supplies for growing peppers indoors

Growing Peppers Indoors

Growing peppers indoors is something fun to do.  You’ve likely seen something like AeroGardens, but they aren’t the only way to grow peppers inside your home.  While you can go the route of an AeroGarden, with a little ingenuity you can grow your own indoor pepper plant(s)!

Supplies Needed

For a traditional indoor pepper plant setup you will need the following supplies.

  • Container:  a 1-gallon container is fine if you plan to grow a short plant, or if you plan to keep your plant pruned.  If you have more room, try a 2- or 3-gallon container.  It can be plastic, a grow bag, a self-watering container or something along those lines — just make sure the container has  the appropriate drainage.
  • Growing Medium:  A soil less potting mix is ideal.  You can buy it ready-made or create a DIY version with compost, perlite and peat moss or coconut coir.  However, if you plan to just grow one or two plants, a ready-made potting mix might be easiest.  Note:  you may still need to add some perlite to the mix.
  • Fertilizer:  Organic or not?  You most likely don’t want the scent of fish emulsion floating through your home, but you can try worm castings, seaweed mixes and some less-aromatic organic fertilizers.  Or, you can go with something like Miracle-Gro.  Or…something in between.  Just make sure that the N-P-K is either quite balanced (numbers about the same) or else the last two numbers should be somewhat higher than the nitrogen.
  • Water:  Yep, water is obvious!  Just make sure it’s warm-ish — not hot or cold.  If you aren’t quite sure about  the quality of your tap water, try some purified or distilled water.  This is especially important if  you have a water softening system that uses salt as a softener.
  • Pepper Plant:  Yep, you will need a pepper plant!  You may want a small-ish transplant (it will probably shock less), but you can also go for a larger transplant.  Or — grow your own from seed!  😀

What About Lighting?

Unless  you have a large south facing window or a sunroom, you’ll probably need some sort of supplemental lighting for growing peppers indoors.  While I do have a south-facing window where I grow plants, flowering and fruiting plants need more than just foliage plants.

I like LED lights myself, and I have a few scattered around.  There are kinds with blue and red lights, some which have a more warm-toned (I call it yellowish) light, and some that are more like sunlight.  I’ve had all three kinds, and found that they all work well, but I personally prefer the ones that are more like sunlight (white).

These days I mostly use the LED plant lights which are clip-ons with timers (3, 6 or 12 hours).  They are pretty much set and forget.  I think the lowest wattage I have is 50 watts, and the highest 100 watts.  I’ve good results with even just the 50 watts for flowering strepocarpus plants, but if you don’t have good natural light, I’d recommend 60 to 100 watts for growing peppers indoors.  These days, the LED plant lights are really inexpensive!

Varieties for Growing Peppers Indoors

What variety is best for growing peppers indoors, you may ask?  You can grow just about any kind, but the best choice for you depends on what kind of peppers you like and how much space you have.

Peppers which typically grow to 12 inches or less will be easiest for most people, but if  you have the room for a bigger plant…go for it!  Just remember that the bigger the plant, the more light it will need.

A word about hot peppers, though (and especially the super-hots).  If you have children or pets which will be around the plants, you’ll want to stick with sweet peppers, or at least those that are mild.  If you don’t have to worry about small children or pets, hot is fine as long as you aren’t going to brush by them a lot.  Especially when it comes to the super-hot peppers, the capsicum oil can be on the outside of the fruits, and if you get that oil on your hands, it can be an uncomfortable experience.  And if you forget and rub your face…let’s not go there.  Suffice to say, be very careful if you plan to grow the super-hot peppers indoors.

I’m currently in the process of growing some sweet banana peppers indoors, and I may add some Tobago Seasoning in a few more weeks.  I just planted the seeds, though, so I don’t have much in the way of photos — yet!  Watch for them in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile — have fun growing your own pepper plants indoors!