Nutrient Requirements of Pepper Plants
Pepper plants are tropical, and require both heat and water to survive, especially in early stages of growth. Young pepper plants are often raised indoors in loose soil that gives the roots room to breathe. Pepper plant soil should be watered often, and supplemented with a fertilizer that's rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and calcium.
Pepper Plant Climate
Many pepper plants grow in warm, often tropical, climates that provide ample moisture and heat. Do not directly transplant pepper pants or their seeds into temperate climates, or they will die. In temperate climates, raise pepper plants in a greenhouse, purchase them already grown or grow them indoors until they are large enough to be transplanted.
When raising a young pepper plant, maintain a balance between soil, warmth and moisture. The plant needs all three, but too much of one will stunt the plant's growth or cause diseases that will kill it in its infancy. Use light soils to help root growth when the plant is young. Soil substitutes like peat moss and perlite make a good addition, as they make room for air in the soil.
Water pepper plants on a regular basis. Add water when the plant's soil is dry to the touch. When raising plants outside, water the plants normally, but when raising young pepper plants inside, a large soil base is needed to hold as much water as possible.
Pepper plants need more than a dozen specific nutrients to survive, including carbon, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, iron, zinc and nitrogen. The plant can get many of these basic nutrients from the air, soil or water. Others, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, may be more difficult to come by, especially in certain types of soils. Add rarer types of nutrients, such as calcium, to soil with a tomato plant fertilizer, or similar option that contains calcium.
When outdoors, place pepper plants in a location that receives plenty of light and heat. When being raised indoors, the plant is subjected to supplemental lighting in the form of fluorescent bulbs. Professional plant lights produce the precise wavelengths and heat that young plants need to thrive, but light conditions can also be improved by adding simpler lights that produce light in the blue-range spectrum.