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Can Hydroponics Grow Hot Peppers? [Expert Answer]

Can Hydroponics Grow Hot Peppers?

Yes. Hydroponics can grow peppers and give you better results than traditional farming methods. With hydroponics, you get to grow a wide range of pepper varieties. You could grow Anaheim, Bell, Brown, Black, Blue, Cayenne, Cubanelle, Habanero, Hybrids, Jalapeño, and so on.

This article features a guide on how to grow hydroponic hot peppers from start to finish. You will also more information on the best hydroponic systems to use. Picking the best system is important if you want to grow the peppers faster and bigger to make a better yield.

can hydroponics grow hot pepper

Best Hydroponic Systems for Peppers

There are several hydroponics systems for growing hot peppers. Below are the most common methods 

Kratky System – This method involves submerging only 25% of the roots in water and leaving the remaining parts of receive air. With this method, there are no air pumps required, so you won’t have to spend on electricity. You will have to leave an air gap in the system for air to pass through. Kratky is the most affordable and easiest method to of for. 

Ebb and Flow – The Ebb and Flow or Flood and Drain method involve flooding the hydroponics system with water and nutrients and then draining it of the water and nutrients, hence the name. This method is quite complex to set up and use so it might not be the easiest for beginners. 

Deep Water Culture – This is the most common hydroponic method. In this method, you will have to submerge the roots completely in the nutrient solution. The plants get water and nutrients from the solution. There is also an air pump that provides enough oxygen to prevent root rot.

The Deep Water Culture (DWC) system is the best system for hydroponic plants. It allows you to fit as many plants as you need in one reservoir. In addition, the plants would be able to grow larger and faster with this system ensuring for better profits while saving you the cost of production.

How Long Do Hot Peppers Take To Grow Hydroponically?

For most hot pepper varieties, the typical growing time is about 60 to 80 days depending on the species that you are growing.

You can actually grow your peppers a bit faster than average, by cutting down the germination time. 

If you’re able to reduce the 7-21 day germination period to no more than a week, this will take out two full weeks off the overall growing time.

To do this, you need to start the seeds in a miniature greenhouse, hothouse, or seed-starting system.

How to Grow Hydroponic Peppers?

You should have the hydroponics system set up before you start the planting process. Ensure you have the container, air pump, air stone, and net pots in place. Sticking with the DWC system ensures a higher chance of success, however, if you prefer the Kratky system, you should be able to get some good results. 

Step 1

Start by filling the hydroponics unit with water. Let the system sit for 2 or 3 days before you introduce the hot pepper. Remember to set the pepper properly in the net pots. After that, you can add the nutrients to the water.

When doing so, ensure you follow the instructions on the bottle. This will tell you the volume of water in the system that works well for a specific amount of nutrients.

Step 2

Take the hot pepper seedlings from their growing pot. Then dip the root all in a room-temperature bucket to water. This should loosen the soil around the plant roots. Ensure that you remove as much soil as you can from the roots without causing any damage.

You might want to leave a bit of soil on the roots when planting into the hydroponics system, but that’s not really necessary. When you’re ready to start planting, place the soilless hot pepper plant into a netted pot. Ensure that the pot contains a soilless hydroponics medium to support the plant as it would a substrate to grow.

Step 3 

Set the pepper plants deep into the hydroponics system and ensure the roots are touching the nutrient solution. If you’re growing more than one pepper plant, you should ensure that they are properly spaced. You would have to space the pots 9 inches apart in the hydroponics system. 

Step 4

To get the plants growing properly, you should get indoor grow lights and set them over the hydroponics system so that the bulb is about 8 inches above the top o the pepper plants.

Place a timer on the grow lights so that they remain on for about 12 hours a day. As the plants grow taller, you will have to raise the light to ensure that they maintain the same distance and do not burn the foliage.

Step 5

The water level in the hydroponics will drop as the plants grow taller. You need to monitor the water level and add more water to ensure there is enough water and nutrients in the system for proper growth.

Whenever your refresh the water or add more water to the resolve, you should add more nutrients to the system to ensure that the plants are taking adequate nutrients. Always read the package instructions when adding nutrients to the hydroponics system to ensure you’re adding the right amount of nutrients for the water in the system.

Step 6

When the plants grow to about 6 to 8 inches tall, you need to prune the pepper plants by pinching off several stem buds. Pruning 2 or 3 stem buds should get the plants should limit the branch growth and force the plant to direct its energy towards pepper production.

You will have to remove one or two buds from each pepper branch as they appear. This will increase the size of peppers on the remaining buds ensuring a better yield.

Step 7

As the buds open, you should shake the pepper plants 2 or 3 times a week. This helps with pollination and ensures a better yield. You can also place a fan near the hydroponics system. This mimics natural wind which helps with pollination.