How To Care For and Take Care Of Hot Pepper Plants


Over the years we have grown MANY types of chile pepper plants and we are here to teach you what we've learned. This guide will show you how to care for pepper plants, how to evenly space pepper plants, nutrients for pepper plants, and pepper plant nutrient deficiencies as well. Be sure to give this a through read.


How Far Apart Do I Space My Peppers?

Spacing ultimately depends on what type of pepper plant you have.

There are five main types of pepper plants.

  • Capsicum Chinense (Habanero type; grows very big),
  • Capsicum Annuum (Thick walled Jalapeno/Bell type; small to medium),
  • Capsicum Pubescens (Very thick walled; Black Seeds; Medium to Large)
  • Capsicum Frutescens (Tabasco Pepper/Chiltepin; large to very large)
  • Capsicum baccatum (Similar to Capsicum Chinense; large to very large)

Once you identify what type of chile pepper you have, you will be able to determine the spacing. Please refer to the chart below to see how far apart to space your chile pepper plants

Capsicum Annuum 1 to 2 Feet
Capsicum Pubescens 1.5-2.5 Feet
Capsicum Chinense (Habanero) 2 to 3 Ft
Capsicum Frutescens 2 to 3 Ft
Capsicum Baccatum 2.5 to 4 Ft



What Nutrients Do I Feed My Pepper Plants?

Nutrients can be such a pain to use. But we have found a solution to that problem! We generally utilize General Hydroponics products like the one shown below. In particular, we use General Hydroponics MaxiBloom with a pinch of CalMag for our peppers.



MaxiBloom has all the Phosphorus and Potassium that a healthy pepper plant requires with just enough nitrogen to keep it happy. Please note that chile peppers do NOT like a lot of nitrogen. An example of Nitrogen Toxicity in pepper plants are dark and glossy leaves or excessively yellowing/dying leaves. 



Have no fear! Fixing pepper plant leaf curl is a relatively simple process. There are two main reasons why chilie peppers get leaf curl: Heat and Magnesium deficiency. If you are experiencing a LOT of heat (over 95 Degrees F), you should invest in some shade cloth which will filter out about 40% of the sun light. It also doubles as a hail net so your peppers will be protected in inclimate weather.

If you feel your peppers have a magnesium deficiency, you can use CalMag. CalMag will help correct your plant's nutrient lockout and "unlock" the nutrients in your soil so your plant can feed correctly again. You only need about 1 teaspoon of CalMag per gallon of water, it's very strong stuff. 


Another use for CalMag is when your peppers flowers drop when your plant is well into maturity. Please note that flower drop on young pepper plants is natural and to be expected.


Watering your pepper plants is actually very simple. You water when the soil is dry. If you are using pots, you should wait until just before the soil is completely dry.

You can determine this in two ways with no equipment: Stick your finger in the soil until your 2nd knuckle and if it's moist, you don't need to water it. Another way is to remember how much your pot weighs when the soil is dry, if it's light, it needs water. You DO NOT want to wait until your leaves are wilting. Also do not water in the middle of the day or else you will get sun spots on your leaves. 


I've waited a long time! How Long Do Peppers Take To Ripen?

This is another issue of what type of chile pepper do you have? below is a rough list of how long it takes chile peppers to ripen after setting fruit. Please be aware that this isn't the most accurate, just a rough guide.

Capsicum Annuum 5-8 weeks
Capsicum Pubescens 6-8 weeks
Capsicum Chinense (Habanero) 4-8 weeks
Capsicum Frutescens 4-6 weeks
Capsicum Baccatum 4-6 weeks


There's Bugs All Over My Pepper Plants! What Do I Do?

Now a lot of people cringe when they hear the word pesticides. However, there are some natural alternatives you can use before you resort to pesticides for your pepper plants. 

The picture below is what's called an Aphid. They are little white/yellow/green bugs that eat the pepper plant leaves. 


You can get rid of aphids by using a mild solution of dawn dish soap and spray it on the leaves. You should also try to see if you can eliminate any ants that are crawling on your pepper plants as ants farm aphids. Another method to removing aphids and other bugs on your plants is to acquire some ladybugs! Ladybugs are actually a predatory insect that eats aphids and thrips!




Many problems with pepper plants are actually quite easy to fix. We hope this article has given you some answers to your pepper plant growing questions. If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact us!