Turn your windowsill into a mini vegetable garden – the dream of almost every housewife. Here you have both decor and practical benefits. Alas, not every culture allows you to do this: most plants, successfully bearing fruit in the open air in our climate, experience a significant lack of light even on the brightest windowsill. However, breeders have long been working in this direction, and flower lovers already have the opportunity to get a crop at home. Growing chili peppers at home is an excellent option for beginners. He not only will not require from the hostess special knowledge in the care of plants, but also without difficulty will develop and bear fruit practically all year round.
From variety to variety, peppers intended for home keeping vary greatly, not only in the shape of the bush and leaves, but also – most interestingly – in the shape and color of the fruits. This diversity is eye-opening, and hardly everyone wants to have an entire plantation of hot peppers at home: lemon, red, purple and even changing their color as they mature pods will be an extraordinary decoration of the interior. In my opinion, especially interesting are the beaded fruits, by which it is impossible to tell at once what kind they belong to.
There is only one thing to pay attention to when buying – some varieties are not edible. So if you plan to use your own grown pods as a condiment, immediately put aside the bags with the word “ornamental”.
Pepper from seed
The seeds of the room bitter pepper do not differ from those that we can see in the Bulgarian pepper – except that the size is smaller. Germination is not deprived of nature, it tends to 100%, especially if the seed is of high quality. I planted the seeds of room peppers in universal seedling soil, not forgetting the drainage of fine clay pebbles, and they germinated perfectly after a few days.
Since the plants will be kept warm and cozy, I do not see a fundamental difference in the month of sowing – the results were successful at any time of the year. On the other hand, if you want to get the first crop of peppers on your windowsill as quickly as possible, you can’t cheat nature: February and the spring months are the best time for planting.
At the stage of two or three true leaves seedlings can safely pick: the root system by this time is already well developed, and the further development of several plants in one bowl will lead to root entanglement and additional injuries during transplanting.
Flowering and fruiting of the pepper
You won’t have to wait long for the first flower: After two months, you will notice the first buds on the shrub. Most likely they will not be able to set because the plant is not yet strong enough, but this means that you will see bright fruits very soon.
Pollination of decorative or hot peppers is not required, the fruits set on their own. By midsummer (if sown in spring), you can already admire the bright fruits and, of course, use them for culinary purposes.
Flowering itself is very demanding on any plant, but fruiting is even more so. The root system quickly depletes the nutrients in the ground. In order for your peppers to develop as lush and abundant blooms as possible at home, they need to be fertilized regularly.
Since I use pepper pods for their intended purpose, I didn’t want to resort to chemical additives. So instead of fertilizer, I used a trivial transplant into fresh soil. The signal for this was the pale coloring of the leaves. But if you have an ornamental variety, the choice of food source is not a problem at all.
During the winter months, despite the short daylight hours, indoor peppers are also capable of fruiting, though less lush. Dry air has a noticeable effect, and the crown of the bush may thin. Alas, the leaves will no longer grow in their former place, and with the arrival of the new season we can only hope that new branches will develop from these axils. Therefore, during the winter it is advisable to place the plant away from batteries. A nearby container of water or a tray of wet pebbles or claydite will also help against dry air.
In addition to being relatively easy to care for, chili peppers are also interesting for their ability to make their trunk woody. The very next year you can start shaping it into a simple bonsai form – the rapid growth makes it doubly interesting to watch the changes in the crown.