How to Grow a Chili Plant Indoors


Chili (Capsicum annuum) plants can be grown indoors as a colorful houseplant and for a year-round harvest of pungent, spicy peppers. Chili peppers are known for their hot spicy taste, which varies according to the different peppers, ranging from mild to very hot, depending on the variety. All varieties of chili peppers can be grown indoors successfully, and the most popular types are jalapeno, red cherry, habanero and poblano.

Step 1

Fill a seed tray with drainage holes full of potting soil. Water the soil well so it is moist throughout.

Step 2

Scatter chili pepper seeds over the top of the moistened soil and cover lightly with about 1/4 inch of soil; do not pat down. Spray the newly planted seeds gently with water just to moisten and set the seed tray in a sunny location. Keep the seeds moist by spraying each day with water. Do not let the soil dry out completely.

Step 3

Transplant the seedlings when they are about 2 to 3 inches tall and have two to three leaves. This usually takes place 10 to 14 days after planting the seeds.

Step 4

Fill a five-gallon container with potting soil to within 1 inch of the rim. Dig a hole that is about twice the size of the seedling's roots. Only place one to two plants per container, so they do not get overcrowded.

Step 5

Plant the seedling in the hole so the first set of leaves is directly above the the soil's surface. Cover with soil and gently firm over.

Step 6

Water well after planting to soak the soil. Keep watered once a day so the soil stays moist, but not soggy. Place a water tray under the container to catch any water that leaks out the bottom, or water the seedlings outside.

Step 7

Set the container in front of a south-facing window to give it plenty of sun all day. Pepper plants also like moderate humidity so the container can be set on a water tray filled with pebbles and water. Keep the temperature around 65 to 75 degrees F during the day and about 10 degrees cooler at night.

Step 8

Feed chili pepper plants with a water-soluble fertilizer, 10-20-10, beginning about two weeks after transplanting the seedlings. Fertilize every couple of weeks to encourage abundant fruiting and healthy roots.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not water chili pepper plants overhead to keep the foliage from getting wet. Do not let the bottom of the container sit in water or the roots will become waterlogged and develop root rot.

Things You'll Need

  • Chili pepper seeds
  • Seed tray
  • Potting soil
  • Spray bottle of water
  • 5-gallon container
  • Fertilizer


  • Chile Pepper Institute: Growing Chile Pepper Plants Indoors
  • Agri Life Extension: Vegetable Gardening In Containers
Keywords: grow indoor chilis, grow chili plants, indoor chili plants

About this Author

Amy Madtson resides in southern Oregon and has been writing for Demand Studios since 2008, focusing on health and gardening for websites such as eHow and GardenGuides. Madtson has an Associate of Arts in business from Peninsula College in Port Angeles, Washington. She holds a childbirth educator certification and a one-year midwifery completion certificate.