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How to grow cayenne peppers indoors

Raise your own spicy seasoning when you grow cayenne peppers. If you live in a home without outdoor garden space or want to use fresh hot peppers through the winter, grow your own indoors. The shiny green leaves of the pepper plant and the long, slender red cayennes make an attractive houseplant. Share your harvest with friends and family, or dry the extra peppers to make your own cayenne powder.

Plant one pepper plant in a 9 litre (2 gallon) planting pot filled with potting soil or place up to five plants in a 67.5 litres (15 gallon) plastic tub. Ensure the planting container has holes in the bottom for drainage.

Set pepper plants near a south-facing window where they will receive the most sunlight. Position a grow-light no further than 60 cm (2 feet) from the plants. Turn the light on during the daytime in cloudy weather. Rotate the pots one-quarter turn each day to prevent lopsided growth toward the light sources

Place each pot or tub on a tray filled with small pebbles to capture water drainage. The humidity from the drainage will counterbalance the drying effects of heated air in the house.

Water the cayenne pepper plants whenever the top inch of soil becomes dry to the touch. Apply water until it drips through the bottom drainage holes.

Fertilise the cayenne pepper plants with a commercial 10-10-10 formulation plant fertiliser, mixed with water at half the dilution of the packaging instructions. Apply the fertiliser once every two weeks.

Check the cayenne pepper plants for insects or pests and spray with a solution of 1 tbsp mild washing up liquid in 237 ml (1 cup) water. If an infestation persists, spray with organic, non-toxic insecticidal soap.

Things You'll Need

  • 9 litre (2 gallon) planting pot
  • 67.5 litres (15 gallon) plastic tub
  • Grow light
  • Tray
  • Pebbles
  • Fertiliser
  • Spray bottle
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Measuring spoons
  • Measuring cup
  • Insecticidal soap
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About the Author

Denise Schoonhoven has worked in the fields of acoustics, biomedical products, electric cable heating and marketing communications. She studied at Newbold College and Middlesex Polytechnic in the UK, and Walla Walla University. A writer since 2008, Schoonhoven is a seasoned business traveler, solo tourist, gardener and home renovator.