Depending on the variety, hot pepper plants reach heights of between 40 and 100 cm. Most of the species grown in the home garden are low and bushy. The plant forms numerous thin branches that are slightly woody at the base. Fleshy fruits of different lengths, thin, thick or round develop from their flowers. These can be green, red, yellow or orange in color. They appear very plentiful and can then be used to season a wide variety of dishes, both fresh and in dried form. Most fruits are hot when they are still green. They reach their final sharpness when they are fully ripe.


Young plants are available from garden shops around February / March. You can also grow the plants yourself from appropriate seeds. Both self-grown and purchased young plants can be planted outdoors after the Ice Saints, i.e. after May 15th. The prerequisite for this is that night frosts are no longer to be expected, as the plants are very sensitive to frost. The temperatures should no longer drop below 5 degrees at night.

Growing in a greenhouse is most beneficial, but cultivation outdoors is also possible. But then you should pay attention to a sunny and sheltered location. A protected space in front of the south wall of a building, which not only protects against rain but also stores heat, would be ideal.

To protect against weeds and dehydration, it is advisable to use mulch film when planting. The floor can also warm up well under this film. The area in question is first cleared of all weeds and loosened up well. Then you cover the earth with this mulch film.

Where the plants are supposed to stand, slots are cut in the foil, into which the plants are then inserted, as deep as they were previously in the pot. Distances between the individual plants should be between 40 and 50 cm and between the rows of 50-60 cm. When planting, it is advisable to provide the plants with a support so that they do not bend over so easily in the wind. Now the whole thing is poured on well.

Planting can also be done without mulch film, however, then regular weeding is the order of the day. Planting in flower pots on the balcony in commercially available vegetable soil is also possible. Once the plants have grown well and the first flower forms at some point, the so-called royal flower, this should be carefully broken out. This leads to a bushier growth and much higher yields. The royal flower forms in the fork between the first side branch and the main branch.

Location and substrate

  • The optimal location for hot peppers should be light, sunny and airy.
  • However, drafts should be avoided.
  • If the location is too dark, the leaves wither and fall off prematurely.
  • The formation of both flowers and fruits does not occur.
  • Moist, nutrient-rich garden soil is suitable as a substrate.
  • This should be enriched with horn meal and compost before planting.
  • Peppers prefer slightly acidic to neutral soils.
  • A pH value between 0.3 and 4.6 is also well tolerated.
  • Too high a pH value would cause the leaf edges to turn yellow.
  • The plants would only grow slightly.

Watering and fertilizing

According to the very high water requirement, hot peppers should be watered regularly and abundantly. The root ball should always be moist. Despite everything, waterlogging should be avoided.

When watering you should make sure that you only water on the root area and not on the leaves. As with tomatoes, paprika or pepper plants should also be protected from rain, for example with translucent film.
It is fertilized every two weeks with an organic vegetable fertilizer. The respective fertilizer should mainly contain phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium. A very good fertilizer is nettle manure, which you can easily make yourself, provided you have enough nettles in the garden. Commercially available vegetable or tomato fertilizers are also suitable. When the first flowers appear, fertilizing should be stopped.


Propagation by sowing
In the house, on the windowsill, you can prefer chili peppers from January. Corresponding seeds can be obtained from your own harvest from the previous year or purchased. However, you should make sure that the seeds are not older than three years.

A suitable sowing container (indoor greenhouse) is filled with sowing soil for sowing. The seeds are then placed in this substrate and about 0.5 to 1 cm covered with substrate.

Then the substrate is moistened, if possible with a fine shower head, covered with cling film and placed in a bright place between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius. In order to prevent the substrate from going moldy, the film should be removed briefly from time to time and the whole thing should be well ventilated. The first seedlings will appear after about 15-20 days.
As soon as the young plants have formed at least three leaves, they can be pricked out individually in small pots or separated. They stay there until mid-May, until they are planted out in the garden. If necessary, hot peppers can be sown in the greenhouse from mid-February, provided that the soil temperature is above 20 degrees.

Propagation by cuttings

  • To propagate cuttings, cuttings are cut in summer.
  • These should be around 5-10 cm tall.
  • Then most of the leaves are removed.
  • Now the cuttings are put into potting soil.
  • The floor temperature should be around 25 degrees.
  • Finally pour the whole thing over and keep it moist.

To harvest

Hot peppers can usually be harvested from August to the end of October. They can be harvested while they are still green or fully ripe, depending on the type, as red or yellow peppers. The longer the peppers ripen, the more intense the taste or degree of spiciness. As a result, every hobby gardener decides for himself when he wants to harvest the hot fruits.

Depending on the weather, however, it can happen that fruits cultivated outdoors do not ripen early enough. It is therefore advisable, if possible, to bring the plants into the house from the middle or the end of September and to continue cultivating them in a bright and warm place, for example on the windowsill. This allows the fruits to fully ripen and finally be harvested.


While some species of hot peppers are annual, most are perennial, provided that wintering is appropriate. These plants can be damaged at temperatures below 5 degrees. Plants that have been grown outdoors in pots should therefore be brought indoors in good time.

Peperoni plants that have been planted directly in the garden and are to be overwintered must be carefully dug up when the outside temperature is appropriate, planted in a suitable planter and also brought inside.
Before you bring the plants indoors, you should definitely check them for possible pest infestation. If an infestation is found, the plant in question should be placed separately and the infestation treated accordingly to prevent it from spreading. The sprays used should definitely be approved for indoor use.

During the wintering, the plants should then stand lightly so that possible fruits can still ripen and as cool as possible, at temperatures around 10 degrees. Warmer temperatures can lead to aphid infestation. What should also be avoided is drafts. Sufficient humidity is also important in winter quarters. Accordingly, it is advisable to spray the plants with water from time to time.

Water is very sparse in winter, but in spite of everything, it is poured regularly. In February, the plants are then cut back vigorously and potted in fresh soil. As a rule, it is sufficient if the side branches are about 3 cm long after the pruning. After pruning, the plants can be warmed up and watered a little more. Then they sprout again relatively quickly. They can then go outside from mid-May, as soon as night frosts are no longer to be expected.


Hot peppers are often referred to as, or confused with, chilli. Chilies and hot peppers differed in both shape and color. The so-called capsaicin is responsible for the spiciness of the fruits, the concentration of which can vary from variety to variety but also from plant to plant. The white seeds inside the pods and the seed septum are the real agitators and should always be removed. The degree of sharpness is given in Scoville.

The difference between hot peppers and chilli can also be seen in the spices that are made from them. While chilli spices and cayenne pepper are made from chilli peppers, hot peppers are the basis for mild, noble sweet, mildly piquant or hot paprika powder.

Popular varieties

  • ‘Thai Yellow’ – This variety is very productive. The up to 10 cm long yellow fruits are fiery hot and aromatic. They can be dried at room temperature.
  • ‘Türkenkugel’ – The fruits of this extraordinary variety are not elongated, but round, the size of a cherry to mirabelle, red and thick-walled. They are medium hot and at the same time sweet and aromatic.
  • ‘Joe’s Long’ – This high-yielding variety produces the longest fruits in the world. These are up to 30 cm long, red and spicy and hot. The plants grow up to a meter tall and are very decorative.
  • ‘Lombardo’ – The ‘Lombardo’ variety is very suitable for keeping in pots. The thin-walled, slightly twisted fruits are initially green, later yellow-green and red when fully ripe. The taste of this high-yielding variety is mildly spicy.
  • ‘Orange Thai’ – The fruits of this extremely high-yielding variety are orange in color, thin and about 6 cm long and are very suitable for drying. The taste is fiery, sharp and aromatic. The plants reach heights of up to 1 m.
  • ‘Elefantenrüssel’ – The variety ‘Elefantenrüssel’ is also very productive and also suitable for outdoor cultivation. The initially green fruits are bright yellow, thin and between 8 and 15 cm long when fully ripe. The taste is medium hot.
  • ‘Georgia White Pepper’ – The ‘Georgia White Pepper’ variety is a very early and high-yielding variety. It is basically a white pepper variety, but it is also available with yellow and red fruits. The sharpness of the fruit is still bearable.

The pepperoni is a spice paprika that is used to season many dishes. There are numerous varieties in the most varied of shapes, colors and flavors or degrees of spiciness. They are relatively easy to care for and, depending on the variety and under optimal conditions, can live for many years and produce many aromatic fruits.

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