For the lover of spicy food, there is no better pepper to grow than the habanero. Its spicy bite is not for everyone, but for those that enjoy that kick it sure is a good one! Today will look at growing habanero peppers indoors, perfect for growing during the winter or if outdoor space is limited. You can also do a hybrid, and bring these indoors during the winter for year round growing! You’ll love the spice these peppers can add to your meals year round!
Location & Container
Habaneros enjoy lots of direct sunlight, so make sure you pick a location that is going to provide adequate light. A large, south facing window is always a good choice, but anywhere sufficiently sunny will work also.
For the container, most pots or standard gardening containers will do the trick. I’m a big fan of standard clay pots, and once again they work well here. It’s important to note that habaneros like their soil to drain quickly, so choosing a pot that aids in that is important. Ensure proper drainage holes in your chosen container.
An important thing to keep in mind is that habaneros are generally warm weather plants. If you’re going to grow them indoors try to keep them in a location that stays warm. If you have an area near (not directly under!) a heating vent or unit that’s generally a good spot. This location will be a bit warmer and provide a better environment for your plant.
With soil, it’s important to use a variety that is well draining. Habaneros like large amounts of water that drains quickly. Use a soil with a large amount of organic material to improve drainage as well as provide nutrients to the plant.
Including an inch or two of small stones at the bottom of your container can also help promote proper drainage.
Habaneros need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day. Any less and you’ll end up with a sickly looking plant and less than impressive peppers.
Grow lights can be used if you lack a good location with enough sunlight. Buy a few lights and place them roughly 12 inches from the plant and run them a few hours a day to supplement the sunlight.
It’s also important to note that during the winter months the sunlight is frequently less intense. If you live in a seasonal locatio, try and get an extra 1-2 hours of sunlight per day for your peppers to ensure proper growth.
When watering, provide a a good amount of water to thoroughly soak the soil, then wait until it is completely dry before watering again. Giving a week between waterings is generally good. Keep in mind during the winter however humidity is often lower and water will naturally evaporate slower. During these times, check the plant and don’t be afraid to hold off an extra couple of days before watering.
During the summer, you may also want to lightly mist the plants every couple of days. If you’ve brought them outside, and you live in a particularly hot environment this is important to ensure the plants don’t prematurely dry out. It also helps prevent overwatering as you can allow extra time for the previous water to drain while still keeping the plant healthy.
Habaneros can be picked once they are firm and green. You can also wait until later in the season when they will take on an orange to red tone. Either way the peppers will be perfectly good eat.
If you’re growing outdoors during the summer, make sure to pick all your peppers before the cool temperatures arrive. This is also a good time to pick them when growing indoors as well, as it helps keeps the plant’s natural rhythms.
If you’re growing your plant outdoors it’s possible to bring them indoors during the winter. This will greatly increase the amount of peppers you can harvest in the coming year as it will already be in a mature state to produce peppers at the onset of summer. Be aware though, your plant will likely not produce peppers during the winter as the lighting and temperature is not enough in most houses to do so. You can provide this environment, but likely comes with setting up a dedicated grow room with lights and temperature control. This is out of scope for most people, so this will just look at keeping the plant alive during the winter months.
The first step is to carefully uproot your plant and move it to an appropriate sized pot. Make sure to use something well draining to prevent root rot. Before brining it inside, make sure to spray it down and check for pests to prevent brining them into your home.
During the winter, you’ll likely need to water the plant less. It’s growth will be less in the winter, and therefore it needs less water. If you notice the leaves start to wilt you can water more, but if it looks healthy you’re probably fine. Err on the side of less water as the plant will survive a small drought, but will quickly succumb to overwatering.
After winter, wait until the last frost has passed before moving the plant back outside. Once you do, it should start to produce peppers again fairly quickly. Doing this process you can keep a single plant alive for many years.
Growing Habanero Peppers Indoors
Nothing beats the spice of a habanero, and if you’re a spicy food love you’ll absolutely love having these on hand year round. While typically grown outdoors, we’ve shown how you can grow your very own peppers indoors!
Get started with Habanero seeds: