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How to Feed Hot Pepper Plants

By Jenny Harrington ; Updated September 21, 2017

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


Things You Will Need

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


  • Spraying the pepper plants with a solution of 1 teaspoon Epsom salt in a 1 quart of water at blossom set helps encourage fruit set.
  • Perform a soil test, available at garden centers and university extension offices, to verify the exact amount and type of fertilizer your peppers need.


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

About the Author


Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.