Do you want to start growing chili peppers with hydroponics? I am going to be growing chili peppers in my AeroGarden Harvest and sharing my results.
Here is what they will look like once they are growing.
I just bought the AeroGarden Spicy Chili Pepper Seed Pod Kit. It contains 9 pods and a bottle of their nutrients.
But right now they look like the picture below. No comparison right now but give it some time and I will get there. And you can too.
There are 3 of each chili pepper variety and they are Mini Jalapeno, Fire Red, and Purple Super Hots.
The Scoville Heat Unit is a measurement of capsaicin which is the stuff that makes peppers hot. So Jalapenos rate between 2,500 – 8,000, the Red Thai Peppers between 40,000 – 50,000, and Purple Super Hots between 140,000 160,000 heat units.
I like Jalapenos and I think they are plenty hot enough for me so call me a wimp but I will probably give away the Fire Red and Purple Super Hot pepper to braver friends.
But growing these different peppers will be fun even if I don’t eat all of them.
Not to mention the look on someone’s face when they bite into one.
Growing Chili Peppers In An AeroGarden Harvest
So there are nine pods but my AeroGarden Harvest only has 6 holes. So I put in 2 of each variety and saved the rest for later.
I can’t keep all six in there indefinitely though. There should only be two or 3 at most.
Planting Chili Peppers In An AeroGarden
Planting chili peppers in an AeroGarden could not be easier. The pods are pre-seeded. All you need to do is fill the AeroGarden with water, add nutrients and drop the pods in the holes.
Cover the pods with plastic covers and wait for the seeds to sprout. It will take 7-14 days for the seeds to sprout.
After they are up remove the plastic covers. You will probably have more than one plant in each pod.
Leave the strongest one and carefully remove the rest. This can be hard to do. You really want only one healthy plant per pod.
You might be able to use the extra plants for clones if you wait until they are about 6 inches tall before cutting them down.
DWC Hot Peppers My Plan For The Extras
My plan is to set the extra plants in another container. I have a 10-gallon DWC tote with lettuce in it.
But it will be empty by the time I need to transplant so I will be growing DWC hot peppers in that.
Cloning Chili Peppers
There are multiple seeds in each pod and eventually, I will need to reduce them to one plant per pod
In addition, each remaining plant will need to be topped. I am going to clone all these cuttings.
So once they root I will set some of them in my outdoor container garden or my DWC system.
How To Clone Chili Peppers
Chili peppers can be cloned easily so you only have to grow from seed once to keep growing them.
After cutting the starts you want to place the ends in water immediately. That will prevent air from entering the cut end.
If you don’t your cuttings can get an air embolism. Trapped air prevents plants from taking up water which can cause severe wilting.
Sometimes clones recover from this and sometimes not. If you do this right you should not see much wilting.
Remove any leaves lower down the stem but leave the ones on top.
You will want to dip the ends of your peppers in rooting powder and set them into rapid rooters, rockwool, or jiffy pellets.
Make sure the stems fit tightly into your rooting media. If not make your own smaller hole with a small screwdriver, nail, or another tool.
Put them in a seed flat with a clone dome. Cover them and wait for roots to appear. Usually, this can take 7-14 days.
Chili Peppers are also perennial and you can keep any pepper plant for years if it is kept healthy. And you can take clones from it too.
Pruning Chili Peppers In An AeroGarden
Because hot pepper plants can get tall you will need to prune your plants to keep them shorter.
The idea is to promote a wider more bushy plant. In my AeroGarden Harvest, the light only goes up to 12 inches.
It goes higher in the AeroGarden Bounty and it is actually a better choice for peppers or tomatoes.
If you want larger plants or more production for your family and want to prune less I would take a look at the AeroGarden Farm.
How To Prune AeroGarden Peppers
The first thing you should do when growing chili peppers is removing leaves at the very bottom of your plants.
These will suck energy away from your peppers higher up in the plant.
Remove the tops of your plants when they are about 6 inches in height. This will help them branch out and stimulate lower bud sites.
Ideally, you should be developing a wye-shaped plant with multiple branching.
You can also pinch the ends off of long branches to encourage side branching. Don’t overdo it. Never cut back more than 1/3 of the plant at one time.
I know it’s hard to do because you want to be growing chili peppers and not picking off future peppers.
But remove the first bunch of flowers you see. You want your pepper to get some size before it fruits. Leaving them on might stunt the plant.
Pepper Seeds Are Spouting Day 10
It has been 10 days since I dropped my chili pepper seedpods into my AeroGarden. In my experience, pepper seeds germinate slower than other vegetable seeds.
I can see them sprouting under their domes and starting to see some green leaves on some. It won’t be long before I can take off the domes.
Growing Chili Peppers In An AeroGarden Harvest Month 1
It has taken a month for some chili peppers to really start growing. Peppers are slow to germinate and slow-growing at first, especially when compared to tomatoes.
Germination has varied. I have one jalapeno that is doing well and the other has really just started growing.
The Purple Super Hots are both doing great at this point.
My red Thai peppers did not do anything and I just replanted with a new pod. These seeds might not have a good germination rate.
What I am seeing is that the pepper seeds are right on top of the sponge. They germinate but some do not root into the sponge.
I am a bit disappointed because with what you pay for a preseeded pod you would expect them all to grow.
So it doesn’t look like I will have any red fire Thai peppers. I planted all 3 pods I had with no germination. Very disappointing.
The purple super hot peppers are doing much better, I got a healthy plant from both pods and was able to take a cutting to root.
They are showing buds getting ready to flower. So soon there will be hot peppers.
One jalapeno pepper is also doing very well and the other pod really sprouted later and is pretty small.
But the larger jalapeno has very large leaves and is touching the light. So I will be pruning it and taking another cutting to root.
How To Clone Chili Peppers In An AeroGarden
In this video, I show you how to clone chili peppers in 2 different ways.
One way involves using a root riot inserted into the lid on my AeroGarden Harvest.
The second method shows how to root clones in coco coir. I get really good results this way even without using a clone dome.
Growing Chili Peppers In An AeroGarden Harvest An Update
I harvested my chili peppers but they are perennial plants. So you can keep growing chili peppers from the same plant if you want.
So I cut them back. One was cut basically to the ground. But it started growing again. The jalapeno pepper was cut to a stem and it is actually growing and has flowers again.
If you need to control height you can crush and bend stems down to spread them out instead of cutting off branches. I use small vise grips with padding on the tips to do this in the video below.