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Wednesday - December 09, 2015

From: Dallas, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Propagation, Edible Plants, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Growing Chile Pequin Indoors
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

About a year ago I visited your page and as a result I planted 8 seeds in spring 2015 from a large Chile Pequin plant that came up wild in my Cedar Park home near Austin. The last harvest was late summer early fall 2013. I moved to Dallas after selling that home. All 8 seeds promptly sprouted in June 2015 in a pot on the enclosed back porch, but illness kept me from moving them to an outdoor location. So now it is early Winter here in Dallas. Will they survive the winter indoors? Will they ever produce fruit if kept indoors?

ANSWER:

It is possible to grow Chile Pequin indoors but it is a bigger challenge. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden has a good article about growing hot peppers indoors on their website.

Here's some of what they say ... It's a challenge to grow chile peppers indoors. Like tomatoes, they need an environment that's warmer and brighter than most homes. However, growing chiles indoors is a worthwhile project if you don't have a garden. The best indoor environment for chiles is a greenhouse, of course, but you can also grow them with some success under lights.

The most important factor in growing chiles is light. Just to survive they need at least six hours of bright sunlight a day (southern exposure is best for this) and about eight hours of indirect light (from eastern or western exposure). If you are growing peppers on a windowsill and they appear to be just hanging on, supplement their natural light with artificial light. If you can put your indoor chile plants outside on a porch, balcony, or deck for the summer season, this will benefit them enormously.

If you are using only artificial light, your chiles will need 16 hours of light a day, so you might want to place them in an out-of-the-way corner, a closet, or the basement. The plants do need some rest, so it's a good idea to set the lights on a timer that turns the lights on and off automatically. You don't have to buy fancy growlights—common fluorescent fixtures with either ordinary cool white or warm white tubes will do. The size and number of fixtures will depend on how many plants you want to grow. You can hang the lights from a ceiling or shelf, or under a work table. Attach chains to the fixtures so that you can easily raise and lower them. Place the lights about 3 inches above the plants and raise them as the plants grow taller, maintaining that 3-inch distance from the plants.

As your chiles grow in their containers, you may have to transplant them more than once. A 10- to 12-inch pot will probably be large enough to grow a small plant to maturity. For larger chiles use a 16- to 18-inch pot. Be sure that your pots have adequate drainage; you'll need a saucer, underliner, or tray on which to place the pots.

Lastly, you should hand pollinate your pepper flowers to make sure you get good fruit set. Peppers have male and female flowers in the same plant and with a small paint bush (or cotton swab) you can easily transfer pollen from one flower to another to make sure you get good fruiting. There is additional information about hand pollination on the GardenKnowHow.com Website.

 

From the Image Gallery


Chile tepin
Capsicum annuum

Chile tepin
Capsicum annuum

Chile tepin
Capsicum annuum

Chile tepin
Capsicum annuum

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