How to Grow Chili Peppers in Hydroponics
Hydroponic systems are a way to plant fruits, vegetables, herb and other plants in a nutrient solution, so that soil, and lots of space, are not required. Chili peppers are a simple and popular crop to grow in hydroponics due to their versatility in uses, interesting flavoring between varieties and intense heat. Chili peppers can be grown from seed in a hydroponic system and can be harvested as a long-season perennial.
Set up a hydroponic system using a hydroponic kit, bought from an online retailer or from a garden center. A basic system will include a reservoir for your nutrient solution, a draining tray where your plants sit with a drain hole that recycles the nutrient solution back to the reservoir, an air pump that moves the nutrient solution, and plastic lines that transfer the nutrient solution from the reservoir up to the plant tray.
Set up your hydroponic system so that the reservoir is below the draining tray so that the nutrient solution can drain back into the reservoir from the tray. Set up growing lights above the growing tray to give the plants light.
Place your seeds into your growing tray wells. Fill the trays with rockwool, which is a growing medium that absorbs and holds the nutrient solution against the roots of the plant. Make certain the rockwool is absorbing the nutrient solution.
Place your heat lamps over the wells containing your seeds. Check that the heat from the lamps is 22 to 28 degrees Celsius. High heat is required for chili pepper germination.
Check after six days for germination of the chili pepper seeds. Reduce the heat of the lamp to 20 to 25 degrees Celsius once germination has begun.
Lower the temperature of the heat lamp to 18 to 20 degrees Celsius during the evening to prevent the chili pepper from burning.
Provide full-strength nutrient solution when the seeds are germinating, such as EC 2.0 nutrient solution, dropping it to a half-strength solution once the plant has germinated, such as EC 0.8 to 1.0 solution.
Change the nutrient solution over to a full-strength solution once the chili plant begins to fruit. Harvest once the chili peppers have fully developed.