How and When to Water Pepper Plants

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.

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276 Responses to How and When to Water Pepper Plants

  1. Jazun says:

    Thank you for this post i was overwatering my pepper plants for sure

    • pepperseed says:

      @jazun – I think too much water / over watering is one of the most issues I see people running into when they are growing peppers. I try and never water them until they are actually wilting. Sometimes in the summer it can be weeks in between watering even if there’s no rain. I’m always surprised how long peppers can go without water…they are like the camel of the pepper world! Hope you stopped over watering your plants soon enough that they didn’t get “sick”, good luck with your grow!

      • Twitch says:

        Thank you so much for these tips, and I really appreciate the comment you left where you said “Sometimes in the summer it can be weeks in between watering…”.
        I had no idea! I thought I was doing something wrong haha…I am very new to growing plants, and I figured pepper plants needed to be watered MUCH more frequently!

        Now I know, so thank you!!

        • pepperseed says:

          Glad to have helped, good luck with your plants!

          • Yijie says:

            Ummm just wondering when do you water the plant morning evening night I don’t know can anybody help by the way tell me about chili peppers not peppers but if you don’t know tell me about peppers I think they are still the same

      • JSamms says:

        I am getting close to putting my pepper plants in ground. Wouldn’t the rain take care of the watering? Actually, wouldn’t the rain cause overwatering? My first time growing. Thank you.

        • pepperseed says:

          Just make sure there’s goo drainage where you’re planting and unless there’s a flood you wont have to worry about over watering from the rain.

      • Caile says:

        I have a small pepper plant in a hanging pot. I live in a condo with a covered deck.. Not much sun for my little plant. I could put it on the corner of my balcony but I’m afraid that the coastal winds will blow it away.. Any suggestions?

        • Jigger says:

          Hello Caile,
          Find a way to get your pepper plant, at least, a few hours of direct sunlight. If need be, I would transplant the little guy in a bigger pot and anchor it down or put pebble or river rock in the bottom of the pot, to get it direct sunlight.

        • Landon says:

          Pepper plants need around six hrs of DEEP sun. DEEP sun means the hottest hrs of the day….they r HOT veg 4 a reason. Make use of your sourroundings, u obviously care, luv the seed u plant. They r fickle beasts…remember, peppers grow best in arid area’s

      • Carlos says:

        Hi Pepperseed. Nice info. No wonder I killed 2 of my plants. Summer is coming and it gets really hot between 100 and 115 degrees in my city. Do I need some kind of screen to protect my plants? Some straw on the ground to prevent cooking the roots? I hope you could answer this please. Thank you

        • pepperseed says:

          @Carlos some mulch or straw will definitely help. Your plants will still probably wilt during the day with those Temps but that’s normal and nothing to worry about.

          • Carlos says:

            Thanks for taking the time to answer. I will definitely throw some straw and won’t be worry about the sun anymore. Thanks again

          • I have bell peppers planted in wiskey barrels.I water them three times a week with stremers for 5 min. . the bells come up fine ,but the look burnt out.What am i doing wrong?Thank you

    • Nathan says:

      What about brand new seedlings with only one set of leaves? should the soil still be wet as through germination? I had no problems getting the seeds to sprout, but not they are all wilting on me and some in a matter of hours from being healthy looking. They have been in the sun, but it’s still cool although I live in Spain, and I’ve been trying to water them as often as they look like they need it, but recently they’ve started to all look a bit sad and just in one day 3 of my ten all wilted down and I tried to water them to bring them back and I’m not sure that’s the correct thing to do or not… Can you help with more specific details of dos and donts for seedlings please? Help from anyone really. Thanks

      • Jigger says:

        Hello Nathan,
        I myself, start my seedlings indoors. From my experience, I have learned to put my new sprouts under artificial lighting, within a few inches. My first year or two of growing, my new seedlings were starting to fall over. I learned that I had the light too far away. The seedlings were stretching to get to the light, they were going too tall too fast, so I had to lower the lights, closer to the plants. I never used direct sunlight until a week before I plant outdoors.
        As far as watering, when they are very young seedlings, I like to keep the soil moist. As the plant matures, it will be able to go longer between waterings.

      • Jay says:

        Make sure you use room temperature water ,if the water is to cold they will drop.

    • Adi says:

      Hey, thanks for the tip! I have a question as a first time pepper grower. I’ve come to the flower stagw. It seems like they open, but not fully and then starts to dry. Is that normal? Am I doing somwthing wrong? Thanks!

      • pepperseed says:

        @adi flower drop is pretty common. I wouldn’t worry about it. When the conditions are right peppers will form.

  2. Tylermc94 says:

    My pepers are growing fine but I think I might be overwatering them. The leaves are turning brown on the tips and then they eventually fall off. Is that because Im overwatering them?


  3. Dave says:

    I have Jalapenos and Serrano peppers growing in pots on my south facing balcony. Here in Colorado we usually get a bunch of sun and very little rain and I usually water them about twice a day. However this May has been very wet and rainy. Last evening I water them as the sun was setting only to wake up this morning to a torrential rain fall. I decided to pull the peppers inside against the window in case the sun peaks its head out. Was this the right move? Or am I over thinking over-watering?

    • pepperseed says:

      Hi Dave, It really comes down to consistency. If your pepper plants are consistently over watered for weeks in a row you’re inviting trouble. The occasional heavy 1 – 3 day soaking won’t hurt anything. Since your plants are in pots outside make sure they have great drainage and you can just leave them out in the rain. They will dry out fast enough when the rain is done and you shouldn’t have any issues.

  4. Joe says:

    I bought some Jolokia seed peppers, planted them in and 18-egg egg tray. 3 sprouted and grew about 1 1/2 inches. I figured it was time to plant them in something bigger. When moving them I found 2 of them had their roots touching the carton and growing into it. I moved all 3 to a plastic gallon milk carton with the top cut off, gave them some water, and covered the top of the pot with saran wrap (with many small holes). I leave them on a south facing window all day and am noticing them begin to wilt. I poured some water out today, but was also thinking that the recent hot weather here in Sonoma County might be the cause. Can you find anything wrong with what I’ve done so far and how I might improve?


    • pepperseed says:

      Hi Joe,

      Sounds like a classic case of too much water/humidity. You don’t need to cover the top of the carton with anything, that will trap heat and moisture and invite disease. You said you poured some water out…if there’s enough water to pour out there’s way too much water 🙂

      I would take off the cover, make sure the carton has sufficient drainage (cut holes in the bottom) and only water the plants when the soil is completely dried out. Its hard to kill a pepper from lack of water but very easy to kill a pepper plat with too much water. Good luck and let us know how your plants turn out!

  5. Matt says:

    I have 5 different types of hot peppers (super chili, jalapeño, Caribbean red hot, a Mexican hot mix and a Portuguese hot mix) growing in 4 inch pots under a light set up with 16 hours of light a day. They are growing in a soil-less mix and I have fertilized (what I consider lightly) with a 10-52-10 seed starter fertilizer. I rotate plants weekly and water almost everyday. They are about a month old now and I have been noticing that some leaves on some plants are becoming droopy and starting to curl. Also some lower leaves are purple or starting to brown. Is this from over watering or not fertilizing correctly? How do I correct and have I done any permanent damage.?

    • pepperseed says:

      Hi Matt, you’re likely over watering and/or fertilizing. Cut back on both and should bounce back pretty quick.

  6. troy says:

    First time pepper grower, I have sweet banana, Serrano, habeñero, and jalepeño pepper seed….I was wondering which is better in my area (upper peninsula of Michigan) soil germination or the wet paper towel method? Either way, I have to get them in soil withing the next 2 wks at the latest.

    • pepperseed says:

      Hi Troy, I would just use the soil method. I actually recently relocated to Duluth MN so we’re in a similar climate / growing season and am using the soil method. Good luck with this year’s grow!

  7. joey says:

    My pepper leafs are folding a bit, does this mean I am over watering or under watering? I have a drip system in the ground and I have it running for an hour every 2 days (2 gph) I also live in so calif. so it is warm and sunny. Any ideas?

    • pepperseed says:

      Could be. Even with a drip they likely don’t need water every other day. I only water when the soil is bone dry and the plants are starting to wilt.

  8. Montrell Coley says:

    Two quick questions how long do I need to leave my new plants in the grow pod b4 tranplanting them into larger pots? And I just bought a plant already started and it was mailed. The leaves are hanging and the stem has bent over is this a simple water and light fix?

    • pepperseed says:

      @Montrell how big are the grow pods? I “pot up” once roots start forming and things get root bound.

      Yes, the bought plant that was shipped to you probably just needs a few days of light and water to get back to normal. Shipping is hard on them!

  9. Montrell Coley says:

    I pods are starting to grow their third set of leaves but are still a small

  10. Russell Williams says:

    Hello all!! Im growing a trinidad scorpion and over the last week all the leaves are falling off, ive had it about a year now, never had any chillies from it as it flowers and then it loses them too, what am i doing wrong?

    • pepperseed says:

      @ Russell…indoor pepper plant I assume?

      • Russell Williams says:

        Yes, then outside when the suns out, i dont water until the leaves wilt,

      • Russell Williams says:

        Well theres not alot of sun at the moment, but when it is sunny its out for as long as possible.
        No pests as checked today and going to change all the soil tomorrow, i use a tomato plant food once every two weeks, only a dribble as want it to be as wild as possible,

        • pepperseed says:

          My favorite list of potential reasons for pepper flower drop. I would check these items and maybe try adjusting them one at a time to see if you can identify the problem. Peppers in pots can be finicky!

          Flower drop probable causes:
          1. Day temp too high >95F
          2. Night temp too low <65F
          3. Too much nitrogen fertilizer
          4. Too much water
          5. Low light levels (reduces fertility).
          6. Very low humidity (reduces fertility)
          7. Poor air circulation (air circulation contributes to pollination).
          8. Lack of pollinating insects.
          9. Size of pot
          10. Too much mineral in feedwater.
          11. Too much grower attention.

      • Russell Williams says:

        Ok will check it in the morning, thank you very much for your advice, very helpfull!!
        Thanks again, russell.

      • Jim says:

        Hi Russell, I live in billings montana I have 30 trinidads,30 Carolina reapers, and 30 habs. They are new plants every year. I start inside seeds in Feb. Some plants I transplanted yesterday are 2″ long or less, all these plants are facing east against my house so they only get half-a-day sun, that’s it. My yield every year is out standing. The trick I figured is after the season is over, I over dose the soil with calcium,any form. Then the following season treat your superhots like any other vegie because your soil is established, you can’t establish soil during growing season, that’s a wish that will never happen. So If your luck is rough this year start your soil establishment early for next year, then get back with me with your results. GOODLUCK! Russell.

  11. pepperseed says:

    Probably not a watering issue then. Could be any number of things, pests, disease, temperatures, etc. A year without pods is a long time. Is it getting much sun and how is being fertilized?

    • Montrell Coley says:

      I planted my reaper about 2 weeks ago its not dieing but some of the leaves are turning yellow and falling off and some look a little burnt….I was told I was watering to much so I think I will be not watering for about 4 days. Will this help get the dark green back?

      • pepperseed says:

        Yes that should help. Sometimes after a transplant it takes them a couple weeks to settle in too…transplanting is a shock the the system!

  12. Terese says:

    2 weeks ago I transplanted my peppers and tomatoes to my garden (after hardening them outside for 2 weeks). The plants were all very healthy at the time. When transplanting I mulched around each plant in the raised beds. I have drip watering system timed to water each morning for 45 minutes. Plants did well for first week and a half. I checked them 2 days ago – all good. Went to check them this morning and they all were completely wilted…and virtually DISINTEGRATED, except for two jalapeño plants. I had cayennes, banana peppers, bell peppers and jalapeños. I checked the soil and it was very moist. Any thoughts as to why this happened?

    • pepperseed says:

      45 minutes a day of watering for peppers is waaaaaaaaaay too much. I’m fairly certain your plants drowned.

  13. Montrell Coley says:

    I wish I could post a picture of my carolina reaper its still green around the bottom but the leaves going upthe stem and on the llittle branches are almost all gone or yellow. ..what can I do or is it too late?

    • pepperseed says:

      You can pick it, it will ripen after it’s picked. You can leave it too…either way it should ripen. I’d leave it a few more days unless you have weather concerns or something else.

      • Montrell Coley says:

        I was thinking about buying a whole new set of seeds and starting over. Can I start the seeds outside in the ground or do I have to start in pods?

        • pepperseed says:

          Typically you would want to get them going inside…much easier that way in my experience.

          • Montrell Coley says:

            I posted abot my leaves falling of and yellowing I haven’t watered them in about 7 days . I went ououtside ttoday and saw alot of gregreen around to bottom. Now it’s storming so I guess I won’t be watering it for another week or so

          • Montrell Coley says:

            I posted abot my leaves falling of and yellowing I haven’t watered them in about 7 days . I went outside today and saw alot of green around to bottom. Now it’s storming so I guess I won’t be watering it for another week or so

  14. lisa stossmeister says:

    Hi! I live in Alaska and have been doing a greenhouse/garden for years! BUT!!!! This year, I am growing Hungarian Hot Wax peppers and they keep losing their buds/flowers! I should have tons by now…HELP!!!! :/ Lisa Stossmeister

    • pepperseed says:

      @ Lisa, flower drop is not unusual…they will “stick” when the conditions are right. Most of my plants typically drop flowers for a few weeks before peppers start forming.

  15. Great Information Thanks , I will pass this on to my group on Facebook “Pepper T Sherwood & Chili Heads..

  16. Montrell Coley says:

    Mostly all of my leaves have fallen off the top of my reaper plant but the bottom has bushed out and is growing great. Do I need to cut the top ( the V and the stem ) off or will it grow the leaves back?

  17. Cindy says:

    I have banana peppers, cherry peppers, and jalapenos panted in a small garden in front of my house. They get plenty of sun every day. All of the plants were looking very healthy and producing LOTS of blooms with a few peppers growing. We have had a lot of rain here in OK lately. In the last 2-3 days, I have noticed a LOT of leaves and blooms on the ground under the plants. No holes in the leaves like grasshoppers eating them; just seem to have fallen off. I have sprayed with soapy water to fend off the grasshoppers. I have a ton of baby ones in the yard. Not any yellowing going on. Have they just had too much water? If so, will they come back. They were doing so well!! Could it be lack of fertilizer? Any information you can share would be great.

    • pepperseed says:

      Flower drop is totally normal, I would not worry about it. They’ll bounce back and you’ll have more peppers than you know what to do with before you know it.

  18. Montrell Coley says:

    How long after flowering starts should I expect to see peppers?

    • pepperseed says:

      Depends on the kind of pepper but in general you’ll start seeing little pods forming in 2 – 3 weeks after flower set.

  19. Montrell Coley says:

    I planted my Reaper outside after the season is over what do I do with the plant?

  20. Dude says:

    Hey 🙂

    I have a pepper plant and one of the branches has 2 little peppers growing. The problem is that it fell and that particular branch broke, but not completely. There’s a bit of tissue still holding it together. What do you think I should do with that branch?

    Thank you.

  21. Maria Elena Figueroa says:

    I overwater way too much my chillis. What can I do to rescue them? Please help

  22. Jezebel says:

    Hi Pepperseed,

    Thank you for such a helpful article. I have a sweet pepper plant and I had a feeling my fiance, who is really trying to help around the house, was over watering it and now I know that probably is the case.

    The leaves are wilting and falling off, the peppers which are only just beginning to turn red are already wrinkling at the stem.

    They’re in a pot in a south facing window and it is hot (for Wales) right now – around 29°C or 84°F. So, if I’ve understood you correctly I only need to water my peppers when the soil feels dry and I can even let it go weeks without. This is what I instinctively would have done, but at least I can now go to my well meaning fiance and tactfully tell him ‘I told you so’.

    Thanks again 🙂

  23. Joe says:

    I have a bhut jolokia that is planted in a five gallon bucket. The plant has been very healthy and grow tall with very green leaves. It seems that as soon as peppers started putting on, I started having trouble with individual leaves turning yellow, one by one, and falling off. Right now there are about 20 pods on the plant. I tried watering less, but the leaves wilt almost daily and it really seems that the plant needs the water (it is wilted in the evening and plant perks up about an hour after watering). Now at least 4 leaves fall off each day and the problem seems to be getting worse. Leaves start out turning slightly green and the next day they appear to be marbled with yellow. Eventually, the leaf is completely yellow and it falls off. I use miracle grow about every 2 weeks (15-30-15). The plant gets about 11 hours of sun daily. I am at a complete loss here and I’m going run out of leaves eventually. Any help you can give me would really be appreciated. Thank you.

    • matt says:

      I think your plant may be root bound. Check to see if there are roots poking out the drainage holes and try transplanting to a bigger pot if thats the problem

      • Joe says:

        I have checked the drainage hole and I see no sign of roots.

        • pepperseed says:

          Peppers tend to naturally wilt in the evenings especially after it’s been really hot outside. They will perk back up in the morning. I suspect you’re over watering…ignore the wilting in the evening once and see if by the next day it looks “normal” again. I’ve never, in pots or in the ground, had to water daily. It’s almost always “too much”.

          • Joe says:

            Fair enough. I will give it a try and keep you posted. Thanks for the feedback.

            • pepperseed says:

              You may want to swap out the soil too and back off on the MG a touch. Sometimes when a plant gets in a funk a new batch of soil helps get things back in line.

              Do you have a drainage holes in the 5 gallon bucket and if yes are they big? Drainage in pots for peppers is really important.

              • Joe says:

                I tried not watering and the plant was still super wilted this morning. The drainage holes are about 1/4 inch holes all the way around the bottom. I placed gravel at the bottom so that they would not get clogged. How do I swap out the soil and back off of the mg?

                • pepperseed says:

                  Is the soil bone dry?

                  When I replace the soil i just pull out the plant + root ball, knock off the old soil and put back in the bucket with new soil.

                  • Joe says:

                    The soil is pretty darn dry. I have a steak that goes to the bottom and when I pull it out it is completely dry. I did notice when I replaced the steak that the soil was very compacted. I think it would be difficult to transplant with the plant being so large. I’m afraid I’ll risk the peppers on the plant. For as much trouble as the plant seems to be in, I do have about 25 peppers at this point. Maybe I am watering with too much water at one time? Any suggestions on the qty of water per watering for my setup? Just curious if you know how long it takes bhuts to ripen? They have been as green as cucumbers for 2 weeks now.

                  • Joe says:

                    The soil is pretty darn dry. I have a steak that goes to the bottom and when I pull it out it is completely dry. I did notice when I replaced the steak that the soil was very compacted. I think it would be difficult to transplant with the plant being so large. I’m afraid I’ll risk the peppers on the plant. Any suggestions on the qty of water per watering for my setup? Just curious if you know how long it takes bhuts to ripen? They have been as green as cucumbers for 2 weeks now.

    • pepperseed says:

      @ Joe they can take 3 – 4 weeks to ripen depending on conditions. Watering may not be issue, it’s tough to tell without having seen everything first hand. Could be too much or too little nutrients, compacted soil, etc. I have noticed on my plants that when they start to put on peppers leaves tend to start falling. By the end of the season most of the original leaves are gone. If you’re close to the end of the season / the plants life as long as the peppers are developing and ripening I wouldn’t worry too much about the leaves.

      • Joe says:

        Thank you for all of your help. I really appreciate all of the advice. I think I can ride this one out and get plenty of ripe peppers out of this one. I had hoped to overwinter the plant but I think I’ll just start fresh next year.

  24. Dennis says:

    Here in Tucson it hovers around 100 and my poor pepper plants are wilting all day long. I have been watering every other day, it seems counter intuitive to contemplate that this is too much, but perhaps it is and I should just ignore the wilting?

    • pepperseed says:

      Hi Dennis, daytime wilting it hot temps with peppers it completely normal and does not always indicate the need for water. Are your plants in the ground or in pots? If in the ground I’d say cut back on the water if in pots I would water when its bone dry.

  25. Alex says:

    Is it a good idea to plant peppers in 5 gallon buckets using soil not meant for pots? If not, why not??

    • pepperseed says:

      Not really. Soil not meant for pots can get really compacted which repels water and can constrict root growth.

  26. Amy says:

    How do I ripen a scorpion pepper that prematurely fell off the plant?

    • pepperseed says:

      You can leave it sitting in the sun, perhaps in a window if it’s cold where you’re at or just outside if not. Sometimes they will ripen other times they won’t. Good luck!

  27. Montrell Coley says:

    I’d like to take the time to say thank you for all of your help. My plant is great, it has peppers everywhere and still pops more and more everyday. I wouldn’t have ever been able to make it with your help. Again thank you.

  28. ryan says:

    I’ve watered my pepper plants I believe too much, now the leaves are flimsy and droopy. Will my plants live or die? There planted in the ground and get a lot of sunlight. I was thinking that the leaves would dry out in the sunlight and be okay in a couple of days

  29. ryan says:

    Do you have a facebook or something I could send you pics on of my pepper plants

  30. David Meeks says:

    Sir mine is not a reply but a question. Having purchased two plants at a nursery in Spartanburg S.C. I decided to put then in large pots to have the benefit of growing and hopefully producing peppers year round. The plants both look good and healthy about 2 ft. tall now and producing lots of fruit. But my problem is that with full size peppers they are still bright green. They all have that evil look and tail which reminds of what a dragon turd would look like but all the pictures I have seen the ripe peppers are bright red. So I was wondering at what point mine are supposed to turn red. Any in-fo would helpful. Thank-You I look forward to hearing from you.

    • pepperseed says:

      It can take 4 – 6 weeks for green pods to ripen…once it starts you won’t be able to slow it down 🙂 Good luck!

  31. Lisa says:

    thanks its realy helped me especially sinced im growing capsicum, now ill no how much to water.

  32. Spidey says:

    Hi, I am growing carolina reaper seeds and have four seedlings up to an inch high. All have stopped “growing” and have started to go yellow, and leaves drop. I am in Australia. The plants are outside but are under a pergola. They are in plastic cups with drainage in the bottom. Any ideas or advice?

  33. Jenny says:

    Howdy would over watering cause my hot banana peppers not to be as hot in taste. The first lot of peppers were good but since then they are very mild

    • pepperseed says:

      Probably not, could be a number of things even the seed stock. Banana peppers are normally pretty mild.

  34. Diego says:

    Hi pepperseed! I live in a very hot part of the planet, our temperatures get up to 110 ºF on summer. Should i still water them only once a week?

    • pepperseed says:

      @ Diego, I would water them when the dirt is totally dry, they should start to wilt a little. Heat can do that sometimes too. Better to slightly under water them than it is to over water them.

      If it’s 110 for an extended period a little shade might not be a bad idea. Good luck!

  35. Jigger says:

    Hello Peppersee,

    New here.
    My 2nd year of growing from my own seeds. I am growing: Ghost, 7Pot, Viper, Scorpion, Reaper, and a mystery pepper that was labelled; Bhutlah

    I am having roughly the same production, so far, as last year, except that I fried a few of my very young seedlings, with my lights of 10,000 lumens, this year. So I backed the lights off two inches and it seems to be doing better. I still seem to have to water every morning or they get dried out by the time I get home from work. I work 12 hr shifts, so it makes it tough to keep an eye on them. I didn’t have this problem last year because I made a different mistake. I had my lights 8-10 inches above the tiny seedlings and they grew very leggy and were toppling over, as they were stretching for the light. But I recovered and did pretty well last year even though we had a cool wet summer.

    Anyhow, I am fighting through my trial and errors and I have some questions for you, sir.

    1)From jiffy pods, I have some of my Vipers that have 4(2 sets) true leaves. One is two inches tall and the others are an inch or a little more. Should I transplant them into 3-4 inch jiffy pots now, in potting soil?

    2)I bought a sophisticated organic fertilizing kit that contains: bat guano, worm castings, kelp extract, etc. I hope it’s worth it. Anyhow, when do you start to fertilize? These instructions for the ferts that I bought say to start at week one after growth. I’ve had growth for 2+ weeks now, but last year I didn’t fert until after repotting.

    3)I plant in 5 gal buckets
    a)Moisture control or regular potting soil? I do not have compost ready yet for this year.(I will mix in worm castings)
    b)Should I double stack my buckets to create a watering reservoir?
    c)Should I line the bottom of my growing bucket with coco husk or peat moss for drainage and moisture control?

    With all that said, I have to grow in buckets on my driveway because I am overly blessed with trees, but I get 8-12hrs or direct sunlight during the outside growing season. So I have 2 months to go yet.

    Thanks, Jigger

    • Jigger says:

      Oh geez, bad start already! I butchered your name, sorry.

      Pepperseed not Peppersee

    • pepperseed says:

      @jigger sorry for the slow reply it’s a busy time of year for me between work and gardening. How are your plants doing now and any questions at this point?

      • Jigger says:


        Plants are doing very well. Nice fat dark green leaves and they are a foot or so tall. They are 2 1/2 months old now and I have been beginning to take them outside to harden them. I am in S.E. Michigan and the weather is starting to warm up. I hope to have them transplanted into their containers by mother’s day(May 10th). Looking forward to another summer of exotic hot pepper madness. It’s so much fun and rewarding growing a variety of these extremely hot little guys! I have Scorpions, 7Pot(yellow & white), Ghost, Viper, Reaper, and a mystery pepper that was labeled Bhutlah. Fun Fun Fun!!!

        • pepperseed says:

          That’s great to hear Jigger. I just moved my plants outside for hardening too. Probably 3 – 4 weeks before I put them in the ground but figured they could use some sun in the meantime. Good luck!

  36. Jigger says:


    Continued from my March 15th post:

    Well, I have started to transplant my jiffy podded plants into 3 inch peat pots. I used organic moisture control soil. I hope you agree with that.
    I grow in buckets on the cement and I have had some issues with blossom end rot, with my tomatoes, and I begin getting ripe fruit. To as my best guess is that the roots are getting dried out from the radiant heat from the driveway. I also made a mistake by lining the bottom of my buckets with river rock, hence holding the heat in. I am wondering if I should use something like peat moss on the bottom to hold moisture and to keep the roots cool. Maybe even double up my 5 gallon buckets to create a reservoir. With all that said, I have not had any issues with my exotic hot peppers. Just wondering, your thoughts?

    • pepperseed says:

      @jigger I’ve been known to use the double bucket method too. Helps keep roots cool and leads to better growth IMHO. How are your plants doing? I’ve been busy and a little slow to reply to everyone.

  37. danb says:

    I’m growing a variety of peppers in a terrarium with both grow lights. Peppers range from scorpion, ghost, paper lantern, and temperature is kept at 88 degrees. Humidity fluctuates between 65 and 80 percent. Soil temps at roughly 82 degrees. I water it twice a day with about the squirts from a sissy bottle filed with purified water. It’s been about a week and I was told to expect a long germination process, even up to 90 days for the Ghost Pepper. Obviously, I am too early to see anything sprouting, but I’d hate to think I am drowning my plants, only to find out after the months of patient labor. I’m growing then in little growing oods filed with planting soil. Do you think these conditions are healthy to the germination process? Thanks in advance.

  38. Rahul says:

    thanks for your valuable knowledge sharing,
    i have planted pepper in small pots, how many times does i need to water in a day,
    and i have placed them in roof, should i need to prevent from direct sun at noon ?

  39. Surjit says:

    Wonderful reading. Thanks for all the information.

  40. cecilio says:

    My Carolina reaper pepper plants are growing in a pot and when I put them outside they start crumpling up and turning brownish on the leaves what do I do?

    • Jigger says:

      You must introduce them to direct sunlight just a little at a time. An hour the first couple days, then increase by an hour every 2 or 3 days. After a week or two, they should be ready to stay out in the direct sun all day long.

    • pepperseed says:

      @ cecilio You need to expose them to natural sunlight slowly over time. When I start putting plats outside I give them a few hours per day over the course of a week or so before putting them out full time.

  41. Will says:

    I’ve got Big Jim’s, Banana, and Bell peppers that the main stem is bright green but the leaves are droopy and yellow. Just transplanted them. Is this just the shock of transplanting, or a water/soil issue?

    • Jigger says:

      Did you water them thoroughly during the transplant? It helps to minimize shock. Also, what kind of light source are the plants receiving? Weak lighting will cause yellowing leaves. Another possibility is not enough nutrients. Be sure to feed them once a week. Being in pots, your nutrients are washed away after they have been watered a couple of times.

  42. Will says:

    And I’m using a plastic cover over garden area. Still the possibility of a freeze here in Northern Arizona.

    • Jigger says:

      In the post above, I was assuming you planted in pots. Is that the case? If not, it could be the plastic cover. Make sure to minimize the time that you are covering your plants. Only cover them if absolutely necessary. They need fresh air and the leaves need to be dry. You don’t want them smothered in a moist environment.

  43. Penny says:

    I have heard of hot peppers maturing with ‘no heat’ at all. I had it happen last year 2014. The weather was so off the radar for growing hot peppers that the only ones with heat were the white lightning. Oh the irony! Any ideas?

    • Jigger says:

      Hello Penny,

      What kind of peppers are you growing? I know I have come across this problem with Jalapenos. They say hot summer, hot peppers and too much rain is not good. That was the type of year, here in Michigan, last year. Cool and wet, not good for hot peppers. I only grow the exotic super hots any more. They are sooo hot, it does not matter. My sister and mother grow Jalapenos and they grapple with this issue all the time. They are always honing their skills at getting the best pepper possible. Anyhow, here is a website that may help you with some helpful tips:


    • pepperseed says:

      @ Penny, hope the weather is better this year? 🙂

  44. Luke says:

    Found ur information sooo good. Been growing Chilli for about 5 years now. I have 200 plants which are grown in the ground and I put drippers in this year. For the first time my plants all started getting yellow leaves but the veins of the leaves stayed so green and was also getting pests and overall health of the plant didn’t look great. I live in country Australia where the temperature gets up to 40 degrees during summer, So really hot. The top surface of the soil and down a inch or 2 each afternoon will be rock hard. So I was turning on my drippers every afternoon for a hour. Would this be my problem of overwatering? After reading ur post it sounds like I was watering way to much. I actually dug a hole in the soil, the first 2 inches down really dry, but as I got to about a foot and a half down, the soil was really wet. How often should I be watering?

    • Jigger says:

      Hello Luke,

      Hopefully our pepper guru will reply real soon for you, but I will speculate and say, yes, it does sound like you are watering too much. Although, a foot and a half is pretty deep. I grow in pots and do have to water every day when the weather gets very warm, but in the ground it is a different story. It sounds like your soil, down deep, holds water very well, so I would back off and try watering every other day, when the weather is very warm. Hot peppers like a good dousing and then left to dry out a bit. Unlike, say tomatoes, that like even watering. Why not go back to what worked in the past? Also, nutrients or a lack of, could be an issue. Is your soil fortified? Let me say, WOW 200 peppers! That is awesome! By the way, aren’t you, there down under, entering the winter months?

      • Luke says:

        Thanks for the info Jigger. Yes entered winter here and have wintered my Chilli. Was going to lay down some fertilise over winter to get my soil healthier. Is that what u mean by soil fortified ? And is that what I should be doing? Did start spraying a micro fertiliser, but started a bit late and think I pulled out about 15 plants that were to far gone. If I’m doing anything wrong let me know, any advice greatly appreciated!! I have 200 plants and my partners has around 150, we started making hot sauce for our family and friends we started with about 10 plants each and it’s got a bit out of hand. We sell it locally and can’t keep up with demand. So as we speak, my father in-law has given us some land which we are preparing for summer when we will be planting 1000 plants. The hobby has turned into a obsession the wife’s not to happy about!!

  45. Jigger says:

    Well, it is hard to say what is wrong, but over-watering could be it. You say you are using a micro fertilizer, so you shouldn’t have an iron deficiency, because it could be that, as well. I would suggest testing your soils ph level and go from there. Anywhere from 5.5 to 7.0 is your target. Adding compost and/or manure and tilling it in will help to fortify your soil before your next planting. As far as controlling pests, you could use home remedies like cayenne pepper and sprinkle it around your plants and you can spray your plants with a detergent free dish soap water mixture to suffocate insects on your plants(always check the undersides of the leaves, as well). I also use a neem oil and it does the trick when I have unwanted bugs on my plant. I would also suggest watering in the morning rather than the afternoon. When it gets hot outside, your plants may wilt, but don’t panic and water right away. It is natural for them to do this to keep cool, in the hot sun. I use a water probe that tells me how much moisture is in my soil. I would use that if the wilting is concerning you, in the afternoon. Mine is 7 inches long and has an analog needle that reads on a scale from 1-10, dry-moist-wet(only costs a few bucks). You want them on the dry-moist side in the late afternoon, never wet except right after watering , of course. Your wilting plants will stand back up, shortly after the sun and heat die down for the day.

  46. Luke says:

    Thanks heaps Jigger. Great and very helpful info. Already looking forward to spring so I can get back in the garden.

    • Jigger says:


      You are very welcome, but continue to ask questions and use other sources. I am on the opposite of the globe and conditions may be very different, but I think the basic info I gave you should be useful. I wish we could attach pics to show you my peppers. We are in mid spring here and I have my peppers planted outside in their containers. Waiting on the weather to shape up. It’s been cool and rainy. Luckily, I have a place in the garage where I can roll them in(I have them on casters) and put them back under the lights. My peppers are 14-16 inches tall and the leaves are a nice dark green. I also have several buds and flowers on each plant. So far, so good. Just need some hot, sunny, and dry weather and they should take off.


      • Luke says:

        I definately will keep the questions up! Have been looking and reading hundreds of websites over the last season and found in one answer Pepperseed answered what I thought I been doing wrong and gave me a great read. Your answers have also been sooo good as well Jigger. Thanks heaps. Did a quick convert fahenheit to degrees Celsius and not to make you jealous but where I live in the country, we get anywhere between 104 to 115 fahenheit all summer and hardly any humidity, my climate is super dry heat. Great for chilli not for leaving the house

  47. Jigger says:


    lol, that is what I am talking about! Huge, different conditions! WOW! But I still believe in watering in the morning. That way they can process the water in the hot sun, all day long. And I think you should amend your soil with compost and/or manure. If you are able to, lay a mulch down to help keep the moisture in better. That way your top soil won’t be so rock hard and maybe you can water less. It will be trial and error, but these ideas are ideal. Again, check you soil’s PH and get a water moisture probe, that way you will know exactly what is going on. Gosh, I am jealous of all that heat you have there. I don’t like it, but the peppers love it. Maybe not quite that hot, but warmer than what I am dealing with. We rarely hit 100 here, but solid mid 80’s and low 90’s are common and that’s what I am waiting for, the peppers love the hot sun. Good luck Luke!

  48. Scott says:

    I am growing the Carolina reaper for the first time this year. We have had record rainfall in Oklahoma in May and it has been mostly cloudy. Now we are having warm days with bright sunshine. I have my plant in a 5 gallon bucket and was wondering if temps of 90-93 degrees with all day sun will be too much for it from Friday – Monday night until I come back into town. Would it be better to sit bucket for partial sunligh? The plant is healthy at this time and about 65 days old but is just getting used to the all day sun. Thanks

    • Jigger says:

      I grow Reapers and other exotics in 5 gallon buckets and when it gets that hot, I have to water every morning and occasionally again in the late afternoon. I am in S.E. Michigan and in the middle of the summer we have the kind of weather you are having now(except for last year, it was a cool summer here). So, yes definitely, I would put them in full shade, if you can not get anyone to check on them for you. I have been growing in buckets for a few years now and have learned that you need to water and feed your plants about twice as often as you would as opposed to growing in the ground. Also put a saucer of some sort underneath to hold what moisture you give them before you leave. If it is going to be that hot and no rain, you will need to give them a good soaking before you leave. Just don’t drown them.

    • Jigger says:

      It is normal for some to drop off. As long as most are turning into peppers, then you have no major issues. Too hot or too cold of temperatures, poor pollination, too much nitrogen are possibilities. I am in Michigan and my temps are quite lower than yours and I have some dropping as well. Optimal temperature is 70-85 degrees. Tips-Use a liquid fertilizer with micro-nutrients, as well as macro-nutrients. A fertilizer that contains ingredients, such as guano, kelp, and fish emulsion. This will help your plant to absorb the macro-nutrients(nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium) more efficiently. At this point of growth, lower the nitrogen and up your phosphorous, but don’t over feed. Feed once a week, if you are watering everyday. Try setting your potted plant near flowers that attract bees and butterflies to help with pollination. Use an Epsom salt foliage spray-1 tsp/quart of water and spray the leaves of your plant, once every two weeks. If you are experiences consistent temps over 90, then give them a break and put them in the shade during the hottest part of the day or when you can. Do you have any peppers starting to grow yet? Btw, I answered your last question, here, because the threads are getting narrower each time we reply. If you answer me back, start a new thread here.

      • Scott says:

        I see now. I was wondering why it was getting so short with the message. No, I have not got any peppers yet. I just have a bunch of little pods that get a flower on them. 3 of them fell off. I think I have around 8 that have flowers on them and probably have about 40-50 little pods. This plant has really grown. It is over 2 ft tall but it is about 90 days old. This isn’t just my first time growing a Carolina Reaper, it is the first time growing a pepper plant EVER. So all this is new to me on seeing how they flower and become peppers, etc. It has been hot here.. about 93 degrees but I water every morning in my five gallon bucket. I have been using a bone meal that seems to be working good and have put miracle grow on it I think twice in its lifetime. I’m trying to get the 12 hours of sunlight like you have suggested. I have a deck in my back yard that has a stain on it and I think that makes it hotter so I have been sitting them in the grass. But yes.. My concern was how a few of the flowers with the stem had fallen off. At 90 days I am not sure how much longer to expect to get peppers.

        • Jigger says:

          Ok, everything sounds good, but I would suggest backing off on the bone meal. It is a slow release phosphorous supplement and should last you the rest of the season. Also, if your going to use Miracle Grow, start using the Bloom Booster product. It has a NPK rating of 10-52-10 and only use at half strength, once a week. You need to cut back on the nitrogen as it sounds like your plant has grown enough foliage. I prefer a liquid fertilizer that contains trace elements and micro-nutrients(google search and read up, it would take too long to explain). Although, in the past, I had decent success with MG. Yes, I like the idea of putting your pot on the grass to try and keep it as cool as possible. It is quite hot enough, where you are. You are right on schedule at 90 days, typically it takes 120-160 days for mature peppers. Keep up the good work!

          • Scott says:

            Right now my Reaper just has one pepper on it about the size of a dime. I bet it has about 40 pods with flowers but most of them have been falling off at the stem. I am thinking it is too hot but am waiting it out as the plant is very healthy. I am not sure Oklahoma is a good place to grow these peppers. It is either too hot, I am gone and not enough light, etc.. I had a question. Oklahoma is going through a real hot spell right now with heat indexes around 110-115. I was going to be gone this weekend for about 3 days and have nobody to water the plant in the back yard in the bucket. Would it be better to bring the plant inside and sit by a window or leave in the shade outside with about 5 hours of sunlight a day for 3 days without water?

            • Jigger says:

              Boy, that’s tough. I would have to recommend taking your Reaper indoors. With nobody there to keep an eye on it, I think it would be safer. Give it a good hearty watering before you leave and it should be fine. In that kind of heat, that is why you are dropping flowers. Don’t get discouraged though, you will eventually get peppers. Sounds like your harvest season will be much later than ours, up here in Michigan. My peppers are rolling in, but our temps have been upper 70’s to upper 80’s. Perfect for them. Just keep it green and healthy and you will reap benefits later in the season.

    • Jigger says:

      I am very interested in how your Reapers are doing. I hope all is well!

      • Scott says:

        I brought the one big reaper inside as you suggested while I was gone. It formed two small peppers so I thought I might try to leave this inside and put in a spot to get as much sunlight as possible. I think it has to be the heat with the flower drop. We are between 105-115 heat index in Tulsa, Ok suburb. No exaggeration. Very hot here. I have one other reaper I am trying outside and it is more bushy with less flowers. I thought maybe if I could get through August I might get peppers but my good plant was started in March. This is the first time I have grown so I am really unsure about many things.

        • Jigger says:

          I am afraid you will have to wait until the dog days of summer are behind you, to reap benefits. You have a very long growing season. Your plants will flower as the weather cools. Just be patient and keep you plants healthy and you will be fine. Try to keep your plants in half sun/half shade until cooler weather arrives. Being in pots is in your advantage, as you can move them according to the weather. I would keep both plants outside, when you can keep an eye on them and when you are out of town, bring them inside. You should get plenty of flowers towards the fall, then you can give them full sun and watch your flowers turn to peppers. Google search with questions you have and read up on multiple ideas and tips, in the meantime. There are lots of good information out there. Hang in there and keep your plants healthy and you will be rewarded.

  49. Scott says:

    Thanks for the advice. I will keep under porch where it will just mainly catch morning sun until I return. I have used bonemeal once to try get leaves flattened. Do you use that as well on Reapers? How about miracle grow? I’ve heard to watch too much nitrogen.

    • Jigger says:

      I have never used bonemeal, I believe it is a good source of phosphorus and calcium and generally added in your soil composition during transplant. I also read that you can use it as a side dressing if necessary. I guess it would depend on your potting soil and how fortified it is already. I used to use miracle grow with decent results, but I have now went completely organic and use a liquid fertilizer that has micro-nutrients as well as macro-nutrients. Micro being minerals like, iron zinc calcium copper etc. These nutrients aid in development, against diseases, and to help to absorb macro-nutrienrs(nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium). As a general rule, I use half strength solution of fertilizer than what it says on the container, especially if your potting soil is already well amended and feed them once a week because your nutrients are being washed away, through the bottom of your container. With all that said, I hope your potted Reapers are planted in a good moisture control potting soil, containing perlite and vermiculite. This will help to retain water during those long gaps between watering. Good luck!

    • Jigger says:

      I hope you Reaper was ok, while you were away……

      • Scott says:

        The reaper was fine when I returned and it is really growing. It has now started putting out little pepper pods. It has been about 93-96 degrees this week so have left in the sun part of the day and do the shade part of the day too. I have never trimmed any of the bottom leaves or anything. I was wondering if it was best to do that so it could concentrate on other areas? I wish I could post a picture of it. The leaves are very big and the pepper seems very healthy at this time. We are expecting a little rain this weekend and would like to let it sit under a slow steady rain if possible.

        • Jigger says:

          Sounds like your doing great! I would only pluck off leaves that are ready to drop off. As the plant matures, the lower, older leaves will yellow and start to drop off. Just discard those as they die off. I would not worry about plucking anything healthy off, just let it grow. Fat green leaves are what you want. Very nice! I would suggest letting it get, at least 12 hours of sun. If you are there every morning and/or evening, you will be able to keep an eye on it. Remember, these are from tropical strain chili plants, so they are genetically geared for the sun and heat. Seeing how you are growing in a 5 gallon bucket, you will need to be attentive to it for it’s watering needs. I would assume you will need to water every morning or every other morning, in that kind of weather. Get a water probe or just simply pick up the bucket, from time to time, to tell if it is heavy or light, to know if it is thirsty or not.

          • Scott says:

            I think I will try to leave out in the sun for at least 12 hours as suggested. I have drilled 4 or 5 small holes in the 5 gallon bucket so it can drain and have been watering it on average every other morning. I had read somewhere else you need to wait until it wilts to water but don’t want to push it that far. I am anxious for a pepper. I got a buddy who says he just loves hot peppers. 🙂

            • Jigger says:

              In the hot sun, you will get sun wilt, do not confuse it with wilt from lack of water. The plant wilts to deflect the direct sunlight when it gets very warm and wants to conserve energy. The best way to know if it is wilting from lack of water is testing the soil. By weight of the bucket, a water meter with a 7 inch probe, or push your finger two inches into the soil and see how dry it is. In other words, peppers will wilt in the hot sun, even though they need no water. If they are wilting and your soil is moist, then you are ok. When the sunlight wanes, your plants should stand back up, in the evening. If they don’t, then they need water. Like I said, I know guys who simply pick up their buckets and they know by weight. Personally, I use a probe. When it is hot , like what you are having, I water every day. Seems like you got it down, just take those tips and try them if you need to. You doing great!

              • Scott says:

                Thanks for the great tips. I was thinking the wilt was from lack of nutrients but it does seem each morning it looks better than it did in the evening. You mention watering in the morning. Is there any difference than watering at night when the sun has gone down and if so why is morning watering preferred?

                • Jigger says:

                  This is an ongoing debate by gardeners across the globe. The reason why I believe watering in the morning is because, it allows the heat of the day to evaporate any excess water that may contribute to fungus or disease. I also believe that the plant is more actively absorbing nutrients and growing in the daytime hours.

                  Also, you may find yourself watering a second time in a day when it gets extremely warm. When growing tomatoes in containers, this becomes a must in very hot and windy days. Pepper plants are a little more forgiving and may not suffer any damage from getting a little too dry in the heat.

                  With all that said, you still only want to water your Reaper when needed. Water them when the soil is dry and water them thoroughly and deeply, so the water comes out the bottom of your container. In 90-100 degree weather you will be watering at least once a day.

                  • Scott says:

                    My Carolina reaper is still growing pretty good and flowering. I have noticed two or three of the flowers with the 2 inch or so long stems have fallen off. Is this something to be concerned about?

      • Scott says:

        I have got a couple of the reapers that have been red now for a week or so that are on the plant. Do you think they are ready to take off the plant? It is finally cooling down in Oklahoma and am hoping for some late peppers to arrive. I sure did have major flower and stem falloff during the summer. Also, what is the best way to store peppers? Thanks

        • Jigger says:

          Hello Scott,
          Yes, they are ready to pick. Actually, I like to pick them before they are totally red. They will ripen up nice in the house and you won’t have to worry about them starting to rot on the vine or fall off. Also, the energy, of the plant, will now be focused on the smaller peppers and flowers. About storing peppers, if you are not using them within a week or so, I would suggest dehydrating them. Cut them in half and carefully remove the seeds(save the seeds for sewing next year’s harvest) without removing too much of the placenta(hottest part of the pepper), then put them in a dehydrator, if you have one. Or put your oven on the warm setting and dry them that way. You can also freeze them, although I never have, but I would remove the seeds. They tend to turn black, inside the pepper. You can search on line for more ideas.

  50. Geo. says:

    I’m in Phoenix, growing Cayenne peppers in an outside garden, can I let them dry out on the plant?

    • Jigger says:

      Absolutely not, they will continue to ripen, over-ripen and then rot and fall off. As they turn red, clip them off with about an inch of stem left on the pepper. You can string them up by using a needle and thread or fishing line. Thread them through the stems and hang them in a warm dry place. If you have a dehydrator, that works best. An oven will work as well, on the warm setting(below 200 degrees farenheit). Turn them over, halfway through, for even drying. If using an oven or dehydrator, remove the stem first.

  51. Xavier says:

    I have a Hybrid banana pepper plant that is growing in a pot outside, I live in Arizona where we all know temperatures can reach over 95 degrees I was wondering since these peppers need full sun is it safe to leave them outside in full sun as its very hot?

  52. Jigger says:

    Most pepper do their best production between 70-85 degrees. I am sure, being in Arizona, that you get a lot of sun. You could get away with, as little as, 8 hours of direct sunlight. If you are going to be experiencing 90+ degrees on a daily basis, you will want to watch for buds or flowers dropping off of your plant. If this happens, reduce the amount of direct sunlight to help keep them in a more optimal temperature range. Also, too much direct sunlight can scale your fruit. The best thing you got going, is that you have them in a container. You can move them as needed. Also, you will being watering them every morning, if you have consistent 90+ and tons of sun. Peppers do not require as much water as tomatoes, but being in containers and in the climate you are in, you may need to water them more than recommended. I am in Michigan and when it is that hot, I need to water every morning(I grow exclusively in containers).

  53. Alvin30 says:

    I have my pepper plants growing in pots on my deck since I live in a townhouse. I live in the Chicagoland area and we have been pounded with rain most of June. My pepper plant’s leaves are turning yellow and it looks they are also not growing. I have not been able to give them any fertilizer because the soil is so wet still. It seems we have one good day and then 4 days of rain. Is there anything I can do to help them survive? I have grown pepper plants in pots for over 5 years and never had this issue before. Any help is greatly appreciated.

    • Jigger says:

      I am in the Detroit area and know exactly what you are going through. The rain has been incredible this year and they are saying another half inch tomorrow, here. I grow exclusively in containers because I am overly blessed with trees on my property. I am able to roll my pots into my garage to avoid excessive rain. I have my pots on caster dollies. Things for you to try: If you have saucers underneath your pots, remove them until they dry out. Make sure you have enough drainage holes, on the bottom AND sides(one or two inches from the bottom) of your containers. Remove and obstructions from your drainage holes by poking into each hole with anything like a stick, butter knife, whatever, to help free up drainage. And, most importantly, can you bring them inside during these downpours? Or try using a tarp or thick clear plastic and secure it to your deck, if possible, for a temporary shelter. I know we all have busy lives, but do what you can to let them dry out. It sounds like they are water logged and not doing so well. How many pots do you have? Is there any way you can bring them indoors, during the downpours?

      Best of luck!

  54. Alvin30 says:

    Thank you for the quick reply. There is no way for me to move them indoors. I live in an upper unit of a townhouse and the pots would be too big to move into the garage. I would have to lift them up and carry them down two flights of stairs. I might try the tarp. I removed the saucers a long time ago. Alot of my peppers are in those clouth grow pots so there are no drainage holes to unblock. I think my best option is to get a large tarp to put across the deck.

    Thank you so much for your help. Crossing my fingers that July is not as wet and the plants are healthy enough to bounce back.

    • Jigger says:

      Gosh, It seems you are at the mercy of mother nature. I have never used the cloth grow pots. I hope they are designed with drainage in mind. I wish I had a better idea as to what to do. I hope you have more sunny days than rain, in the next week or so. Our forecast, here in Detroit looks terrible over the next week. Cool weather and rain, rain, rain . I wish you the best of luck!

    • Jigger says:

      Hello Alvin30,
      Have things turn around for you? The weather has changed in our favor, I hope your peppers are thriving!

  55. millie says:

    I have a pepper plant that i grew in a pot from seeds. It’s pretty tall but only yielded one pepper. First timer so what am i doing wrong?
    Thank y.ou

    • Jigger says:

      What kind of pepper plant is it? Does the plant have any other flowers and/or buds? There can be a number of reasons. Weather, too cool or too hot. Too much nitrogen or lack of nutrients. Lack of pollination. Is the plant getting enough sunlight? Please give me more information. How old the plant is, what kind of pepper plant? What type of soil and fertilizer you are using? How large/small is the pot the plant is in? How many plants do you have and are they near other plants to help pollination? We would be more than happy to help, if we can.

  56. Fred says:

    I’m an American but currently live in Japan. We’re in the rainy season now and it has been consistently rainy, wet and cloudy for a few weeks now. I have a variety of peppers in large pots on the rooftop deck. They get direct light and rain all day. They were all growing and doing great before the rainy season started, but now with all the rain and darker days I fear they are dying. The smaller bottom leaves on some of them are falling off, and the ones still attached are starting to get a brown’ish tinge to them. When looking at the leaves from the underside, I can see this brown’ish color in the cells of the leaves. Some cells are green, but a lot are turning this light brown color. Am I correct in my assumption that they are drowning and about to die? I hope not. I’ve moved them under an awning to prevent further watering by the rain, but they just are not drying out due to the lack of sun.

  57. Jigger says:

    I would suggest taking them indoors and putting them under ample lighting to dry out, but I understand that this may not be feasible. Being constantly wet is not good for peppers. Do what you can to keep them as dry as possible, during this wet season. Hopefully, keeping them under the awning will do.
    What types of peppers do you have? How old and tall are they, Are they transplantable? Do you have ample drainage on the sides and bottom of your containers? If you have saucers underneath them, remove for now. Can you prop them up off the ground, like maybe putting thin boards underneath to help air them out?
    If the soil is constantly wet, this could cause you some problems. It doesn’t sound like fungus, mold, or blight, yet, but it does sound like they are starting to drown. The reason I mentioned transplanting, is that you can get your plants into drier soil, but if they are mature plants, that might not be feasible. Hopefully this wet season ends soon. Best of luck!

  58. Alla says:

    Hello, I leave in Boston, MA (zone 6b), this year (first time) I planted Jalapeno and Cayenne peppers, just one of each plant. Plants are OK, they are looking healthy. I have different problem: in back of the house is the brook and trees; we have all kind of birds and for the second year 2 squirrels leave nearby. My Jalapeno plant had 2 peppers about 2″-2.5″ each…they are gone…Cayenne pepper partly in bloom and 4-5 peppers on the plant right now. I put for the night around the plant old screen net, not sure I do the right thing.
    What should I do? Will my Jalapeno give more peppers this season? Any suggestions, ideas are greatly appreciated.
    Thank you, Alla

  59. Jigger says:

    Hello Alla,
    I have been growing hot peppers for 5 years and never had a problem with birds, squirrels, rabbits, etc. If one of these animals did try to eat your peppers, they would bite it and then spit it out. Take a close look and see if your peppers were chewed off or did someone pick them off? You should be able to tell if it was an animal or a neighbor taking them. Anyhow, your local garden store sells a product that comes in a spray bottle or pellets that is used to keep the local wildlife from eating your garden vegetables. Chicken wire or screen net may work, as long as the plant can still get enough sunlight. Also, you can try to sprinkle Cayenne pepper powder around your plants to keep the pests away.
    Yes, your jalapeño plants should give you plenty more peppers this season. Just make sure they are receiving enough nutrients, sunlight, and water and they should be fine.
    Good luck!

    • Luke says:

      I’ve got a Beagle dog that loves to eat all my chilli. The little pest was chewing all my sprinkler heads off, so I made a Habanero chilli paste and covered the heads. It was like I marinated her favourite bone, She would lick off all the paste then chew the heads off. Her favourites were fresh of the tree red habanero and I saw her even try a couple of my Ghosts. Also had a herd of wild goats that didnt mind them either. Stopped it from happening by putting up a dog electric fence

  60. Alla says:

    Hi Jigger and Luke,
    Thank you for your reply. Peppers were cut/snapped close enough just to get fruit off, no trace of chewed pepper. When I discovered that peppers are gone I found that onion bulbs were dug out and chewed (planted them couple of weeks prior this pepper story). My thought was about wildlife friends, my husband though is skeptical about my theory.
    Luke told an interesting story-there is a chance to find hot-spice loving friends besides humans.
    For now for the night I place around pepper metal screen net (taken from the window frame, it just a wire net), the light can go thru if left for the day…
    I am glad to hear that Jalapeno will give more peppers during the season. I’ll take my best care for pepper plants. Thank you again, Alla

    • Jigger says:

      Hello Alla,
      Just wondering if you have solved your problem and it’s mystery? Also, how are your Jalapenos doing?

  61. eric says:

    I’m growing dragon Cayenne pepper. plants look good and productive. peppers are maturing at 1-2 inches long. is that normal??? I’ve grown cayenne pepper before and always got 5-7 inches…

    • Jigger says:

      Sounds like your doing a great job! Yes, this is normal for “Dragon” Cayenne peppers. There are so many different strains and these are of the petit variety.

  62. Alla says:

    Hi Jigger,
    I did not solve mysterious disappearance of Jalapeno peppers… I am watching them ready to bloom again (about 7-8 buds). My Dragon Cayenne pepper has 7 peppers.
    Thanks for suggestion to sprinkle pepper powder around plants. Rightly or wrongly, I still roll metal net from window screen around plants for the night. I see one benefit, leaves are not eaten.
    To keep soil moist and reduce water evaporation I put mulch. In June I gave nutrients through watering. Do I need to do it again?
    This week in Boston temperature F 90+ and high humidity, hopefully it is not for long. Is this affecting my future peppers? How do I know when peppers are ready, ripe?
    Thank you, Alla

  63. Jigger says:

    Hello Alla,
    It’s great to hear that you are keeping your pest(s) at bay. About feeding, yes, I would suggest feeding them every two weeks, if your peppers are planted in the ground. I grow in pots and feed a half strength, every week. If you are using a miracle grow type fertilizer, I would go with the Bloom Booster product made by them. Personally I use an all organic feed made by Organic Roots. It Has all the micro-nutrients, as well as the macro-nutrients. This would take too long to explain, so please google search and read about micro and macro-nutrient rich fertilizers. With all this said, I have had decent luck in the past when using just Miracle Grow, but am doing much better with the Roots Organic. Also, expect, but do not panic, if you drop flowers in the heat. 90+ temps may cause some flowers to fall off. The plant will produce more flowers. But by all means, help your peppers along with some nutrients every two weeks or every week, if in containers. Never use more than recommended, in fact, half strength may be just fine. Just keep your pepper plants foliage dark green and fed and in no time you will reap benefits. In between feedings, I use an Epsom salt foliage spray on the foliage. This helps to keep the foliage dark green and adds magnesium to help with photosynthesis to convert sunlight into food. Good luck!

    • Jigger says:

      I almost forgot about when to pick your peppers.
      Your cayenne’s, you should pick when the tips are just turning color or when the pepper is near half colored. You don’t want to wait too long, they will ripen nicely in a couple days in your cool home.
      Your Jalapeno’s, you should pick when they start to turn darker green or when you see very small cracks on the shoulder, near the stem. It is not a good idea to let them turn red on the vine. They may become mushy by then.

  64. Richard Kennedy says:

    Thanks for the advice. I have red and yellow bells that I water every day. Now I know I don’t have to water that often.

  65. Michael Wilson says:

    I have two PETENERO Chili plants producing fruit. The fruits are getting about the size of Nickles-Quarters. One of the fruits fell off the other day and It was not even hot. The Petenero’s are supposed to have Habanero heat. They are supposed to turn yellow then Red. Are they just not ripe enough yet for the heat or am I doing something wrong? Thanks in advance.

  66. Jigger says:

    Hello Michael,
    I am not the local expert here and I have never grown the Petenero pepper. I did look it up and yes, it should have near the heat of a habanero. There can be a number of factors. First off, are you 100% sure the pepper is correctly labled? Sometimes people get sold or given a mis-labled product. I grow a variety of super hots and sometimes I will drop flowers and peppers, once in a while. It could be from a number of reasons and is normal. Weather, too hot or too cold, usually. As far as the pepper not having heat, it is hard to say. Even if the pepper is green, it should have some heat. Double check the type of pepper you have, water properly and give it nutrients if it needs to be fed. I dont know what you climate is, so it is hard to determine what is going wrong.

    • Michael Wilson says:

      Hi Jigger,
      I got the plants from as young plants raised in their nursery. They are Petenero’s. I live in North-Central Virginia. The weather here is very hot right now. No issues with the heat. Maybe the pepper I tried was just a bum pepper. I will just wait until they fully mature. All my pepper’s are in large containers on my back deck. I’ll give a follow-up when all mature for harvest. Thanks very much for your reply!

      • Jigger says:

        I also grow in containers and I am having a great turnout this year. I am in S.E. Michigan and we are having very good weather for growing this year. I start my seeds in the middle of February, every year, so I get peppers very early. Maybe your plants are still very young. Also, the extreme heat can cause peppers and flowers to drop. Ideal temps are 65-85 degrees. If you are having 90+ everyday, that is normal to lose a pepper, here and there. Just take care of your plants and patience should payoff.

        • Michael Wilson says:

          I received the plants in the 2nd week of April. They were about 3″ tall. Maybe still young. I think all will be well, and yes I need to be patient. Thanks!

  67. Harold Psaila says:

    Hi I have 8 chilli plants planted in ground they’ve grown up to 3 feet full of green leaves but not one single flower and it’s August is this normal ? Here August is 40 deg celcius so my plants get lots of sun till 7pm. I’ve been watering them daily but now after this article I will water them once a week.

    • Jigger says:

      Hello Harold,
      40 degrees Celsius is very warm. In fact, it is too warm to produce flowers or if you do produce flowers, most will fall off. This is normal. I do not know what part of the world you live, but you will have wait for your daily temps to fall to an average of 30 degrees Celsius to start producing flowers and peppers. The optimal temps are between 65-85 degrees farenheit or about 20-30 degrees Celsius. Patience is all you need.
      Also, with this kind of hot weather, you may want to continue watering as you have been. It sounds like your plants are hearty and healthy. When the weather begins to cool, you can back off on the watering, as you start to produce flowers. Are you growing in the ground or containers? If in containers, you will have to water everyday in very warm weather. May I ask, where do you live? I just want to better answer your questions by knowing what region you live in and in what kind of soil you are growing in.
      One last note, as in all vegetable and fruit plants, they need to have significant nutrients to produce healthy flowers and fruit. Are you feeding them? Is the soil composition fortified with nutrients?
      Best of luck to you!

  68. Ayman says:

    How about watering small seedlings in small pots?

    • Jigger says:

      Water from the bottom, so the roots will grow deep and strong. When you go to transplant, your roots will be well established.

  69. Cat says:

    Living in 99+ degrees right now just planted my seeds in a plastic pot. How much times do I water it and how much? Like a spray or….?

    • Jigger says:

      If you just planted seeds in a pot, I would suggest keeping them indoors until they have sprouted. When they finally sprout, then put them in a window or under lights for the first few weeks, before putting them outside. The seedlings will need to have, at least, four trues leaves on them before you introduce them to direct sunlight. Then you need to harden them off before you leave them outside and give them full sunlight. Too much direct sunlight on new seedling, especially in hot weather, can kill them. As far as watering for now, until they sprout, just keep the soil moist, but not wet. Too much water may cause dampening off and kill them. Also, after they sprout, try to water from the bottom to help the roots to grow deep. You can water just a little from the top, but watering new seedlings from the bottom is recommended.
      God luck!

  70. Poorni says:

    I have my green pepper growing in a pot in my balcony. Kept away from direct sun and watering it once in two days.Two peppers started to grow, but all of a sudden the plant began to wilt. It’s still green, not yellow or brown. But it takes time to absorb water, sometimes hours together, sometimes days together. Is it still possible to recover the plant? Please, provide your suggestions.

    • Jigger says:

      Hello Poorni,
      It is hard to say why your plant is wilting, from limited information, but let me give you a couple of suggestions. One, I would suggest to give your plant some direct sunlight. My peppers get 6-8 hours of direct sunlight. The only reason you should put it in shade, is if you are experiencing extremely hot weather and your plants are wilting from the heat. Second, I would water according to the plant’s needs. Sometimes you need to water everyday and sometimes you may a week or longer between waterings. It sounds like you may be overwatering and your plant needs direct sunlight. If the water is taking a long time to absorb, then it may be because it does not need water. The best way to check if you need to water, is to pick up your pot and feel how heavy it is. If it is heavy, then it does not need water.

  71. G says:

    I have 3 Jalapeno plants. I had 2 pots that were about 10 inches across and 1 that was about 5-5.5 inches across. The plants in the 2 bigger pots stand about 22-23 inches tall and have flowers and bulbs on them and look pretty healthy. The 1 in the smaller container is 21 inches tall (has flowers and bulbs) and looks pretty healthy most of the time. But, each evening it wilts…after watering (in the evening) the next morning it looks good again. It follows this same pattern every day. I leave all in the sun all day (Texas). Does the smaller one wilt because it is out-growing the pot? Should I replant it in a bigger pot? My soil here is not good. I planted all of these in potting soil, because The tomato plants and peas and peppers that I planted in the soil did not take…some didn’t even sprout at all. I know I chose a bit late in the year to start (about late June-July). I think I need to plant the smaller one in a larger pot, but am reluctant to do so, because I was told it would probably die if I re-planted it. I really do not think re-planting in the ground will take. Advice?

    • Jigger says:

      Hello G,
      I would suggest watering in the morning. The reason your plant is wilted in the evening, is because it is drying out, in the hot Texas sun. I don’t know what your daily temp is, but you may need to water that plant twice a day on the really hot sunny days. The smaller pot can not hold the moisture as long as the larger container can. Also, if your not feeding your plants now, I would suggest feeding your plants weekly, with a water soluble fertilizer high in phosphorus, to help promote fruit growth.
      Best of luck!

  72. Kesty meitner says:

    Okay question. We have a few different types of peppers and all seem to be molding from the inside out. Over watering?? We’ve done pepper for a few years and it’s the first time this has happened. Not sure if it’s mold or not.

    • Jigger says:

      Hello Kesty,
      It is very possible that it is from overwatering. Sacrifice one pepper for an Inspection. Cut open the pepper and check to see if it has water inside it. If it does then, yes, you are overwatering, which is probably the case. It could also be BER(Blossom End Rot). That is caused by uneven watering, overwatering and then underwatering. Hopefully it is just a watering issue, otherwise you may be dealing with a mold or a fungus and it may end up being a bad year for you.
      Are your peppers in the ground or in containers? Also, what is your weather like, in your region and what is your watering habit or schedule? Peppers only need water when the soil becomes dry, as opposed to tomatoes, where they need a stricter, even, watering schedule.
      Hope all turns out well, best of luck!

  73. Jay says:

    Hi there. I’m looking for some help growing some Chilli plants. I bought them for my grandpa last Christmas – and he had started growing them and they were doing well. But he recently passed away about a month ago – and I really want to make sure that I continue to grow them. Unfortunately I’m not very savi with growing any sort of plant, let alone a chilli plant. Some of them have died – but some of the pots are sprouting little plants again. I’m hoping to salvage them and take care of these ones.

    I guess the issue is that I really don’t know how frequently to water them. They are in about 20cm deep pots. Some of the pots are dry on top but damp beneath the surface. Some of the pots are dry even beneath the surface at this point.

    Is there any sort of routine I could follow? Please let me know, i’d love to learn.


    • Jigger says:

      First, I am very sorry about your grandpa passing.
      I have a couple of questions before I can help you.
      1) Are your plants indoors or outside?
      2) In your region, are you entering summer or winter?
      3) Are your plants seedlings? Only 2-6cm tall?
      4) Do you plan on planting your plants, in the ground eventually?
      Very young seedling need extra care as they can not tolerate uneven watering as mature plants can. For seedlings, the soil should remain moist, but not wet and they should get some direct sunlight, but not full sunlight, yet. I prefer to start your seedling under grow lights, or even standard fluorescent lights. Your pots should never have standing water in them, make sure that the water can drain, freely, through the bottom of the pots. Mature plants prefer a drier soil and only need water when the soil is nearly, completely dry. Also, depending on what the condition or type of soil they are in now, I would suggest repotting them with a nutrient rich potting soil.
      Please reply to the questions that I asked, so I can better help to give you information to help you along.


  74. David says:

    I am growing habanero peppers. I really have little to no experience growing plants. I have been watering them every other day. I have two in little pots and one which I had to move into the yard because my dog broke it’s pot. All three plants are small with about 8- 16 leaves. I wanted to know if I should water them less frequently. I have noticed that the one in the yard has a few leaves that are shriveling up a little bit. This plant is under direct sunlight all day unlike the ones in the little pots which have no wilting. By the way, I live in Costa Rica and December and January are our summer months, lots of sun and little to no rain whatsoever.
    Thank you!

    • Jigger says:

      Did you go through the “hardening” process when you introduced your young plant to direct sunlight? It may be a case of your pepper plant not yet use to the direct sunlight. How hot are your daytime temperatures? Is your pepper planted in the ground or did you put it in another pot? As a general rule, potted plants need more water than plants in the ground, because the soil dries faster. If your pepper is in a pot, you can can simply pick up the pot and tell if it needs water by how heavy it is. You do not want to over water your plant, it can cause many problems.

      • David says:

        Hi, our daytime high right now is at about 80 degrees. I didn’t go through the hardening process, I actually didn’t know that existed. I basically just panicked when i saw the dog had broken the pot and planted the pepper plant in the yard. That was 5 days ago and it looks like it’s still alive and well. Some of the leaves are a little shriveled but that’s about it. I just watered it a while ago. This one is not in a pot, i just planted it strait in the ground. Thank you!

  75. Jigger says:

    Hello David
    You should not have to water your pepper plant everyday in 80 degree weather. Seeing how your plant has been in direct sunlight, it may have gotten through the hardening process. All indoor seedlings need to be introduced to direct sunlight gradually. A couple of hours the first day, then step up a couple of hours each day. Within a week, it will be ready for all day light. As far as watering, unless it gets above 85-90, I would only water when needed. Maybe, only once or twice a week in mild weather. Just keep an eye on it and watch for wilting. That will be a sure indicator that it needs water. Also, search online and read many different opinions on growing pepper plants. There is a lot of good information out there. Search like: Growing Habaneros or Watering my pepper plants. Lots of good tips out there. Read many and do not just follow the first site you see.
    Please post here if you have any more questions, I will be more than happy to help. Good luck and enjoy!

  76. Mark says:

    for seedlings in a starter pot how much should I water? I tried to do the “wilt” recommended watering tip only to have a few of the tall, thin plants fall over.

    • Jigger says:

      Hello Mark
      I am by no means an expert, but I have been growing exotic hot peppers for 7 years and have learned a lot. From my experience, the rule of thumb- “only water your peppers when they show non sun related wilt”, refers to your plants when they are mature and well established. As a seedling, I usually keep my soil moist, but not wet, most of the time. Once you plant them outside, after they have been “hardened”, then they only need watering when the soil is dry, at least 2 inches below the surface. I Hope this helps.

  77. Graham says:


    Have been reading through the comments and have picked up a lot of good tips and advice. I was just curious as to how often I should fertilize my jalapeno plants? I have them outside in a pot in Houston. I have the normal miraclegro plant food.


    • Jigger says:

      Hello Graham,
      I grow in pots, as well. I generally feed them once a week at half strength, during the growth period. Then I may feed at full strength during the flowering and fruit producing period, making sure to cut back on the nitrogen and stepping up on the potassium. How hot your climate is and how often you need to water may alter your feeding schedule. I live in S.E. Michigan and we do not see much higher than 90 degree weather most summers. If you live in a similar zone, this may work for you. If you live in a warmer zone and have to water more often, then you may want to feed more often. Hot peppers are pretty easy to grow, so just keep it simple. Good luck!

  78. Bryan says:

    I started some cayenne pepper plants from seeds . they have reached around an inch and a half but seem to have stopped growing. Was looking for some tips to help them grow or advice on what went wrong.

  79. Jigger says:

    hello, Bryan
    How old are your young plants? how many leaves are on them? Are the leaves healthy and green? It may be just a case of having some patience, that is all that I can say with the information you gave.

  80. benjamin coerver says:

    I have a reaper plant that i wintered over from last year. it is fully grown and has alot of flowers on it. i live near daytona beach fl and the weather has been great for awhile. my question is my plants buds keep falling off and not making it to the pepper stage. any ideas on the cause. i know it can produce i had two very hot peppers from it about a month ago.

  81. Alla says:

    Hi Benjamin, in the Autumn, before frost, I dug from the outside bed my two plants of mild Jalapeno and Dragon Cayenne peppers and overwinter them in pots on the sunny side window. We had peppers all winter long, we have them right now. Manual pollination is my answer: gently shake the plant, take cotton swab and gently touch inside each flower of the plant with the same side of swab (can do one or two rounds). Done, just wait and see if this works for you.

  82. Larica says:


    I have no experience with plants whatsoever. My mom planted a couple of seeds for me, around 10 or more in 1 tiny pot (5cm in diameter). They have sprouted and I am very excited! I am just worried they are too overcrowded in there. Can you let me know when to repot? I repotted 1 seedling and it doesn’t seem to be doing very well. The stem is beginning to look yellow & dry.

    Btw, I live in Kuala Lumpur. The weather right now is sunny during the day and rainy in the afternoon until evening. My pepper seedlings are outside, facing east, but under the roof. They will only get direct sunlight in the morning.

    Thank you so much!

  83. Jigger says:

    Hello Ladies,
    You should only plant 2 or 3 seeds per tiny pot or you will be over crowded. Generally, you keep the healthiest seedling to transplant. You should discard the weakest seedlings and keep the healthiest one to transplant. Do this very soon, before the roots grow together. You are better off with one healthy plant than 2 or 3 crowding each other. I hope this helps! Good luck!


    • Larica says:

      Yeah, the roots are already tangled together. I just transferred them to a much bigger pot without disturbing the roots. Okay, I will try to discard the smaller seedlings, even though it breaks my heart. Thank you for the tips! 🙂

  84. Ryan culp says:

    I have reaper butch t morgue red chocolate ghost all in pots took them out of garden center a week to early transplanted into 14 inch pots and kept inside with little sunlight and mild to cold temperatures and the bottom leaves turned yellow plants are out now in 30 degree celcius temperatures and seem to be growing fine but bottom leaves are still yellow so i cut them off was this the right thing to do what do u suggest for a high yielding plant revival….alll plants are about 20 inches tall

    • Jigger says:

      Hello Ryan,
      It should be ok that you cut the dying yellowing leaves off. I usually just let them drop off then discard them.
      I think you just need to be patient. As long as you are watering, only when needed and the plants have enough nutrients to feed and thrive.
      Good luck and happy growing!

  85. marlene says:

    Any help please ! i planted my carolina reaper (seeds), in large pots, last middle of summer 2015, and they flowered but didn”t produce anything.. now in spring 2016 i cut them all but not from roots , and they showed me tall green plants again with lots of flowers that unfortunately keep falling on the ground every day… i planted new seeds as well same kind on april 2016 : facing the same problem …what can i do, please help ! and thanks …

    • Jigger says:

      Hello Marlene,
      With the limited information you gave, all I can say is:
      Three things that can be the problem
      1)Watering too much
      2)Unbalanced or not enough nutrients
      3)low temps(blow 50 Degrees F) or above 90 degrees F
      So, I would make sure the pots feel light and the soil is almost completely dry, then watering them deeply, but only when they need it. If the temperatures, highs and lows, are not right, then make adjustments. You have them in pots, you can move them in and outside. Lastly, follow a feeding regiment, especially if your potting soil is low in nutrients.
      If you have any more questions, I will try to respond quicker.
      I hope this helps!

  86. Roy says:

    As many of the readers on this site are, I am struggling with over watering (in general. I’m newer to growing plants and am learning the hard way about over watering). I got my peppers in buckets outdoors maybe a bit too soon for the PNW and just after I did, we were hit by about a week’s worth of steady drizzle/rain/damp conditions. I have 20 some odd varieties of peppers, 3 plants each, and while most of them are still a nice dark green, my habaneros, 7 pot brain, hatch, and in particular the single trinidad scorpion I have are all yellowing. I am just wondering if you are aware of any correlation between water requirements for pepper plants and how hot of a pepper a particular variety produces. In other words, do say, Trinidad Scorpion plants need more or less water than a milder pepper plant like an Anaheim pepper.

    Thanks in advance and excellent info on this page.

  87. pepperseed says:

    @roy, there’s not a significant difference in how much water each type of pepper needs. I’ve always watered all of my pepper plants at the same time and given them roughly the same amount of water wi th excellent results.

  88. Joseph says:

    I have Thai chiles that are growing round instead of long and narrow. Does anyone know what may cause this? Soil condition maybe?

    • pepperseed says:

      @Joseph more than likely you had a seed mixup or the seeds you used were crossed with something else.

      • Joseph says:

        I purchased a Thai plant from Home Depot. They were growing normally for the first couple weeks then started growing round.

        • pepperseed says:

          @Joseph could just be climate or nutrients then. Sometimes plants get some weird shaped pods because of one or the other. How do the pods look now?

  89. Tonya Collins says:

    First time growing a gypsy pepper plant. It is in a pot, extremely hot weather here in Central Florida now, and plant not growing much and leaves are green but falling off like crazy! My oakra and squash doing great in pots,not pepper. Any tips why?

  90. Roy says:

    Hey Pepperseed, great info on this site, as always. I have a few more questions regarding seeds/seedlings. I have been trying to grow some of my peppers from seeds this year, with mixed results. It’s late in the season, but I am mostly concerned with learning the process rather than getting any fruit out of the plants this year.

    1) Regarding seeds. I started a new batch last weekend, started by wetting the soil first, then placing it in pots and then adding the seeds. I haven’t watered them since but the soil is still damp a week later. I was checking on them and noticed a few exposed seeds and that they were already covered with a white hairy bit of mold/fungus on them, however it doesn’t appear that the mold has damaged them yet. I think I know why they molded so quickly (I didn’t sterilize the pots from my last use and there was some mold then too – my bad) but my main question in this – I moved the pots outdoors immediately so they could get more sun and dry out quickly. Do you think if I keep the water to a minimum the seeds might still germinate, or is it a lost cause once the fungus makes an appearance? I am trying to decide whether to just scrap the current batch, sterilize, and start over, or not.

    2) I am aware of how little water a more mature pepper plant needs, but what about seedlings? I hesitate to let them get to the point of wilting. I tried that with a few of my current seedlings (from and earlier batch) and some would fall over when they got to0 dry, and not stand back up once I watered them. They seem now to have a weak spot right at the base of their stem. Not sure if the lack of water caused this or something else. The interesting thing is that they seem to still be growing, just not able to stand on their own two feet, so to speak, anymore. I’m still not sure that lack of water caused this, but the soil WAS bone dry by about a day or so whenever they fell over. I just assumed I let them go a few hours too long before watering.

    • pepperseed says:

      @Roy I’ve had plenty of seeds sprout after they get the white fuzz so wouldn’t worry too much about it. The best way to make sure seeds sprout imo is to not let them dry out after the first time you get them wet. Not soupy soil wet but wet.

      Once I get seedlings going I don’t let them wilt but will let the soil get dry. Let one or two get really dry and you’ll see how far you can take them in your growing conditions.

      Good luck and keep us posted. Happy 4th!

  91. Michael says:

    Hey my jalapeño plant lost almost all leaves the few at the top are hanging still green I’m in Arizona Temps are 100 to 110 during the day

    • pepperseed says:

      @Michael Sounds like it needs some shade. If it’s in a pot the soil may be getting to hot too.

  92. Sylvain Nolet says:

    hello guyzz , im living up up north in Quebec ,Canada .
    I have 4 carolina . 1 habannero and 1 Moruga.
    My habannero got 1 pepper but no flower or just 1 oe 2 that are gone for the others.
    I try not to put some water too much. Could it be my problem ? They are in 2 long pots 3 by 3 .Up here its not too hot outside, are they justin a regular process because it take more time here ?

    • Jigger says:

      Hello Syvain Nolet,
      Sounds like you could use larger pots. Also, being where you are, I would try to make sure your peppers get as much sunlight as possible. I grow in pots and I have found that the best way to tell if your plants need water, is to pick up the pot and gauge by the weight. Unlike tomatoes, that need watering everyday, your pepper plants only need water when they wilting or the pot feels very light when you pick it up. Then water thoroughly and make sure it drains well. I am in S.E. Michigan and we have had a very hot summer, so far. I have had to water twice a day. It all depends on how dry your soil is and if your plants is starting to wilt.

  93. Candy Sawyer says:

    I have a bell pepper plant in a large bin that produced a wonderful first crop of large, thick-walled green peppers. I have fertilized consistently and watered consistently. The second crop of peppers on this plant has been troubled with areas of the peppers being slightly wrinkled, soft and wilted looking. The leaves on the plant look healthy, although there is some wilting during very hot days, the plant always looks okay in the evening and morning and on milder days. What might cause the fruits to be softer, wrinkled and wilted looking?

  94. PadronJake says:

    Hello, I’m new to the gardening world. I have several pardon pepper plants that are growing in pots on my patio. After getting to be about 9 inches tall, they began to wilt and lose many leaves. Some have bounced back while others have remained stagnant. There are a lot of tiny black bugs living in the soil now. I’ve used organic big spray, but that seemed to hurt the plants more than the bugs. I lightly water the plants once every day or two. Out of all of my plants, one pepper is growing, and I’m into my 4th month. Any idea of what I’m doing wrong?

  95. Carlos says:

    Not an expert either. But maybe it’s too mich water. Peppers don’t like water. I water them every 2 days if it’s hot but every 3 days if temps are normal. About the bugs not idea. Good luck. Joe will answer you. He always does

  96. Lindsey says:

    So I’ve always loved having plants around and have always had a green thumb but now I line in a small apartment with no outside space and the windows only receive about 2 hours of sun a day. I can’t seem to keep anything alive. I now have an aerogarden that currently has tomato plants (or a lack there of :/ ) but I am currently using the light from the Aerogarden to supply light for my small Scorpion Pepper plant. The plant is only about 2 inches tall with 4 leaves. The tips of the leaves are browning and one just fell off.
    I’ve read that they need to be closer to the light so I have tried that but I am worry this little guy will die as well. Should I be worried about the brown tips and falling leaf? Idk if I am over watering or underwatering.

    • pepperseed says:

      @lindsey it’s probably not the light that’s browning the tips, more likely the watering cycle or fertilizer. That said with so little light you probably won’t be able to get peppers. Any other sunny spots?

  97. Andrew says:

    I’ve got a bunch of plants I set up in a greenhouse tent. They have been growing so good but today (Christmas day) I was out with family and accidentally left the zip up door closed when I got home it was 48’c inside and they all had shrivelled up and looked very sick. What’s the best way of repairing them with out completely losing them?

  98. Blaise says:

    Hello there guys
    I was wondering if you could help me with a problem i have with watering my pepper plants. see, i just don’t know how much water one plant needs in terms of volume and how often the plants need to be watered in a day or week. i ask you these questions because i fear that i might be over or under-watering my plants

    • pepperseed says:

      Only water when the soil is dry and even then if the plant looks ok – not wilted – don’t water it.

  99. STEVEN says:

    Thanks for this post. I am new at growing. I have cayenne and jalapeno peepers growing in starter trays. They started to grow beautifully sitting outside. Today I noticed that leaves are wilting. It’s about 85 out today and the soil is pretty damped. What could’ve happened here? Is it possible they will get back looking good?

    • Carlos says:

      It’s said that chilies 🌶 love sun but I live in Palmdale, CA and it gets super hot here. So during summer day my plants look pretty sad and dying but what they are really doing is wilting to avoid full exposure to the sun. Check them later or early morning and they will look pretty again. Be careful with water. Too much water will kill them. Every 3 days will be fine. This year I will protect them with a screen or some kind of cloth. Good luck

    • pepperseed says:

      Yes very common for peppers to wilt in the afternoon heat and sometimes even into the evening. They don’t need more wayet and will bounce back normal by morning.

  100. Lukombo Sindanyambe says:

    I intent transplanting green pepper to raised beds in an open field next week at the on-set of the cold season in Zambia. The temperatures could fall as low as 5 °C in the night to early morning hours. Will the timing when irrigating under a drip system using bore-hole water help in moderating the temperature? Any comments/ideas on how I can manage the crop in the cold season will be appreciated. The field covers an area of 50 x 50 metres.

    • pepperseed says:

      Yes it could help. Bottom line is you don’t want plants to freeze. If they do they almost always die.

  101. George says:

    I’m fairly new to growing chilli peppers so, how frequent & bwhat time of day should I water the plants(how far apart should they be planted).

    • pepperseed says:

      Only water when they soil is dry, better to slightly under water vs over watering. Time of day isn’t that important. I water all times of day. Try and plant peppers 2 – 3 feet apart. Happy gardening!

  102. Jim says:

    Hi, pepper wonders, That’s why we are pepper addicts couse there are so many ways and ideas, Ive been growing superhots for years in the same garden and with peppers:PRE SOIL ESTABLISHMENT is my trick. After every season I clear garden, use the multch from the garden and over dose with calcium! like 10-500-10. Start superhot seed germination in Feb. transplant after last frost. I treat these superhots like any other vegie,this year I have 30 Carolina R.- 30 Trinidads-and 30 regular habs. this garden is on the east side of my house so all they get is half-a-day sun shine,thats it! I have been growing this same garden for 13 years, so the trick to this trade is (establish your soil year before a plant ever sees it. Use lots of CALSIUM. I yield 98% every year. Good luck this year George, fighting your garden like I did for years until now, this year like the last 7or 8 yrs I’ll watch it grow rather than try to keep it alive!

  103. Byron says:

    Hey there! I have a few questions! I’m a first year pepper grower and live in Zone 7b. (OKC). Anyways I have various chili and pepper plants growing in containers. I grew them all from seed and transplanted them outside in 5 gal buckets in early May. Now at the end of May, I think I may have either over fertilized and/or over watered the past 3 1/2 weeks or so. All of the new growth on every single variety of pepper plant is deformed and curled looking. Is this from overwatering/ over fertilizing like I think it is? I’ve researched the issue and some say yes while others say it should a nutrient difficency (which I highly doubt, cause I fertilized too much…… I think….) and others say it’s a virus.. ahhh! I hope it’s not a virus :(. Anyways like I said it’s only the new growth… the leaves are a dark green with no yellowing and only minor pest damage on a few leaves.. dang hornworms!.. everything below the new growth looks literally perfect. What do I need to do?

    • pepperseed says:

      It could be any of those things. It happens to most of my plants at some point every season. When in pots I flush with water (so it’s running out the bottom of the pot) and then it dry out completely before resuming the normal watering cycle. Not sure if that helps but my plants seem to “grow out of it” every year.

  104. Brent says:

    What about fertilizer for pepper plant?I have chicken poop store bought fertilizer?

  105. Jim says:

    Hi pepperseed, I live in montana, this is my 6th year growing vipers. I quit using pots after 1st. couple yrs, to much babysitting. Anyway I may have messed up. I transP. my, some of my CRs 3-4″ deeper in the ground than original depth sence germination, thinking,there I go again, thinking the trunks will beef up alittle more like some people do with tomatoe’s exet. Now pepperseed for a max balanced diet and h20 ? As far as I know these damb things will be in shock ti’ll August ha, I also tried some dipcy turvey (up side down maruga’s) I’ll let you know how they turn around,, I mean turn out. Thanks for your sugs, please respond to my devel scratchers!

    • pepperseed says:

      I tend to bury transplants a little deeper too…they should recover. As long as the soil they are in now has good drainage you shouldn’t have to worry about over watering them.

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