container gardening

size does matter

peppers in pots

Two of the same variety of hot pepper – Chinese Ornamental – were seeded indoors at the same time, watered the same, exposed to the same lights and sunlight, potted into containers for deck-top gardening at the same time, and…… one is way bigger. The photo above shows these two pepper plants. The only difference in their treatment to date has been the size of container. And, honestly, there’s only ONE plant in the large container.

I have many peppers in pots of various sizes on my deck. Partly because I could NOT compost them, and partly because I wanted to plant them in various sized pots to see what would happen. Well. It seems pretty obvious to me that if you want a prolific plant you should give it lots of root room. The large container is probably a 3-4 gallon size, and the smaller one is maybe a half gallon. Way too small. Unless you want to grow a fairy garden of course. Those are pretty cute, if you’re into that sort of thing.

If you want lots of hot peppers, though, you’ll want to give your peppers some root space. I’ve also found that the bell peppers I planted with tomatoes and basil didn’t really appreciate it. No peppers on those plants, even though the pot is very large. However, the hot peppers I planted 3 in a container (Black Hungarian, Variegated Fish, Chinese Ornamental) seem to be enjoying the company and are producing moderately well.

Peppers are one of the few things that do well in pots. They enjoy the extra warmth to their root zones that the exposure provides, as long as they are watered well enough. If your garden is getting seemingly smaller every year because of how many new things you want to try, then consider growing peppers in pots. Just make sure the pots are large enough and you’re good to go.