Growing Hot Peppers

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Hot Peppers, such as Anaheim, Long Red Slim Cayenne, Serrano Chili, Jalapeno and Hungarian Wax peppers are all bush peppers renowned for their beautiful colors and spicy flesh. They are good for late planting and they tolerate hot, dry weather well. These growing tips can be used for any type of hot pepper plant. They grow best in temperatures of 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and can reproduce well into the hottest part of the summer.

Hot Peppers will take 10-21 days to germinate and seeds should be planted one fourth of an inch deep. The seeds should be spaced three inches apart and the row spacing is two feet apart. From planting to harvest, maturity is 73 days. Most Hot Pepper plants grow to a height of two to three feet; they will grow wide and bushy so keep the rows a standard distance apart. Hot Peppers grow well in a 12-inch diameter flowerpot and adding a support post for the plant with help your peppers grow straight and disease free.

Sow the seeds in average garden soil in a sunny location, after all danger of spring frost. For earliest seedlings, start seeds indoors in peat pots two months before outdoor planting time. If you do not have peat pots, they will easily start in small disposable cups filled with 2 inches of flower and vegetable potting soil. Keep the soil moist and place the cups in a warm location until the seedlings are three inches tall. Then transplant the seedlings into your sunny outdoor location. Thin seedlings when they are four to 6 inches tall and the final spacing of the plants should be 18-24 inches apart.

To help the seeds germinate, let the seeds soak in warm water for 24 hours or place them in a warm wet paper towel, placed in a Ziploc baggie. Place the seeds 2 or 3 seeds per cup, cover with one fourth of an inch of soil and let them grow to three inches tall. At this time, you can move them to your sunny outdoor location. Small flowers will appear on the plant where the peppers will sprout.

Hot Peppers will be ready to pick, eat and cook in 73 days. Mature peppers, depending on the type, are 2-8 inches long, with Yellow Serrano peppers being the longest. Pick the peppers when they are most tender and keep picking peppers regularly to help the plant to keep producing. Hot peppers can be eaten pickled, fried, stuffed or in salads and casseroles dishes.


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