How to Feed Flowering Chili Plants


Chili plants flower continuously from late spring through summer before setting their fruit. They are warm-season crops planted out only after the last frost, developing the first flush of ripe fruit roughly 75 days after planting. In most climes the plants will continue to produce until the first frost. The plants benefit from applications of organic or synthetic fertilizers to ensure vigorous growth and large harvests. They are moderate feeders, according to Clemson University, and should be fed at planting time and throughout the growing season with an alternating combination of low nitrogen and nitrogen-rich formulations.

Step 1

Scatter a low-nitrogen 5-10-10 complete fertilizer in the planting soil or alongside the flowering pepper plants when put into the ground. Use 1 1/2 pounds of fertilizer for every 50 square feet of pepper plants. Water in well.

Step 2

Feed with a small amount of pure nitrogen fertilizer, guaranteed analysis of 33-0-0, when the first set of immature peppers are visible and roughly the size of a small jelly bean. Cast 3 tbsps. of the fertilizer for every 10 feet of pepper plants over the strip of soil adjacent to the pepper plants. Water in well.

Step 3

Switch back to the low-nitrogen 5-10-10 fertilizer as the first set of peppers reach maturity. The low-nitrogen formulation will support flowering, the second fruit set and pepper development. Cast the fertilizer alongside the plants, again using 1 1/2 pounds for every 50 square feet of planting soil. Water in well until the fertilizer and surrounding soil are drenched.

Things You'll Need

  • 5-10-10 granular fertilizer
  • 33-0-0 granular fertilizer
  • Water


  • Purdue University: Chili Pepper
  • Clemson University Extension: Pepper
Keywords: growing chili peppers, chili pepper flowers, fertilizing chili plants

About this Author

An omni-curious communications professional, Dena Kane has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals, as well as film and broadcast media. Kane studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.