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Best Peppers to Grow Indoors

The Best Peppers to Grow Indoors

Best Peppers to Grow Indoors

Want to grow peppers indoors over the winter months? Or maybe year-round? It is possible. Many pepper varieties can live for many years if not exposed to frost.

It is important to have good lighting for your indoor peppers. A sunny window in the winter is not likely enough going to provide enough hours of light to keep the pepper plant growing. Many indoor growers keep pepper plants under florescent or led lights to keep them growing and producing over the winter months. Hydroponic systems work well indoors as well as without soil, you can cut down on soil pests like those annoying fungus gnats.

So, what are the Best Peppers to Grow Indoors?

We think that the best pepper plants to grow inside are the smaller-sized peppers such as pequin bird peppers, tepin or chiltepins, habaneros, Thai Dragon peppers, Early Jalapenos, Shishitos, and ornamental peppers to name a few. Some people also like to grow super hot peppers like the Carolina Reaper indoors year-round as they need a long growing season, and many short-season climates don't have enough time to get a lot of pods.

Can you grow peppers indoors in winter?
Yes, but make sure you provide supplemental light. Pepper plants need about 15 hours of light a day to actively grow, and when they are in the fruiting stage it is good to have about 12 hours of light per day. Picking ripe fruit as it comes will encourage the plants to produce more pods.

Good airflow is important for pepper plant health – put a fan on your indoor peppers to keep them happy. A fan's breeze will also help keep pests at bay.

Overwintering Pepper Plants
You can also overwinter pepper plants indoors with less light, this will keep them alive, but they won't produce fruit likely over the winter months, and you can keep them alive to put outside again in the spring when the warm weather returns. Overwintering is essentially a hibernation period for your peppers, they may drop leaves and even go dormant without supplemental light. If you do this, you want to dig up the root ball of a plant, then thoroughly clean the roots gently to get all the soil out, and then plant them into fresh new potting soil. This will help reduce pests. Keep the overwintered pepper plants in a cool place that won't freeze, that has some lighting from a window.

How long do pepper plants live?
It depends on the growing conditions, variety, it's location, the weather and your zone. Pepper plants can live anywhere from 1.5 - 15+ years depending on which species. In tropical climates without cold winters, or indoors, peppers can live for many years and grow into what you would call small trees or shrubs.
Learn more about how long pepper plants live »

How to Grow Peppers from Seed

Starting Pepper Seeds in Winter

Of course, to get a head start on the gardening season, you can also start pepper seeds under lights in January or February to get them growing big and strong before spring arrives. You may need to pot the plants up as they outgrow their original pots, you want them to develop nice deep roots so they'll take off once planted outdoors in the spring.

Read our top 12 tips for how grow peppers from seed »