How to fertilize pepper plants is a process that should be done properly so that they can grow healthily and produce quality fruits. Before selecting the type of fertilizer you want to use, you should check the type of soil you are growing on.
Before making any amendments, you should get the soil tested to know the nutrient content and balance. If you want to learn how to fertilize your pepper plant, even if you are growing bell peppers, see more details in this article.
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How to Fertilize Pepper Plants For Better Growth?
To fertilize pepper plants for better growth, you must first know the right fertilizer they need, and be specific about the timing. Then, you can place the seedling’s requirement and use Epsom salt spray. Make sure to dilute it when necessary, and you can also apply natural plant food.
Fertilizing peppers should be balanced so that your pepper plants will not be nutrient-starved or overfed. This means that you should not just apply any type of fertilizer that you can find to the plants, as you may risk losing them. Growing peppers can be a nightmare if you use the wrong type of feed. Remember, this process makes them immune to infections and supports healthy foliage development as well as fruit production.
– Choosee the Right Fertilizer
After testing the nutrient content and soil pH in the growing medium, you should know which fertilizer to give your plants. For example, if the soil’s phosphorus content is enough for pepper plant cultivation, you should use a low or no-phosphorus fertilizer, as in this case, the same also applies to other nutrients like nitrogen for better growth.
If you look at the fertilizer packaging label, it has an “NPK” rating for instance, 5-10-10. This shows how much of each nutrient the fertilizer has. Pepper plants also need the services of secondary nutrients, which are not present both in the soil and fertilizer.
Before planting pepper plants, you should use compost or general organic pepper fertilizer to broadcast the soil, and together with this you can ensure that there is enough nitrogen content in the feeds to support optimal plant development.
In addition to the pre-planting broadcast, you should add around 30 percent of nitrogen to the soil. This amount of nitrogen stimulates stem and foliage development, making the pepper plants big and strong enough to support massive fruit production.
– Being Specific on The Timing
Fertilizing should also be done two weeks after planting when the peppers have established themselves. This prepares the plants for flowering and fruit production, but do notice, that as the harvesting period draws nearer, that is when you should apply the last dose of fertilizer.
Pepper plant fertilizing frequencies may also vary depending on the type and intensity of irrigation concerned. Too much watering means the soil’s nutrients will be washed away constantly, and in such a matter, this issue mainly applies to plants grown on open ground that is exposed to rain. However, potted plants and those grown in greenhouses can be managed easily, making their fertilizing needs comprehensive.
– Place the Seedlings’ Requirement
Amazingly, pepper seeds have adequate energy in their early stages of germination and can propel them until the embryonic leaves show up. Once the first set of leaves appears, regular feeding becomes necessary. The pepper seedlings should take around two weeks to have the first set of true leaves.
Once you see your plant’s first set of true leaves, you should use a diluted fish and seaweed fertilizer to feed them. Any other leaf growth-stimulating water-soluble fertilizer that is diluted to one-quarter of the strength is also welcome. Carefully read the instructions on the fertilizer package to know what is meant by the term one-quarter strength measurement. Get the correct amount of water and add the prescribed one-quarter of fertilizer.
Now, gently pour the mixture into the pepper plant tray such that the young seedlings will begin to soak up the nutrient-filled water from below. The top of the soil or any other growing media used should turn darker if the seedlings are properly irrigated; on the other hand, if there is any leftover water lying idle in the tray, you should remove it. Make sure that you stick to this fertilizing routine weekly unless there are different instructions on the package.
– Use Epsom Salt Spray
Epsom salt spray is suitable for pepper plants with three to four leaf sets; on this matter, magnesium sulfate is sprayed directly on the stems and leaves of chili plants. This method of fertilizing is commonly known as foliar feeding, and it enhances strong growth, healthy foliage, and nutrient uptake.
Epsom salt foliar spray is the best homemade fertilizer for pepper plants which can be created by mixing one teaspoon of Epsom salt and a gallon of water. Pour this mixture into a spray can or bottle and thoroughly spray it on the stems and leaves of your plants. If grow lights are on, you should not spray this solution as it dulls the bulbs. In addition, remember how Epsom salt containing bath crystals and scents is harmful to plants.
Closely monitor the pepper plants after spraying them until the next day to ensure they do not show signs of stress. If they do not negatively respond to the fertilizing session, you can repeat this process once every other week. Kindly note that if your plants exhibit yellow or light green leaves, they might be lacking magnesium. Spraying Epsom salt can be the solution in this scenario, and the plant will be happily thriving.
– Dilute When Necessary
Young pepper plants are grown in smaller pots and should be moved into larger containers as they grow. After transplanting pepper plants into much larger pots, you should start fertilizing them even more. It is best that you go ahead and use half-strength fertilizer, especially on outdoor potted plants.
You should follow the guidelines on the fertilizer package to know what is meant by half dosage for the particular feeds.
Only potted pepper plants should be fed with a half-strength dosage. You can apply a full dosage if you are growing them directly on the ground. However, you should be careful not to burn your plants when applying fertilizer. The key notion here is that the burns appear as brown spots on the leaves’ outer edges, be mindful that it is very rare to find burns being caused by lightweight feeds like fish emulsion.
– Apply Natural Plant Food
Pepper and Herb Fertilizer 11-11-40 Plus Micro Nutrients is the best fertilizer for pepper in pots or ground, and be specific because it is essential when fertilizing peppers for maximum yield.
In addition to this matter, you must also ensure that calcium-rich supplements are made available to the plants to strengthen the cell walls and membranes of fruits. It is very important that you would check the signs to see if it’s too much, as a common sign that chili plants lack calcium is blossom end rot.
Calcium sources like Cal-Mag and bone meal should be applied to avoid blossom end rot. The application should be made in accordance with the guidelines stated on the packaging label.
You can purchase a down to earth fish bone meal, jobes bone meal, espoma bone meal, bone meal 3-15-0 plus 24% calcium, or Burpee organic bone meal fertilizer from the nearest gardening suppliers. In certain instances, a poorly fed hot pepper may not be giving out the expected heat due to poor growing conditions.
Additionally, if you notice bubbly or crinkled leaves on your peppers, they are probably suffering from a calcium deficiency. Applying calcium-rich supplements to the potting soil or growing media once a month to your peppers will be sufficient to help them flourish.
Planting peppers and fertilizing them well are some of the major tasks for gardeners who love growing this plant as below are important captions for this guide:
- Before selecting the type of fertilizer you want to use, you should check the soil you are growing pepper plants on.
- When pepper plants are still seedlings and you notice the first set of leaves appear, regular feeding becomes necessary.
- Pepper fertilizers may need additional minerals and nutrients like calcium and Magnesium to help the plants to complete their lifecycle successfully.
- Epsom salt spray is suitable for pepper plants with three to four leaf sets.
- Fertilizing should also be done two weeks after planting when the peppers have established themselves.
You do not have to worry about pepper plant fertilizer costs as you can use homemade fertilizers that are organic, and compost to boost your harvest.