort once you learn the basics. Growing your own pepper plants not only saves you money but provides you with a much fresher, better quality and better tasting pepper.

If you have never grown pepper plants continue reading to find out just how easy it is to grow your own pepper plants. You will be surprised at the difference in taste and how satisfying it will be to pick your own fresh grown peppers for your next savory dish.

The instructions below are for growing pepper plants of all varieties including bell peppers, banana peppers, cayenne and any other variety you may have.

Planting Pepper Plants

How to Plant Peppers

Learning how to plant peppers is very simple! The first step in planting peppers is to choose a healthy plant. Whether you have grown your peppers from seed or have purchased pepper plants, it's very important to select a healthy, green and actively growing pepper plant to give your peppers the best start.

Once you have chosen your plant, dig a whole that it about 12 inches wide and 12 inches deep. Once you have dug your whole, fill it halfway back in using a rich garden compost or cow manure. Cow manure works wonders! If you are using smaller plants in a 6-cell pack you may need to fill it a little more.

Now, gently remove your plant from the pot and be careful not to injure the stalk. Plant the pepper plant so that the lowest set of leaves is only 2-3 inches above the soil line. Continue filling the whole with compost and gently pack the soil around the plant.

Water in thoroughly and insure that there are no air pockets. To help with watering, use the original dirt that you dug from the hole to create a water ring around the outside of the hole. This will help the water to stay near the plant instead of running across the ground. Continue to water thoroughly, at least once a day, for the first week until the plant is well established.

Image Source: Shardayyy

How to Water Peppers

Watering Pepper Plants

'How to water peppers?' is one of the most common questions from new gardeners just learning to grow peppers. It's important to know that peppers need plenty of water but, too much can injure or kill your pepper plants. Pepper plants are also susceptible to fungi when watered from the top.

Always water your plants from the base of the plant near the soil. Water thoroughly until the soil is wet, but not soggy. Water long enough that the top 3-4 inches are good and wet but not holding water.

If your pepper plants are in pots, you can water them near the soil or from the bottom by allowing the pot to soak in a tray of water for 30-45 minutes allowing the soil to soak up however much water is needed to moisten the soil. Watering the bottom not only prevents over-watering but, also helps prevent fungus and diseases, and prevents scorching of the leaves in bright, hot sun.

How Often Should You Water Pepper Plants?

How often you should water pepper plants depends on your temperatures, rainfall and soil. A rich soil will hold moisture better than a sandy soil, hot temperatures will require watering more often and rainfall will help reduce watering needs.

In general, you should water you plant when the top two inches are dry. Water thoroughly, usually every 1-2 days as needed. Covering the ground with straw or mulch will help retain moisture and require less watering.

How to Fertilize Pepper Plants

Fertilizing Pepper Plants

To insure a healthy, well-producing pepper plant, it's important to fertilize them often with an all-purpose fertilizer or a fertilizer that is formulated just for peppers. Miracle Grow All-Purpose fertilizer will do just fine.

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Peppers Love Full Sun

Pepper plants grow best in full sun. Bright sunshine will produce a healthy pepper plant and an abundance of delicious peppers. If you do not have an area that gets full sun, grow your pepper plants in a spot that gets the most sun, preferably morning sun.

Staking Peppers

Some varieties that produce larger peppers, such as bell peppers, will benefit from being staked. You can use standard tomato cages or secure them to a stake using string. Staking peppers will insure they remain upright and also protect them during violent storms and windy days.

Image Source: Welker

Growing Peppers For Color

Peppers provide a variety of colors including greens, yellows, oranges, reds, purple and even black, depending on the variety. Some gardeners include them in their landscape to provide edible color, while others grow them in containers in a patio garden. Either way, peppers perform well in containers, gardens, and even flowerbeds. Don't limit yourself to hiding your peppers in the backyard with the other vegetables. Get bold- put them in your landscape for to add a little 'spice' and color.

Image Source: Richard Elzey

Books on Growing Pepper Plants

Looking for more information on growing peppers? These great gardening books will teach you several tips for growing great peppers!

What Are Your Thoughts on Growing Pepper Plants?

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    • profile image

      Debbie E. 3 months ago

      I take 2 tablespoons of epsom salt (not table salt) and mix in a gallon of water and hand spray on the leaves in the early morning every 10 days to provide magnesium. This aids in producing flowers which turns into the peppers. I have been doing this for several years and it works wonderfully. Works also on tomato plants and rose bushes for more flowers.

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      Nats 5 months ago

      Mole crickets are eating my leaves off the sweet pepper plant how can I stop this?

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      Pam Hanson 18 months ago

      I experimented with 3 pepper plants in my garden 3 years ago and have covered them every winter so they wouldn't freeze. I lost 1 plant because I couldn't get out there to make sure it was covered right. But the other 2 are still fine. I get peppers from them every year... I was told I could trim them back and am going to try it this year!

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      Zouhour 2 years ago

      It is a tad on the small size. I have a 5 gallon cintaoner I mix nutrient solution in when I need it. I top off the Emily's pretty much every other day. Usually the reservoir is very low (practically empty) which probably stresses the plants out, but they seem to deal with it. They really don't have much of a choice.I just like to try putting stuff in it and see what happens. Cucumbers grew great , though they were sour because of the stress I put them under. I hear you can get cucumbers that lack the chemical or whatever that makes them sour, and I plan on getting some seeds someday and doing another cucumber crop.Overall, I'd rate the Emily's garden as a good beginner hydroponic system. Once you get one and see how it works, you can reproduce it fairly cheaply. If you go to the webcam page some time when it's one (6pm to 6am or so) you can see the makeshift systems based on the same concept of the Emily's garden.

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      Christine 2 years ago

      You don't mention what plnats you are growing, so it is hard to say for sure. Try digging down about 4 inches next to one of your plnats. (not to close or you will hurt the roots!) If the dirt there is still wet, don't water until it isn't any more. If it's dry watering time!Did you test the soil before planting? Your soil may be to acidic. Try using a little lime. (Not the fruit, garden lime.) This will decrease the acidity, and can help plnats to take up calcium and iron.Do you feed your plnats? If not, it's time to start! You want to make sure that they are getting regular feedings to keep those plnats happy and healthy!And how about light? Plants need lots of light If they are getting to much, they usually tell you by wilting during the hottest part of the day. But they do need at the very least 8 hours of full sun.You can buy a garden meter mine measures ph, moisture, fertility and light. I picked it up at a big box store for $ 11 and some change Works wonders!Hope this helps! And remember, anything you try may take a few days to make a difference, so watch close and give it time! Happy gardening!

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      LouisaDembul 3 years ago

      This year I'm going to have peppers on the balcony, at least a couple of plants.

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      ColettaTeske 4 years ago

      Peppers were one of the first vegetables that my boyfriend learned to grow. His plants are over a year old and still producing. At first, he didn't believe me when I told him that the plants would live for several years as long as he kept them from freezing in the winter (we live in zone 9 and have a few freeze days). Nice article.

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      ClaraSimmonds 4 years ago

      Geat lens about Growing Pepper Plants.