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Old 02-27-2019, 12:26 AM   #1
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Is it practical to grow hot peppers indoors on limited budget?


Hello,

Does anyone here know about growing fruit bearing hot pepper plants entirely indoors?

If they're small plants, can they do okay on an east window sill in southern ontario (similar northeast us)?

I read that they need a lot of light to produce but am on a limited budget. I can't buy expensive lights or rack up high electric bills and even if I could, it wouldn't be worth the cost.

Thinking of using a 5000k 20w full spectrum cfl (already have it) or 13w plant led (https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.6...001102345.html) in a desk lamp on a timer.

I figure east sun would provide 3 to 5 hours of intense direct light and I would supplement use artificial from like 1 to 6pm when the window doesn't get any sun.

Lit area would be like 2 sq ft, maybe 4 small plants.

Growing season likely from may to october.

Does this sound worth while? Would they get enough light with this setup?
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Old 02-27-2019, 04:54 AM   #2
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Re: Is it practical to grow hot peppers indoors on limited budget?


You'll need to seed the plants much earlier in order to take full advantage of the normal growing season, but it is entirely feasible. I grow most of my peppers in large pots on the back porch, even though I have a rather large garden site. The items I use to cook with like spices, etc. are readily available without having to walk 200 yards to harvest. Even at their twilight of growing, my wife takes them to the basement where they still get east sunlight and they produce limitedly, but keep on until they die.

One thing to remember, don't grow hot peppers and mild peppers within 100 feet of each other or they will cross pollinate and you'll be guessing which one is hot and which one is mild. Most times if a pepper grows in the down position it is mild and if they grow pointed up, they are hotter.
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Old 02-27-2019, 08:28 AM   #3
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Re: Is it practical to grow hot peppers indoors on limited budget?


I doubt the full spectrum bulb would be of much use and I think you would more than one of the LED plant bulbs as well. Also, peppers need lots of heat. They may get sun in the window but unless it's a bay window that you can seal off and allow it to get to 90 degF on sunny days, you won't get many peppers.
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Old 02-27-2019, 11:26 AM   #4
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Re: Is it practical to grow hot peppers indoors on limited budget?


The room temp can range from 70 to 80 in the summer depending on the weather. Outside the highs range from 68 to 95 - mostly like 80 and people seem to grow them outside fine.

Doing something sealed doesn't seem practical. Would need a very small aquarium or something with breathing holes so the plants can get co2. My ledge is under 1 foot.

The full spectrum cfl i thought would be better than a regular one, having more red vs just mostly blue/green.

For heat i guess incandescent would be the way to go but they're too expensive to run.

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You'll need to seed the plants much earlier in order to take full advantage of the normal growing season, but it is entirely feasible.
I would probably get the pre-seeded plants.
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Old 02-27-2019, 11:41 AM   #5
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Re: Is it practical to grow hot peppers indoors on limited budget?


Not sure which bulb you are talking about but I don't think either are going to be bright enough for more than 1-2 plants.
What you really need is something like this:
https://www.amazon.com/Lights-Spectr...ag=googhydr-20
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Old 02-27-2019, 11:50 AM   #6
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Re: Is it practical to grow hot peppers indoors on limited budget?


Even if it's for supplemental use and they'll get east sun?

the cfl is one of these-> http://www.bulbscanada.com/index.php...roduct_id=1269
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Old 02-27-2019, 12:08 PM   #7
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Re: Is it practical to grow hot peppers indoors on limited budget?


The 5000K bulb would definitely not be much use. The other one would do some good because it puts all its power into colors the plant uses.
Not going to say it won't work but growing full sun plants indoors is not ideal.
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Old 02-27-2019, 07:04 PM   #8
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Re: Is it practical to grow hot peppers indoors on limited budget?


looks like at a minimum a screw in grow-light will be required. i'm not going to spend the $$$ on something fancy - guess it'll have to shine over a very small area.
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Old 02-27-2019, 07:09 PM   #9
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Re: Is it practical to grow hot peppers indoors on limited budget?


is this too cheap to be decent?

https://www.amazon.com/Osunby-Growin...ateway&sr=8-14
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Old 02-28-2019, 08:05 AM   #10
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Re: Is it practical to grow hot peppers indoors on limited budget?


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It looks cheap. The worst part is that it is only 15 Watts. That's only 2W more than the screw in bulb you mentioned earlier. Hard to tell about these cheap things from China.
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Old 03-06-2019, 12:00 PM   #11
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Re: Is it practical to grow hot peppers indoors on limited budget?


@user_12345a , you have a bit of a challenge, and it sounds like you'll have an easier time just buying some hot pepper from, say, an Indian store.

But, life isn't about being easy, is it?

So . . .

I have a similar situation; I raise (or try to raise) palms from seed in California. While California gets nice and warm in the summer, it's cold in the winter and my house is as drafty as a barn. Net result is that without extra heat, heat loving plants tend to give up, at least till spring comes o'er the lea.

Hot peppers do best with plenty of heat, but they can take cool, as well. Maybe do a little seed shopping and see if you can find extra early varieties of hot pepper. Many of the common ones you get from the store will be from warmer regions, but, for fun, try them, too. (And let us know how they grow and add to the general body of knowledge!) And, I ran across this, from Minnesota. https://extension.umn.edu/vegetables...s-home-gardens

My experience has been that the best thing is to find a way to make the most of the heat you have, and find a way to give just a bit of supplemental heat, preferably from below. That works much better than trying to use bulbs, in my experience. You can get heating pads, or cables for relatively reasonably prices; combined with some enclosure in the winter that could make a difference.

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Old 03-06-2019, 03:43 PM   #12
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Re: Is it practical to grow hot peppers indoors on limited budget?


Quote:
Does anyone here know about growing fruit bearing hot pepper plants entirely indoors?
If they're small plants, can they do okay on an east window sill in southern ontario (similar northeast us)?
I donít know of any small plant pepper that is good for cooking/eating. Small plant peppers exist, but they are generally considered ornamental.

You mentioned 4 plants in a 2 square ft area. You can definitely start them in that. But as they grow you will need more space. Somewhere around 2-2.5 sq ft per plant.
Pick some of the peppers you like and look up the suggested spacing.

Peppers do best if you support/tie them up similar to tomato plants.
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Old 03-06-2019, 03:58 PM   #13
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Re: Is it practical to grow hot peppers indoors on limited budget?


@Oso954 's comment gives a nice thought: ornamental peppers are usually hot, sometimes very hot, and they don't take much space, like maybe 6" tall. It's possible that a plant you buy might have been treated with bug killer, but save the seeds and grow your own. They'll fit much better in a limited space than, say, jalapenos do.
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Old 03-12-2019, 09:39 PM   #14
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Re: Is it practical to grow hot peppers indoors on limited budget?


i'll experiment in a couple of months.
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Old 03-16-2019, 08:46 PM   #15
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Re: Is it practical to grow hot peppers indoors on limited budget?


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i'll experiment in a couple of months.
Let us know how it goes, and add to the body of knowledge we all share.
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