How to Feed Hot Pepper Plants


Hot peppers include varieties such as habanero and jalapeño. These sun-loving, summer vegetables are prized for their spicy flavor that ranges from mild to quite hot. There are many varieties to choose from, ensuring that there is a type that can be grown in most any climate. Proper fertilization of hot pepper plants is necessary to encourage healthy plants and abundant fruiting. Feeding the peppers begins from the time you prepare the garden bed until they begin producing the blossoms that will later lead to pepper fruit.

Step 1

Prepare a well-draining garden bed in full sun prior to transplanting the hot peppers into the garden. Apply 2 to 3 pounds of 5-10-5 analysis fertilizer per every 100 square feet of garden bed and work it into the soil with a hoe.

Step 2

Transplant the hot peppers to the garden, planting them at the same depth they are at in their nursery pots. Follow label instructions for plant spacing.

Step 3

Dissolve 2 tablespoons of all-purpose, complete fertilizer in 1 gallon of water. Water the newly planted peppers with 2 cups of the fertilizer water to ensure the roots are in contact with the soil and so they can begin absorbing the nutrients.

Step 4

Fertilize the hot peppers again once they begin producing blossoms. Work 1 teaspoon of 5-10-10 fertilizer into the soil 6 inches away from the plant stem. This prevents the fertilizer from coming into direct contact with the roots, where it may burn or damage them.

Tips and Warnings

  • Mist the plants with water after fertilizing to ensure no fertilizer residue is on the leaves. This prevents burning and damage to the plant.

Things You'll Need

  • 5-10-5 fertilizer
  • Hoe
  • All-purpose fertilizer
  • 5-10-10 fertilizer


  • University of Minnesota Extension: Growing Peppers
  • Iowa State University Extension: Growing Peppers
Keywords: feeding hot peppers, fertilizing pepper plants, vegetable garden fertilization

About this Author

Jenny Harrington is a freelance writer of more than five years' experience. Her work has appeared in "Dollar Stretcher" and various blogs. Previously, she owned her own business for four years, selling handmade items online, wholesale and via the crafts fair circuit. Her specialties are small business, crafting, decorating and gardening.