One of the most common problems people have while growing peppers is over watering. Pepper plants need a lot less water than people think and regardless of whether the pepper plant is growing in a pot, raised bed or directly in the ground too much water is one of the worst things you can do to your plants. Over watering can stunt growth, washes away nutrients and invites pests and disease.
If you are growing your peppers in pots you will need to water much more frequently than if you were growing them in the ground. As a general rule you should water when the plants are wilting, but, make sure it’s not just due to excessive heat. When it’s very hot…say 95 degrees+ pepper plants in the direct sun may wilt during the day. This is normal and is just the plants way of reducing the surface area exposed to the sun to help keep it cool. When I grow in pots before I water I like to see some non sun related wilt and I check the pot to make sure it’s bone dry. Often while growing peppers in pots the top of the soil is dry but the bottom is mud. This can happen very easily especially if the pot does not have great drainage. If the pot is completely dry and there’s a little non sun related wilt (best time to check is earlier in the morning or in the evening when the plants are not in direct sun) I give each pot a good soaking. I like to see just a little bit of water coming out of the bottom. Too much and you just wash out your nutrients so soak them but not to excess.
If your pepper plants are growing in raised beds or in the ground a lot of the same rules apply. The main difference is you will find that you need to water much less frequently than when growing in pots. It’s not unusual for me to water my plants in pots every day – sometimes even twice – vs my plants in raised beds that can at times go for weeks in a row without water. When watering my plants in ground/beds I give them a long soaking to really get the soil 6+ inches deep really wet. Infrequent deep watering encourages deep roots which leads to plants that can go longer without water.
If you have any questions or comments about watering peppers feel free to leave them below.