The Q&A Archives: Growing Hot Peppers Indoors

Question: I need to grow a variety of hot peppers indoors in September. I've heard an Epsom salt solution helps with the size of the plant and fruit. Do you have any other tips that could help with size and heat? Any tips with growing indoors will be appreciated.

Answer: If you have a greenhouse, you can pot up the pepper plants from your garden and bring them indoors. They'll continue to produce, though much more sparingly, for a while. Some gardeners keep their peppers indoors over the entire winter--by spring, they are usually pretty ragged-looking, but they pick up again once they're out in the garden.

Because the days are getting shorter and the sun is much less intense in the fall, I would not expect a big harvest from indoor peppers. Even if you use supplemental lighting, it just can't compare with the intensity of the sun on a midsummer day. An Epsom salt solution sprayed on leaves provides additional magnesium to the plants. This is useful for a vigorously-growing plant, but won't push a plant to grow in a low-light situation. Also, the pungency (heat) of hot peppers is greatly influenced by air temperature. Hot weather generally leads to more pungent peppers.

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