More and more people are growing the hot peppers themselves. Find out everything you need to know about planting the chili, from location to care, here.
Like chili peppers belong to the family of peppers ( Capsicum ) and thus also belong to the large nightshade family ( Solanaceae ). Hot peppers are just hot breeds of sweet peppers ( Capsicum annuum ). The many different varieties differ mainly in fruit size, shape, color, and degree of spiciness. The real hot peppers are in the seeds. We explain to you how you can grow these delicious and healthy vegetables and what you need to consider.
Peppers originally come from Southeast Asia and therefore only tolerate the cool weather conditions here to a limited extent. If you observe the special requirements of the hot peppers in terms of location and soil, you can even grow the hot fruits outdoors.
Location and requirements when planting hot peppers
Hot peppers prefer a warm, sunny spot. Good lighting conditions ensure that the plant develops many flowers. You can plant the peppers in a tub or in a garden bed. A well-ventilated greenhouse offers ideal growth conditions. But the plants also feel good outdoors. A place on a warm house wall protects the peppers from rain and wind.
Pepper plants like it warm and sunny
Special soil for hot peppers
Hot peppers prefer nutrient-rich, well-drained soils with even moisture. The pH value should be in the slightly acidic to a neutral range (6.5 to 7). Lean soils can be enriched with natural fertilizers such as compost or rotted manure. Commercially available substrates for growing vegetables are suitable for pot culture. Our peat-free Gardender organic tomato and vegetable soil is also ideal for growing hot peppers.
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Planting hot peppers: instructions on how to do it
It is relatively easy to grow hot peppers yourself from seeds. Under optimal conditions, the seeds germinate after 1 to 2 weeks, after a further 2 to 4 weeks the small plants can then be pricked out. But you can also buy pre-grown young plants in the garden center. In the process of grafting, tasty, high-yielding varieties with high resistance to leaf diseases are placed on substrates that are less susceptible to or even resistant to soil-borne diseases or that have particularly good root formation and vigor. In this way, the positive properties of two plants can be combined in one pepper plant.
Hot peppers can be grown from seeds
However, hot peppers should not be planted too early, preferably from the end of May, because they cannot tolerate cool temperatures below 5 ° C. To protect the plants, you can plant the peppers in the greenhouse from the end of April in cooler locations. The pepper plants can grow up to 80 cm high. Smaller varieties are also suitable for cultivation in tubs or large pots. Plant the peppers in a suitable substrate as far as they were previously in the pot. Then gradually water the plant a little. Support provides the plants with additional support. You can tie the side shoots here later so that the shoots do not break off due to the high weight of the fruit.
Here’s the best way to go about planting hot peppers:
- Loosen up the earth
- Dig the planting hole
- Insert the plant and fill it with soil
- Pour enough
- Provided with a support
Tip: You get a complete set of equipment including a mini greenhouse when you buy our Gardender chili growing set. With this, you can easily grow the hot pods on the window sill.
Plant hot peppers in the bed
When cool night temperatures are no longer expected, hot peppers can be planted in the garden bed from the end of May. A protected location is important because hot peppers cannot tolerate drafts or rain. A place on a warm south wall of a house is best. The bed can be prepared in autumn. To do this, loosen the soil well and work in some manure or compost if necessary. When planting in spring, care should be taken to leave a sufficient distance of around 40 to 50 centimeters between the individual plants. A mulch film can be used to cover the floor. This warms the soil and reduces the work of weeding.
From the end of May hot peppers can be planted in the garden bed
You should pay attention to this when planting hot peppers in the bed:
- Do not plant too early
- Select a protected location
- Loosen the soil and work in compost
- Maintain a planting distance of around 40 to 50 cm
- Mulch film protects against weeds
Plant hot peppers in the pot
Low-growing peppers can also be grown wonderfully in pots on the balcony or terrace. The best location is a sunny spot on a south wall. A protective eave or a canopy also protects the plant from rain. The bucket should be sufficiently large and excess water should be able to drain off well so that no waterlogging occurs. It is best to only plant one plant per pot so that it has enough space to grow. It is best to fill the planter with a suitable substrate such as our organic tomato and vegetable soil.
Small peppers can be grown wonderfully in pots
These points should be observed when planting hot peppers in the pot:
- Use a sufficiently large planter
- Excess irrigation water should be able to drain off
- Put one plant per pot
- Use suitable substrate
- Select a sheltered, sunny location
Care for hot peppers after planting
For the hot peppers to thrive and produce plenty of fruit, they need to be well looked after. In the following, we have summarized the most important information on caring for hot peppers for you.
Pour hot peppers
Regular watering is important, especially before and during the fruit set, as hot peppers have a high water requirement. Too little water can cause the flowers and buds to fall off. The root ball should only be slightly damp, as hot peppers also do not tolerate waterlogging very well. When watering, also make sure that as little water as possible gets on the leaves to prevent diseases.
Hot peppers can easily be overwintered in the house
Fertilize hot peppers
Hot peppers need a lot of nutrients, especially in the early days. It is best to work some fertilizer into the soil when you are planting. Organic slow-release fertilizers, such as our Gardender organic tomato fertilizer, are particularly suitable. This gradually releases the nutrients, making them continuously available to the plant. In addition, organic slow-release fertilizers favor soil life and thus sustainably improve the soil structure. When the first fruits are visible, fertilizing should be stopped.
Hibernate hot peppers
Due to their sensitivity to low temperatures (below 5 ° C), hot peppers are usually only grown as an annual, but they can also be overwintered without any problems. Bring the peppers indoors in good time for this in autumn. Peppers that have been planted out must first be relocated to planters. A light, not too warm room is suitable for wintering – temperatures around 10 ° C are ideal. Ventilate regularly and do not water too much in winter, the root ball should not be too moist so that the roots do not rot. In February you can cut back and repot the peppers. After the new shoots, the plant can go outside again from the end of May.
You can easily overwinter peppers indoors
Further care tips for hot peppers
Unless you are using mulch film, you should regularly remove the weeds when cultivating in the bed. If necessary, side shoots can be cut back to about three centimeters so that the plant can put all its strength into the fruit shoots. Pests such as aphids can also sometimes bother the hot peppers. Therefore, as a preventive measure, ensure that there is sufficient planting distance. Regular ventilation in the greenhouse also reduces the risk of fungal infections.
The more ripe the fruits are, the hotter they are
Once they have reached their final color, the hot peppers can be harvested between August and October. The more ripe the fruits are, the hotter they are and the more intense their taste. In some years it takes a little longer to ripen, then you can either harvest the fruit in an unripe state or you can bring the peppers indoors early enough in autumn to continue cultivating them there.