Hi there, for the first time I brought a few potted peppers inside for the winter and have just recently put them back outside. It’s a rooftop deck in downtown Toronto and they’re getting about 8 hours of full sun. They’re in regular potting soil in a 14” pot. I’ve been giving them pro mix fertilizer (20-8-8) weekly for about a month or two. The habanero looks healthy, lots of leaves and flowers and several peppers have formed but some are already starting to turn orange and are only the size of a raspberry. I’m wondering what I should be doing in terms of pruning, picking back flowers and fertilizing during the growing season. Thank you so much!
Below you will find the basic things you need when growing peppers in containers.
- Each plant should be in a 12 inch or bigger pot with drainage holes.
- Plants need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily.
- Potting soil should be a rich organic blend – not garden soil.
- Water each pot daily – once when the temperature around 18 degrees C, twice when the temperature gets to 25 degrees C or higher.
- Fertilizer in early growth can have a higher Nitrogen number (N) but this should be switched to one with higher Phosphorus & Potassium numbers (P-K) once the plants start to bloom. N encourages plant vegetative growth, whereas P & K encourage roots and fruit production. This can be done with either a water soluble feeding once a week or an application of a slow release feeding once a month.
- Peppers are generally self pollinating but if you’re too high up for insect pollination activity, giving each plant a gentle shake every day while it’s in flower should do the trick.
- Pruning is not necessary as your plant needs all its leaves to photosynthesize in order to have the energy to produce fruit.
You seem to be doing many things correctly so I would suggest changing your fertilizer to something with more P & K and less N. This should help with production of larger fruit. And as the weather warms up, make sure you keep them well watered.