Bell peppers grow on perennial plants that will live for several years under the right growing conditions. A couple of plants grown indoors will keep you enjoying fresh bell peppers year around. Green, red and yellow bell pepper are all produced on the same plant, just picked at different stages of development. Get started growing your own fresh bells peppers indoors with these tips.
Plants grown in outdoor containers this past summer can be brought indoors to continue their growing cycle. Start preparing the plants couple of weeks prior to bringing them indoors so they can make the transition with ease. Start the prep work by giving them a shower with a water hose. Blast all the dirt and pests off of the leaves, stems and outside of container with a sharp stream of water. Allow plants to drip-dry for a half a day, then move containers to another location and repeat the showering process. This will prevent re-infestation of whatever may have been lurking in the plant’s previous growing area.
Place the twice-washed containers in a protected area, like a porch, for 2 days. Thoroughly inspect plants for any signs of pests or disease. If pests are visible, bring plants indoors and blast them off with water in the shower. Let dry for 24 hours and inspect again. If signs of pests or disease is still visible, discard plants and start your indoor bell peppers plants with seeds.
If plants were planted in-ground, dig them up, being careful to get as much soil as possible so the plants won’t have to start all over in fresh soil. Place one plant per container and add a 50/50 mixture of potting soil and compost to finish filling up the new planting container. Follow the same procedure as outlined above for outdoor, container-grown plants.
Fill containers with a 50/5 mix of potting soil and compost. Place 2 bell pepper seeds in center of soil, tap down gently and water. Place under grow light and keep soil moist. When plants develop their second set of leaves, remove one plant and discard or transplant it in another container.
Place plants under your choice of grow lights (LED, florescent, etc.) with the tops of the plants almost touching the lights. Bell pepper plants prefer a warm, bright environment and will produce their best when grow lights are left on continuously. Plants can be placed in a west-facing window in the afternoons to receive a dose of direct sunlight if desired.
If you want to have fresh bell peppers all winter, feed and water plants regularly and provide them with as much bright light as possible. The plants will grow and produce peppers indoors indefinitely as long as they are fed, watered and given sufficient lighting. If you just want to keep the bell pepper plants alive throughout the winter to get a jump start on spring production, stop feeding, water only when soil is dry and turn grow lights off for a few hours each night. When plants are re-planted in the soil (or container placed outdoors) next spring, they will begin to bloom and bear produce very quickly.