How to Care for a Cayenne Plant

Overview

Cayenne peppers are a variety of hot pepper and normally used to spice up recipes. They are grown like most other peppers in the garden and picked when they turn red in color. Peppers are not a high-maintenance plant as long as they are planted with enough space between them to provide proper ventilation and given enough water. Because cayenne peppers are actually perennials, many people grow them in containers as houseplants. Cayenne plants may be poisonous, though, so read the labels carefully and keep the plants away from children and pets.

Step 1

Thin cayenne plants out to one every 2 feet to give them proper ventilation. The foliage will grow as the plants mature and if they are too close they may develop mildew problems.

Step 2

Water the pepper plants to keep the soil moist. Keep the water under the foliage or do the watering early in the morning so the plant has time to dry. Once the peppers start to grow, be careful not to allow the soil to dry out or the peppers may fall off the plant prematurely.

Step 3

Cultivate the soil between the plants to keep the weeds from taking the water and nutrition from the plants. It is best to pick the weeds by hand so as not to disturb the pepper plants roots, but you may use a hoe if you are very careful to stay shallow.

Step 4

Apply a fertilizer made for vegetables that does not contain too much nitrogen. The first application should be as soon as growth is noticed after they are planted and again when the peppers start to set. Compost placed between the plants as a side dressing can be used between applications of fertilizer to add nutrients to the soil.

Step 5

Harvest when the cayenne peppers turn red. Wear rubber gloves when working with the peppers so you don't rub your eyes or mouth with hands that have cayenne pepper juice on them. Snap the peppers off the stems or cut them off with pruning shears or a sharp knife.

Things You'll Need

  • Fertilizer for vegetables
  • Compost
  • Rubber gloves

References

  • How to Grow Hot Peppers: Hot Peppers
  • University of Illinois Extension: Peppers
  • Plant Care: Cayenne, Ornamental Pepper
Keywords: Cayenne pepper plants, hot pepper care, growing spicy peppers

About this Author

Dale DeVries is a retired realtor with 30 years of experience in almost every facet of the business. DeVries started writing in 1990 when she wrote advertising and training manuals for her real estate agents. Since retiring, she has spent the last two years writing well over a thousand articles online for Associated Content, Bright Hub and Demand Studios.