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Growing Sweet and Hot Peppers 2017

I have been collecting seeds from all kinds of grocery store peppers and today I decided it was time to sow them. There are going to be many more plants compared to last year.

I hope I'm not too late. I wanted to wait until there was more sunlight. I also have limited space indoors, so I'm planning to put them outside when it gets warmer, but I don't want them to get too big before that.

I have sown four seeds of each variety but I have not yet decided how many I'm going to keep.

Bell peppers
Just ordinary red, orange and yellow bell peppers. The red ones are from my two best plants last year.

Pointed peppers
Red and yellow elongated/pointed sweet peppers. Relatively thin walls.

Hungarian peppers
Most peppers sold around here are either from the Netherlands or from Spain, but one day my dad came home with some peppers marked Hungary. I would like to call them bell peppers but the walls are tougher than I'm used to so I guess they are best for cooking. The thing that excites me most about these peppers is the colour. I have never seen a white pepper before (when looking closely it's actually very pale yellow). I have also sown red ones.

"Mini" peppers
From a bag containing a mix of small red, orange and yellow sweet peppers. I think the smaller size might make them suitable for the growing conditions I give my plants (i.e. relatively small containers and short season).

Hot peppers
This year I'm also going to grow hot peppers. I was a bit impatient so I have actually already started a few month ago with some regular red chillies (see picture below). In an Asian food store I found some kind of Asian chilli (from Malaysia) which were full of seeds. I've also bought a red habanero but I was too afraid to use it for anything because I have heard it's very hot (the woman I bought it from even warned me). It ended up getting bad, so I haven't tasted it, but I've saved the seeds and am looking forward to growing the plant.

The regular red chillies that I started already a few month ago.

50 blog comments below

That's a pretty awesome project Peterssidan. Are you planning to eat all of them? Smile
deanhills on Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:48 pm
Yes, for the sweet peppers that's the plan. The other family members can probably help me. I'm less sure about the hot ones. It would be nice to have a steady supply of fresh chillies for whenever I want to spice up some food, but I'm not going to eat all of them just so that I don't have to toss any.
Peterssidan on Thu Feb 23, 2017 12:32 am
Very nice!
I have red, yellow and orange bell pepper seeds to plant as well plus tomatos.
Still a couple months away (April) from planting for me.
standready on Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:46 am
Everything has started to come up except for the white Hungarian peppers and the red bell peppers. At this stage they all look very similar.

The bell peppers

The mini peppers

Pointed peppers (left), Hungarian peppers (top-right), Hot peppers (bottom-right)
Peterssidan on Tue Mar 07, 2017 4:40 pm
It's going towards spring and the red chilli plants seem to like it because they have started to produce quite a few flowers. Very Happy

Flower on one of the red chilli plants.
Peterssidan on Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:35 pm
The flowers look great. Didn't realize they could look that good. Definitely worthwhile to grow those in house, and one gets to eat them too. Razz
deanhills on Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:21 pm
From flower to pepper!
standready on Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:54 pm
deanhills wrote:
The flowers look great. Didn't realize they could look that good. Definitely worthwhile to grow those in house, and one gets to eat them too.

They look nice up close but are rather small and face downwards so I wouldn't recommend growing peppers for their flowers. The fruits can be very decorative though. Just search for "ornamental peppers" and you'll be amazed.

standready wrote:
From flower to pepper!

I hope so. I have tried to pollinate them but I can't see any pollen.
Peterssidan on Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:29 am
Still no sign of fruits developing. One of the flowers has fallen which means that one will not turn into a pepper.
On the positive side, I have started to see some pollen now.

Peterssidan on Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:34 pm
The seedlings are growing. Most of them has started to form their first set of true leaves.

All the pepper plants for this year.

The yellow mini peppers in the top-right corner are not doing so well. Maybe they have been overwatered.

Still no white Hungarian peppers. Is white maybe an immature colour?

The seedlings are tender and one has to be very careful not to damage the leaves when moving them.

The Habanero seedlings look a bit different and are fuzzier than the rest.

A regular looking pepper seedling.
Peterssidan on Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:18 pm
The first pepper pod is forming. Looks like he's smoking.

Smoking is highly addictive, don't start!
Peterssidan on Fri Mar 24, 2017 1:12 pm
Funny Peter! Peppers are looking good.
standready on Fri Mar 24, 2017 4:00 pm
My two best plants (A and B) from last year are still alive. I want to see how they perform in bigger pots so today I repotted them in 3 and 3,5 litre pots. They looked kind of sad so I also removed all old leaves and branches. They already have some new growth but I hope this will make them branch out more along the stem.


Peterssidan on Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:52 pm
OMG you already have pods? Shocked

mine just broke through their 2nd set of leaves. at the moment less then 5cm tall.

good god, what do you feed them... Very Happy[/url]
Marcuzzo on Thu Mar 30, 2017 11:18 am
I haven't fed them anything. The ones that have pods were started early in the fall. The seedlings were started at the end of February and are about the same size as yours as it sounds.
Peterssidan on Thu Mar 30, 2017 1:32 pm
started my seeds off today!
standready on Sun Apr 09, 2017 2:55 am
Most of the seedlings are doing all right, but some seem to struggle with wet soil. I have poked some extra holes in the containers that are worst hit in hope that it will improve the drainage.

Most of the seedlings are growing big and tall.

The Hungarian peppers have barely been growing at all lately.

Not sure if any of the Asian chillis are going to make it. I have planted new seeds just in case.

The habaneros seem to be relatively healthy but they are growing much shorter compared to all the others.
Peterssidan on Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:43 pm
The three red chilli plants has got 5 pods in total (+ a few tiny ones). All of them are still green. The largest one is about 7 cm.

The largest one.

This one is almost as long as the one above.

A curved pod.
Peterssidan on Tue May 02, 2017 12:36 pm
Wow that looks good! Ready for the pot. Photo is great too. Cool
deanhills on Tue May 02, 2017 10:07 pm
Thank you. I guess they could be used already now but I'm going to wait till they're red.
Peterssidan on Tue May 02, 2017 11:06 pm
I found an old bottle of houseplant fertilizer under the bathroom sink so I decided to test it on my pepper plants. I could see improvements within days. The Hungarian peppers that were so pale and unwilling to grow are now putting out new leaves and are as green as ever. The three red chilli plants are putting out new shoots everywhere and the leaves has turned dark green. I hadn't realized how pale they were before. They were obviously low on nutrients. Lesson learned... I need to use a fertilizer from time to time. Mr. Green

The seedlings had become too crowded and some had problems standing straight so yesterday I decided it was time to select the ones I want to keep and put them in larger containers. I selected the two biggest/healthiest of each variety. Now I'm waiting for the sun to return because I need it in order to grow large plants.

The plants after being repotted.
Peterssidan on Wed May 10, 2017 1:34 pm
It's amazing how well fertilizer works. I almost regretted using as much as I had on a plant in the UAE. Next thing I had to keep trimming all of the branches. But indeed it's like magic. Would be nice if we could get fertilizer like that for human beings. Razz
deanhills on Thu May 11, 2017 3:46 pm
Fertilizers for humans? Confused I guess a fertilizer for hair growth would be useful to a lot of people, but only if the effects were limited to the area were it was applied, otherwise they might end up looking like Chewbacca.
Peterssidan on Thu May 11, 2017 4:35 pm
It really looks good.
jestoy0514 on Fri May 12, 2017 4:39 pm
Two of the red chillies have finally ripened. I wanted to try them out so I picked the smaller one and used it in an improvised sausage stew with pasta. Pleasant heat. Enough to make me sweat slightly. Very Happy

The other one is still on the plant and I think I'm going to leave it on until I find a use for it. I think it stays fresh for longer that way.

In the above picture you can clearly see the effects of the fertilizer that I talked about earlier. Dark green leaves and shoots all along the stem. Some of the leaves didn't darken up completely and instead created these beautiful variegated patterns. It clearly shows how pale they must have been before.
Peterssidan on Wed May 17, 2017 4:12 pm
They look beautiful. And delicious. Cool
deanhills on Thu May 18, 2017 1:46 pm
Your peppers are looking good.
I started my seed off on April 9th outside. It has been cooler than normal and cloudy most of the time until the past few days. Finally, I am seeing sprouts!!!
standready on Thu May 18, 2017 4:44 pm
I have had no luck with the Asian chillies. Only one of the original plants is still alive but it's small and doesn't look very good. A while ago I started new seeds just in case they die. This resulted in six new plants. Two of them have been moved to their own containers but instead of throwing the other four away I decided to experiment with them.

The left over sweet pepper plants that were not repotted on May 9 were still alive. They hadn't grown much since then but they were clearly larger than the Asian chillies so I thought that if I can graft the Asian chillies onto the larger sweet pepper plants maybe that will save some time, giving me a larger plant quicker than it would take for it to grow to that size on its own.

I removed the top of the plant that I was going to graft onto and made a vertical slit using a razor blade. I then cut the stem of the Asian chilli at an angle on both sides and put it into the slit. It wasn't easy because the plants were so small. They only had two sets of true leaves, plus cotyledons. On two of the plants I failed the first time so I had to cut again further up the stem, above the cotyledons. Another problem was to hold them in place. I used plastic wrapper, which didn't stick to the plants very well, and then adhesive tape on the outside.

The plants that had been cut above the cotyledons were probably too small because they shriveled up and died pretty soon. Another plant had no contact with the grafting area so it eventually died too. The last one was very wilted but it looked a little bit better because there seemed to be some rigidity in the tip and the lower portion of the smallest leaf. It stayed like that for a few days but eventually the stem started to straighten itself up and yesterday it was actually standing straight again.

This is what it looked like yesterday morning. The leaves became a little more wilted during the day, but today it looks much better.

The rootstock is putting out some new growth that I might have to remove later. I guess it would be cool to have two different varieties on the same plant but in this case I don't know. Pointed sweet peppers on the same plant as hot chillies? Both are red but size could probably tell them apart.

I'm not at all sure about the benefits of grafting like this, but at least it's very interesting. Very Happy
Peterssidan on Tue May 30, 2017 11:58 am
The plants are now outside. Half of them (one of each variety) in the ground and the other half in pots.

Pepper plants (plus three of mum's tomato plants) growing in the ground.

Red habanero.

Red pointed pepper.

Yellow pointed pepper.

Red mini pepper.

Orange mini pepper.

Yellow mini pepper.

Red Hungarian pepper.

Red bell pepper.

Orange bell pepper.

Yellow bell pepper.

Pepper plants in pots. The two biggest are my plants from last year.
Peterssidan on Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:23 pm
Looks as though you've taken the process to another level than the year before. You're getting better and better. I guess one of these days you'll be growing your own vegetables. Well done! Cool
deanhills on Mon Jun 12, 2017 4:28 pm
It is about time you set those peppers free from their small containers! Nicely done!
I gave away all but one of my pepper starts to a neighbor that had room for them. Of course, I can always get peppers from them.
standready on Mon Jun 12, 2017 5:24 pm
Thank you. Yes, this is definitely different from last year. Growing outside has more potential, but also more dangers. Thus far the biggest problem has been slugs but I'm also worried about deers.
Peterssidan on Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:01 pm
My grafting experiment is still alive and kicking. Today I removed the protection. The grafting area seems to have healed alright.

Peterssidan on Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:55 am
Grafting looks good. Now to wait and see if it gets peppers.
standready on Thu Jun 22, 2017 3:25 pm

The first ripening pod for the season is on one of my overwintered plants.

The other overwintered plant has quite a few pods, but none of them has shown any signs of ripening yet.

The red mini pepper. Unfortunatly this plant has got one branch chewed off by a slug and a pod knocked off by something else (suspecting birds or frisbee).

Most plants are slower. Some have tiny pods but others have not even opened their first flower yet.

The first of the pointed peppers is looking a bit weird, maybe because it got attacked by aphids when it was small.

This Hungarian pepper plant has responded to the sun by getting darker stem and leaves.

And part of the flower buds have turned purple.

A spider is guarding one of the plants.
Peterssidan on Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:25 pm
Like the photo with the spider in it. Like a whole eco system evolving around your plants. Cool
deanhills on Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:04 pm
I like the spiders because I think they might eat other harmful insects . I've seen at least one winged aphid caught in a spider's web.
Peterssidan on Thu Jul 20, 2017 2:04 pm
Peppers are looking good with spider protecting!
standready on Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:03 pm
I've harvested about 8 peppers so far from my overwintered plants. I think they might not be "bell" peppers after all because the fruit size is still relatively small despite larger pots and the shape is not right.

Me holding two ripe peppers from my overwintered plants.

This year's bell pepper plants, that I know for sure grew from seeds that came from bell peppers, look much more like normal bell peppers. Many of them are still small but the shape seem to be right.

The orange bell pepper plant in pot.

The Hungarian peppers start out growing straight up but seem to lean over when they get larger. An interesting plant, I must say.

The red Hungarian pepper plant in pot.

The "pointed" peppers are also very interesting because of the various fruit shapes.

The yellow pointed pepper plant in pot.

The red pointed pepper plant in pot.

The plants that are growing in the ground are not doing as well as the ones in pots. Less sun, lower temperatures and maybe a lack of deep enough watering from my side are likely causes.

From left to right: Red habanero, Yellow pointed pepper, Red pointed pepper.

The orange mini pepper plant in ground.

The red Hungarian pepper plant in ground struggling to cope with slug damage.
Peterssidan on Mon Aug 07, 2017 12:22 pm
First harvest from the plants that was started this year is from the red mini pepper. It has taken quite some time to turn completely red. With a length of one decimeter it is the biggest one I have had so far.

Peterssidan on Wed Aug 23, 2017 2:10 pm
standready on Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:30 pm
MSN wrote:
Their color depends on how ripe they were when they were picked. For instance, green bell peppers are harvested while they are still unripe. [...] Yellow bell peppers are harvested when they are riper than green peppers, but have not yet fully matured. Red peppers are harvested the latest.

I don't think this is entirely true.

My red peppers have not been yellow at any stage. My red chillies and the red mini peppers have just turned darker green before turning red. My overwintered plants has a stage when they are brown. Some pods turn completely brown for a few days before starting to turn red while others start to turn sooner which makes the brown stage less pronounced.

The lone yellow pepper plant that I had last year went from green to light green to yellow. I didn't wait for them to turn red but I doubt they would have done so.
Peterssidan on Wed Aug 30, 2017 10:48 am
I believe the article is only speaking of 'bell' peppers. Although the one bell pepper I purchased was sold as "yellow". Still found the article interesting as stores in my area offer the different color bell peppers.
standready on Wed Aug 30, 2017 6:38 pm
You're right, but at least some bell peppers ripen from green to red without yellow in between. Just do an image search for ripening bell peppers and see for yourself.
Peterssidan on Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:45 pm
Unfortunately I didn't get to see my largest bell pepper ripen. I discovered two small holes in it so to avoid losing the whole fruit I decided to pick it while it was still green.

It might not have been necessary because the holes didn't go all the way to the hollow space inside. We never buy green bell peppers at home so I didn't know what to expect but it turns out it was very much edible. Less flavor than a ripe bell pepper but texture was very good.
Peterssidan on Tue Sep 19, 2017 7:13 pm
Looks good. Most 'green' bell peppers don't have much flavor.
My pepper plants are full of small peppers but I fear they won't be ready before cold weather gets the plant. Since they are on the north side of house, they don't get as much sun as they really need.
standready on Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:39 pm
I apologise for the few and far between updates lately. I have been busier than usual.

Low temperatures has slowed things down for quite some time so I decided to bring the potted plants indoors to give them a chance to ripen up. Temperature seems to be more important than sunlight right now.

Red habanero (left), orange mini pepper (middle), red pointed pepper (right), and red Hungarian pepper (front).

Yellow pointed pepper.
Peterssidan on Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:28 pm
I've never seen a yellow pointed pepper before. They look beautiful and also very wholesome and healthy. So do the red and green peppers. Cool
deanhills on Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:06 am
Peppers are looking good. My peppers are finally starting to set and are small but weather is turning cooler as fall goes on so probably won't get good size peppers before frost.
standready on Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:40 pm
Time to eat some peppers! Very Happy

Peterssidan on Sat Oct 28, 2017 12:58 pm

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