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Ever wondered what size of container for pepper plants is the best?
We enjoy growing peppers in our greenhouse. We plant some in the ground but we also grow peppers in containers. If you’re wondering what size of container for pepper plants is the best for growing thriving plants, here’s the ideal.
Choose a pot that is at least 8 inches; a 2 gallon pot is the right size. If possible, though, bump that up to growing pepper plants in a 12 inch pot; this size will give the roots plenty of room to grow.
Do Peppers Grow Well in Containers?
They sure do! Peppers are the perfect choice for growing in containers or pots; they are not a huge bushy plant and you will be surprised at how many peppers will grow on just one plant!
All kinds of sweet bell peppers and hot peppers will do well in containers or in raised beds in the garden.
How Big of a Container does a Pepper Plant Need?
As mentioned above, the ideal container size for growing peppers is 12 inches. But you can grow peppers in smaller containers, they just won’t grow as big or have as many peppers to pick.
How deep should a container be for peppers?
Pots for growing peppers should be at least 10 inches deep. So a pot 12 wide and 10 deep is perfect.
How many pepper plants can I put in a container?
That ideal pot size is meant for growing one pepper plant. If you want to plant two or more, you will be better off choosing a larger pot.
How to Grow Pepper Seedlings in Pots, Indoors
We start our peppers from seed in Styrofoam cups (that we reuse many times – I just be sure to wash them out well). The year I took these photos, I seeded the cups at the beginning of April, then set them under a grow light in our basement.
The photo above was taken May 6 (five weeks later), when I moved the pepper seedlings upstairs to set them in a south-facing window. This shows you just how slow growing pepper plants are. So be patient when growing pepper from seed.
I like to let them get nice and root bound in the cups before transplanting them into larger pots.
For in depth information on how to grow peppers from seed, click over to read the full article!
Sometimes, we transplant the peppers right into the ground in the greenhouse. This depends on the outside temperatures as our Greenhouse is unheated.
Where we live, in a northern climate, our growing season is not as long – maybe five months. Also, our nightime temperatures are quite cool, too cool for pepper plants out in the open air.
Additionally, we can’t even go by our “last frost date”. Here, we have seen frost in July (surprise!) which has killed back our potato plants. For all these reasons, we only grow peppers in our unheated greenhouse.
Here are healthy peppers waiting to be transplanted into the greenhouse. We’ve got a mix of Sweet Peppers, Bell Peppers and Hot Peppers.
How to Transplant Pepper Plants into Larger Pots
Before transplanting your pepper plants into larger containers, be sure to water them well. This will help reduce shocking the plants when moving them.
Fill your larger container 2/3 full with a mix of rich potting soil and compost (or other amendment). Water this soil before transplanting.
Tip the pepper plant upside down, with your fingers on either side of the stem and give the container a knock with your hand. This helps loosen the soil around the edge of the pot.
Remove the plant and plant it in the larger pot, adding soil around the pepper plant. Hold it with one hand and add soil with the other, pressing down slightly (don’t overpack).
If the roots are rootbound from the smaller pot, carefully open the roots a bit with your fingers. This will be easier if the rootball has been watered.
These peppers have been transplanted from the cups into 2 gallon pots. Lots of room there to grow nice and big! Every plant is labelled with the variety.
I stick little pieces of biodegradable styrofoam peanuts in the drainage holes. Excess water can still get out, but I find a lot less dirt washes out with the draining water.
I like to have a few pepper plants on the porch, because the foliage is so beautiful when they’re nice and healthy. These pots are smaller than 2 gallon pots, but there is room for 2 peppers to grow.
You can see that peppers can be put into containers of all sizes. You can do one pepper in a pot 12 inches wide. If you’ve got large circular pots, plant 3 pepper plants together in there.
How Much Sun do Peppers Need?
Peppers crave sun and heat, so be sure to put them outside in those conditions. If you’ve got a concrete retaining wall, walkway or patio, put a few pots of peppers on the concrete.
They will love and appreciate the extra heat being soaked up by the sun hitting the concrete.
Our Best Tips for Growing Peppers in Containers
Once you figure out what size container for growing pepper plants is the best, it’s time to think about the soil you will be planting in.
What soil is best for Growing Peppers?
Use a rich potting soil as a great base soil for growing peppers in pots. You don’t want the soil to be heavy and compact; light and airy is the way to go. Then add some natural fertilizers like these:
What fertilizer should I use for my Pepper plants?
While there are a number of name-brand fertilizers on the market, it is so easy to provide your plants with fresh, natural, organic fertilizers – and for a lot less money. And, you can make your own fertilizer for peppers!
Some of the best natural fertilizers for growing peppers in pots are:
- aged animal manure
- fish fertilizer
Use Compost for Fertilizing
Nothing beats a great compost pile for providing all the fertilizer you might need for your garden. It’s the ultimate way to recycle your fresh, organic waste like eggshells, vegetable and fruit trimmings, coffee grounds, and more.
Mix it in a pile with yard waste and let it age, turning it and mixing it periodically as it breaks down, then add your compost to your containers of peppers. If you have lots of compost, you can plant your pepper plants in 100% compost instead of mixing it with soil.
Use Well Aged Animal Manure for fertilizer
Many gardeners prefer animal manure above everything else. After all, if you also raise animals, you have plenty of it available, right? Just make sure you let it age in a nice pile for a few months before using it so that it won’t be too rich for your plants. Mix some in with potting soil before planting you pots of peppers.
Fish Emulsion fertilizer
If your soil is nitrogen deficient, a great source of nitrogen is Fish Emulsion. You can order it online here or find it at your local garden shop or hardware store, and you’ll want to dilute it in water before using it.
However, be a bit careful with this one. If your plants get too much nitrogen, they’ll look green and healthy and put out lots of leaf growth, but produce a lot less food.
Do Pepper Plants like Epsom Salts?
Peppers (along with tomatoes) love Epsom Salts. Peppers and tomatoes grow best when they have enough Magnesium, a mineral that is often deficient in garden soil.
Epsom Salt is a natural mineral compound that includes 10% Magnesium. Highly soluble, plants absorb it easily when Epsom Salt is added directly to the soil.
But your plants will absorb it even easier when you spray it directly on their leaves. Simply mix two tablespoons of Epsom Salts into a gallon of water and spray it on your plants as you water.
Not only will your pepper plants grow better, but they will also produce more. Bonus – your peppers will taste even better!
(Note: Keep in mind that while Epsom Salt is a wonderful supplement to your Pepper and Tomato plant care, it is not meant to take the place of a great organic fertilizer.
All of your garden plants – including your peppers and tomatoes – need a good source of nutrition to grow large, healthy, and be at their most productive.)
Do you Keep Plants in Plastic Pot?
Yes, heavy plastic pots can definitely be used for growing peppers in containers – we grow ours in plastic pots right through to the end of the season.
Do Peppers grow Bigger in Bigger Pots?
Optimally, peppers are happiest when they have a little room to spread their roots. A container that is at least 12 inches across is ideal for growing peppers and should allow your pepper plant to grow large with lots of delicious peppers for your family to enjoy.
You can grow two to three nice peppers together in a 10-gallon bucket.
However, peppers are surprisingly adaptive to their environment, as I came to learn!
What Happens if I Plant Peppers in a Tiny Pot?
Well, really you can grow peppers in tiny pots and I have got to show you this! Let me explain what happened. One year, I ran out of room putting peppers in the ground in the greenhouse.
We had so many plants I also used up all the 2 gallon pots I had. After planting, I still had a few Styrofoam cups with pepper plants left over. These are the original reused coffee cups that I had started the seeds in.
I left them on the greenhouse shelf, until I could scrounge up more containers to transplant these peppers into.
But…life happened and I didn’t get around to it.
I just kept watering the seedling cups every day while I was checking out the rest of the veggies. Here’s a picture of the end result!
There’s 3 peppers on each of those plants and they even turned colour! Look at the size of those peppers in these tiny cups!
Ideally, remember to grow one pepper to a pot of at least 12 inches. But remember, when it comes to what size container for pepper plants, a small pot will work! If you live in an apartment with a balcony, you could easily grow some peppers in pots or containers.
This year, we are determined to grow and harvest a lot of peppers. The peppers will be preserved by dehydrating, pickling and maybe even turning into jelly.
No matter what size container for pepper plants, as long as you take care of them they will grow.
For in depth information on how to grow peppers from seed, click over to read the full article!
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Originally published 2014; updated May 2021