10 Awesome Tips To Grow Peppers In Containers
Peppers should definitely be on your planting list if you're planning to produce a few vegetables in containers this summer. Peppers grow better in pots than in a garden if you choose the right types and care for them properly, especially in cool or windy locations. However, some types of peppers aren't appropriate for use in containers.
Chilli peppers, in particular, have a special place in many gardens. These colourful and tasty vegetables are both enjoyable to grow and attractive to look at. Peppers can also be used as decorative plants on your patio or balcony when grown in pots.
Peppers are native to tropical America and are used extensively in tropical Asian and equatorial American cuisines. Pepper fruits have been unearthed in prehistoric ruins in Peru and Mexico, and the plants were widely grown in Central and South America by many pre-Columbian societies.
Mexico, Central America, and northern South America are home to peppers. In 1493, pepper seeds were transported to Spain, where they quickly spread throughout Europe and Asia.
Birds ate the seeds and disseminated them across the Americas. Beginning around 7500 BCE, humans began gathering and eating peppers. About 4,000 years later, they tamed the pepper. Chiles was an important spice for the Inca, Maya, and Aztec civilizations.
Types Of Peppers In The World
There are over 50,000 distinct peppers on the globe. There are almost 4,000 different types of chilli peppers in the globe, and more are being developed all the time.
According to the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization, China produces the most chilli peppers, with an annual output volume of 18,535,308 tonnes (20.43 million tons) of fresh and dried chillies in 2018. (FAO). This accounts for 45.2 percent of global chilli production.
- Water makes up the majority of fresh, raw bell peppers with 92 %.
- Carbs, with small amounts of protein and fat, make up the balance of the vegetable.
The key nutrients in 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of raw red bell peppers are:
- 31 calories
- 92 percent water
- 1 gram protein
- Carbohydrates: 6 g
- 4.2 grams of sugar
- 2.1 grams of fiber
- 0.3 grams of fat
(Trusted Source: USDA Food Composition Databases Governmental authority)
Vitamins and minerals: Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Vitamin K1, Potassium, Folate, Vitamin E, Vitamin A
10 Varieties Of Peppers For Containers
If you want to grow peppers in containers, here are some of my favorite types that do well in pots – for best results, use large 5 gallon or larger containers.
1. Bell Peppers
Bell peppers, also known as sweet peppers, have thick, delectable skin that is not hot. Bell peppers come in a rainbow of colours, including red, yellow, orange, and green. When it comes to the colour of the bell pepper, there are differences in taste and content: green peppers are more bitter, while red peppers offer more vitamins and nutrients. These lovely pepper plants are low-maintenance and thrive in small plant containers in urban kitchen gardens.
2. Jalapeño Peppers
Jalapeño peppers are a type of chilli pepper. Jalapeno peppers are similar to bell peppers, but they are much hotter, with Scoville units ranging from 2,500 to 10,000. In truth, both peppers are cultivars, or variants of the same plant cultivated for distinct features, of the same container plant species. The tasty jalapeno pepper can be used in cooking, and it blooms with tiny white flowers and green fruits in the yard. These plants thrive in small plant containers, such as 3 gallons or 10 inches, and can reach a height of 3 feet.
3. Chile De Arbol Peppers
Chile de arbol peppers are a type of chilli that comes from a tree. In Spanish, chile de arbol means “tree chilli.”
Bird's beak chile, also known as rat's tail chilli, is a tiny pepper that grows to be approximately 2 to 3 inches long. They are spicier than jalapeño and bell peppers, with Scoville units ranging from 15,000 to 30,000. Grow in broad sun and harvest when the chiles de arbol are vivid red. It's a lovely container plant that grows 12 to 15 inches tall and resembles a small tree.
4. Cayenne Peppers
Cayenne peppers are another form of chilli pepper. In warm climes, cayenne peppers (30,000 to 50,000 Scoville units) thrive in sunny balcony container gardens. Fertilizing these 2- to 4-foot-tall pepper plants on a regular basis is beneficial, but make sure to use nitrogen-free fertilizer. Because of the nitrogen, the plant's foliage grows quickly, but it doesn't produce as many peppers. When peppers are mature, cut the stems off; mature peppers are 4 to 6 inches long and readily break off the stem.
5. Habanero Peppers
Habanero peppers are a type of chilli pepper. Habanero peppers are highly hot, with Scoville units ranging from 100,000 to 350,000. Habanero peppers come in a variety of colours, including orange, red, white, brown, and pink. Habaneros thrive in hot climates with plenty of sunshine, slightly acidic soil (pH 5–6), and are never overwatered. If you reside in a hot climate, the habanero bush will provide you with peppers all year.
6. Shishito Peppers
Shishito peppers are long green peppers that are delicious with a tinge of heat. They're prevalent in East Asian cookery, and when cooked with oil and spices, they make a delightful snack. In general, they are one of the easiest peppers to cultivate, and they thrive in pots.
7. Poblano Peppers
These lovely mild peppers, which are deep green and extra-large, are the favoured type for creating chili Relleno. This cultivar, despite its size, is known to thrive in huge container pots.
8. Fushimi Sweet Peppers
This slender sweet pepper has a crunchier texture than shishito and is delicious raw. They're also one of the easiest peppers to cultivate in pots, and they produce lovely fruit throughout the summer.
9. Bolivian Rainbow Peppers
Perfect for the container garden or the front porch, these peppers are sometimes cultivated as ornamental plants due to their amazing beauty. A rainbow of spicy peppers, including yellow, orange, red, and purple, are produced by one enormous plant.
10. Bulgarian Carrot Peppers
Don't be fooled by their name; these slender, orange peppers aren't sweet at all. They are, in fact, extremely hot–nearly three times hotter than the ordinary jalapeno. They grow on bushy bushes with dozens of fruit, making them an excellent container plant.
Tips for Growing Peppers In Pots
Tip No. 1: Choose The Correct Pepper Variety
We looked at a variety of pepper cultivars that thrive well in containers in the previous section. For those who are new to container gardening, this list is an excellent place to start. Most types of peppers, on the other hand, can be grown in containers.
Use an extra-large pot for cultivars not specified above or those not specifically suggested for container planting. This will ensure that the roots of the plant have ample room to grow and will better mimic their natural growing environment.
Tip No. 2: Choose The Proper Pot
Some of the smaller pepper cultivars will thrive in pots as little as 8 inches in diameter. Larger plants, on the other hand, will thrive in containers with a diameter of at least one foot. To allow for appropriate root growth, make sure your pot is at least 10 inches deep in any situation.
Most peppers are best grown in five-gallon buckets. Choose a pot with a diameter greater than a foot if you plan to plant more than one pepper in each pot, which is possible with non-bushy bell pepper kinds and others.
Make sure the pot you purchase has enough drainage holes. Peppers prefer damp soil, but they do not thrive in waterlogged containers. If necessary, drill extra drainage holes in the bottom of your plastic or metal container with a big bit.
Tip No. 3: Choose A Good Potting Soil
The soil in pots is exposed to a completely different environment than soil in a garden bed. It doesn't have any earthworms or other bugs to aerate it. It's also more prone to dry out because it has a smaller volume and can't pull water from deeper levels.
As a result, conventional garden soil or earth dug out from the ground will not be suitable for growing vegetables in containers.
Instead, special potting soil intended for the climate within a container must be purchased. This soil drains efficiently while retaining moisture uniformly throughout. It is also less likely to become compacted than other varieties, allowing roots to breathe freely.
Tip No. 4: Choose A Hot Spot
The most crucial factor to consider while choosing a place for your pepper container garden is sunlight. Every day, peppers require at least six hours in direct sunlight. However, more is preferable.
If you place your pots against a south-facing wall that receives a lot of sunlight, you'll get lots of heat and light.
Peppers, like all nightshades, enjoy the heat. They flourish in temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees during the day. They don't like it when it gets too cold at night.
Tip No. 5: Peppers In Support
Staking is unnecessary for pepper kinds with a spreading growth habit, such as ‘Redskin,' but upright jalapenos benefit from being anchored to a secure stake — or two or three. Large plants benefit from grow-through plant hoops, or you can create a wire cage to match the container. In addition to staking, you can relocate container-grown peppers out of the way of high winds and direct sunlight once they've ripened. This is the most effective method for ensuring that your lovely potted peppers make it into the kitchen.
Tip No. 6: Feeding And Watering
Peppers may have few insect problems, but they require more attention to feeding and watering than most plants. Let's start with water because peppers planted in pots must never be allowed to dry up and must be kept in a constant light moisture condition to thrive.
The watering frequency is determined by the weather, but you can readily evaluate how dry the pots are by gently tipping them to judge their weight. Pots that are too light are dangerously dry. If a large potted pepper starts to wilt, you'll need to water it numerous times to bring it back to life.
When the plants are well hydrated and not stressed, the easiest approach to feed peppers growing in containers is to use a water-soluble liquid plant food every week or so. Plants that are underfed have pale green leaves and show little new development, whilst those that are well-nourished produce a lot of blooms and fruits.
I frequently alternate homemade liquid fertilizers with commercial chemicals, making pepper feeding an art as well as a science. If I were to purchase a fertilizer designed specifically for potted peppers, it would provide all three major nutrients, as well as calcium and magnesium, to help reduce nutritional stress during the fruit set.
Most organic fertilizers designed for tomatoes will suffice, but read the label to ensure you know exactly what your peppers are getting.
Tip No. 7: Fertilize Twice A Month And Water On A Regular Basis
When the weather warms up to the scorching temperatures that peppers prefer, you'll probably need to water your pots every day. Stick your finger into the soil to inspect it. If the top inch or so of the pot is dry, give it a good drink.
It's ideal to water first thing in the morning before it gets too hot for quick evaporation. This will also ensure that your peppers do not spend the night in damp soil.
Peppers demand frequent fertilizing due to their rapid fruit production. This is especially true of peppers in pots, as each watering washes away a lot of the nutrients. You can ensure that your peppers get all they need to keep producing by applying a balanced veggie fertilizer every two weeks.
Tip No. 8: Continue To Harvest Throughout The Summer
As long as the weather is warm, most pepper varieties will produce. You may stimulate better production by collecting fruit early and often, especially early in the season.
If the weather becomes too hot, the plant may lose its flower buds, reducing productivity. Existing fruit, on the other hand, should continue to ripen (and hot peppers will become even hotter!). During the warmest part of the summer, move your pots to a somewhat cooler place to minimize this decline in pepper production.
If you have a sunny, south-facing window, you may bring your pepper plants inside when the weather cools to extend the season. Any plants left outside after a freeze will die.
Tip No. 9: Keep An Eye Out For Growth
It is disproportionately concentrated at the top.
Peppers don't require any trimming or special care, but you should keep an eye on them if they become too top-heavy. Bell peppers and other large pepper varietals are the most commonly affected.
The stem may begin to bow as the plant produces more and more fruit. If this happens, prop the plant up with a stick or bamboo pole. Just be careful not to over-tie the plant.
Tip No. 10: When The Fruit Is Ripe, Harvest It
When the pepper first turns green or when it has grown into a more bright hue, most pepper kinds can be harvested.
The less ripe green fruit of many spicy peppers is not as hot as the more mature red or orange fruit. Mild and sweet peppers, on the other hand, tend to have greater flavour after turning yellow, red, or purple. The colour shifts that your pepper goes through are determined by the variety.
Common Problems You May Face
Growing plants in pots often mean you won't have as many pest problems as you would in a regular garden. When growing peppers in pots, however, there are a few issues to be aware of.
Aphids, corn borers, and whiteflies are some of the pests that can harm pepper plants. If bugs are attacking your pots, try moving them away from other plants and open soil areas. Many varieties of foliage-destroying pests can be removed by washing the leaves in warm soapy water.
Bacterial Leaf Spot
This is a common problem that forms circular yellowish-black patches on the foliage of pepper plants. This problem can be avoided by using fresh soil each growing season and keeping your pots apart from other plants. If you detect a leaf with black spotting, cut it off and dispose of it as soon as possible to prevent the spread of the disease.
Bloom End Rot
This disease causes the pepper's blossom end to become mushy and brown before the fruit matures. A lack of calcium absorption causes blossom end rot. In potted peppers, frequent fertilization and, more importantly, a constant watering schedule should prevent this problem.
Peppers are a tasty vegetable that goes well with a wide range of lunch and dinner recipes. Some peppers, such as bell peppers, can be eaten on their own. It's a good idea to learn how to grow peppers in a pot because it saves space and allows you to cultivate your own vegetables instead of buying it at the store. Another advantage of growing peppers in containers at home is that the plants are free of herbicides and insecticides, which include a variety of chemicals.
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