Hot Pepper Dudes, LLC

Transfer to Containers
April 27, 2012, 7:23 pm
Filed under: Growing Hot Peppers | Tags:
You will know your plants are ready to be transferred to containers (or the garden if you have room for one) when two things occur:
  • The plants have been hardened off and left outside (night and day) for 2 – 3 weeks.
  • You can see the roots of the plant coming through the peat.

Some sites will tell you the plants need to be 2 – 3 inches tall.  I find the root test to work better since different varieties of peppers grow vertically at different rates.  When the roots are leaving the peat, they’re ready for soil.

This year I’m trying a few different types of containers.  Single pots, long boxes for two plants, and even a hanging planter.  Not sure which ones will work the best, but we’ll find out by the end of this season.
For your containers, I find that any potting soil or garden soil works fine.  There are lots of types on the market, so you can go organic if that’s your thing.  Mix in a scoop of sand and stir around with every container full of dirt to aid in drainage.
Buy more soil than you think you need.  These containers will hold more than it looks like they will (unless you only have one or two pots)
Containers (Pots)
The biggest thing to worry about here is that they have drainage holes in the bottom.  If not, water will collect and rot the roots of your plants.  Also, pepper plants like well drained soil, they don’t care much for being constantly wet.
As far as the size, I’m going with the theory that bigger is better.  I’d say the minimum size is a 12″ diameter pot for a single plant.  I do notice that the plants get bigger with bigger pots, so if you have room for larger ones then I would go that route.  Here’s a shot of the ones I’m using this year:
Pepper Pots

Pepper Containers (Pots)

Containers (Long Boxes)
There’s probably a technical term for these, but I just call them long boxes.  You can see one of them above.  For these types, I am trying just 2 plants per box.  I think any more than that and they wouldn’t have room for the root system to develop.  Here’s a closer image of this type:
Long Box Container

Long Box Container

Containers (Hanging)
This is a total experiment.  I’ve never used one of these things but I’ve read a lot of good reviews about them.  Anything is worth a try once, and as a container gardener, this thing does not take up a whole lot of space and you can plant up to 7 peppers in one hanging garder.  I got it here if your’re interested in trying it.  This is what it looks like:
Hanging Pepper Grower

Hanging Pepper Grower

I did not fill up all the openings on this as I did not feel it was a large enough container for all of them.  I tried 4 plants in this thing.  We’ll see what happens.
VERDICT:  This thing does work as advertised.  However, the plants do not get very large and do not produce as much as if they were in a pot by themselves.  Also, this product only lasts one season.  As we were cleaning up the plants this year, this planter nearly disintegrated as we removed the dirt.
You’ve probably noticed from the shots of the containers above that I use mulch.  I find this helps to retain moisture in the soil.  Also, I use Cedar mulch with seems to help keep bugs away.  I would highly suggest using your favorite kind of mulch around the plants, but keep it away from touching the stems.  You’ll get bigger plants this way.
As you are potting your plants, it’s a good idea to label each one with the variety that you have planted in there.  If you grow lots of different kinds, it’s good to know which ones do best in your climate and also the ones that you like the best.  Then you can grow the best ones next year and drop the ones that you don’t like or don’t grow so well in your area.
Have fun…this part will take you a while if you have a dozen or more plants to pot.  Next we’ll talk about getting on a fertilization schedule.
Check out for more info.  Talk about loving what you do…this stuff is fun.

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