Growing Pepper Plants (Overview)

John's Mystery Pepper Plant -- Purple Variant
John's Mystery Pepper – Purple Variant, 2018

Usually, growing pepper plants is quite easy. Follow a few quick tips and most growers will have great results.

The question then becomes, what makes a pepper plant great? Here, beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. Flavor, size, shape, heat, foliage/fruit coloration, disease resistance and production are all potentially desirable plant characteristics.

Whichever combination of characteristics define what you most enjoy growing, the goal is to get the best results from your chosen varieties. Here are a few quick tips for growing healthy pepper plants…

  • Properly harden plants before transplanting outside. Plants being moved outside need a gradual transition period to properly adjust to direct sunlight, wind and changing temperatures.
  • Plant pots/soil should have good drainage. Soil should be allowed to dry out slightly between watering. Yellow droopy leaves are a sign of over-watering or poor drainage.
  • Get them plenty of sun. Pepper plants love full sun, while many of the pests that affect them do not.
  • Give them room. Many pepper plants, especially those in the habanero family, like to grow large. Planting too close together, or in too small of a pot, will limit their yield and require more frequent watering. Large pepper plants do best with a four foot spacing in a garden or with pots at least 20" in diameter.
  • Give them plenty of calcium. Green, wrinkly leaves are usually a sign of calcium deficiency. A good sprinkling of bone meal worked into the bottom of the hole when transplanted, and once a month thereafter, will help keep pepper plants looking good.
  • If leaves start wilting, increase watering amount and/or frequency. This is especially true for potted pepper plants when they grow large – they can become root-bound and use up their water quickly.

When growing peppers, it's usually that simple!

Interested in learning more? Our Step by Step Pepper Growing Guide has in-depth information to help in avoiding issues and maximizing growing results.

We hope you enjoy your pepper growing experience! If you'd like to share your results, see what other growers are doing, or ask questions, visit us on YouTube and Facebook to join our communities dedicated to the enjoyment of chile peppers.

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