If you like the taste of jalapeno then you will also like the medium-hot taste of the fish peppers.
These pepper plants look beautiful and are so easy to grow in containers and in an outdoor garden. You do not need to learn any specific pepper gardening skills before growing fish peppers.
This variety of pepper is native to Africa and America. Its name is listed under African-American peppers. Fish pepper plant produces 2 to 3 inches long peppers with creamy streaks.
These creamy streaks on green peppers make them so beautiful and they look like pieces of decoration. The dual color leaves (green and white) look similar to the ornamental flower plants.
In the initial stage, the peppers develop bi-color (green and white). But as the peppers get matured, they turn into red to orange color.
It does not matter wherever you live, you can taste the fish peppers by growing them at your home. In this growing guide, I will explain how you can grow them in your garden or in-plant container.
Let’ start the journey
How to grow the Fish Peppers at home?
To start this crop, you need to buy high-quality seeds from the market. Buy the seeds from your local garden market or order them from Amazon.
Once you get the seeds you need to develop them into seedlings. This entire process takes place indoors.
It will take 10 to 12 weeks for fish pepper seeds to become seedlings.
Take a seed starting tray and sow the seeds 70 days before the last frost date. You can use the natural sunlight by placing the tray on the sunny window or can use grow lights.
(The choice is yours)
Just sow the seeds 1.4 inches deep. Burying them deeper will result in late germination and you will also lose many valuable seeds.
Once you are done with sowing seeds then cover the tray with its cover or you can use plastic wrap. Remember that the peppers need the warm season to grow.
Therefore, use a seedling heat mat to give warmth to pepper seeds to help them germinate fast. If you do not have a seedlings heat mat you can put the tray on the running refrigerator.
The motive is to keep the bottom of the tray warm.
Once the seeds sprout, remove the cover and let the fresh air touches the newly sprouted seeds. This will prevent any unwanted diseases.
Moreover, fresh air is necessary for the production of good tasty peppers.
How to care for fish pepper seedlings?
The first thing they need is light energy to make their food. Seedlings that are unhealthy or do not get proper light turn white in color.
You should remove them from the tray or they will infect the other healthy seedlings.
If you are using grow lights then turn them on for a minimum of 12 to 14 hours. There are many grow lights that come with an in-built timer.
Also, make sure the seed starting room has a good flow of air.
Because the heat + humidity and lack of fresh air invite many fungus diseases.
Do not expose sprouted seeds to the direct sunlight they cannot tolerate the high intense sunrays. Indoor light is enough for them to start their life cycle.
Keep the soil moist all the time but do not let it wet. Because the fish pepper seedlings cannot survive in wet and soggy soil.
The roots will start to rot and you will lose all your sprouted seeds.
Always use fresh and clean water for watering peppers. It is best for you to use the same water for your plants that you use for drinking.
Do not use tap water because your tap water may contain heavy minerals that can destroy the development of seedlings.
This is another important part of a fish pepper life cycle. Fertilizers make pepper plants strong and help them to grow fast.
But at one condition and that is if you use the right kind of fertilizers.
From correct fertilizer, we mean nutrients that are easily accessible for the plant roots.
Fish fertilizers are best for growing hot peppers like fish pepper. These nutrients include amino acids, protein, and other essential nutrients.
Buy a fish emulsion fertilizer and dilute it according to the instructions of the bottle.
Never use fish fertilizers in their concentrated form this action will burn your plants in a day.
Fish pepper cannot tolerate a high amount of concentrated nutrients.
Fertilize your plants once every 10 days with a diluted solution. Every bottle of nutrients has diluting instructions.
When to transfer the seedlings in the outdoor garden?
Harden off the seedlings before transplanting them in an outdoor garden or in a container or in raised bed garden.
Fish pepper seedlings need warm soil to grow. The temperature of the soil should be 16 degrees F before transplanting. Once the outside weather gets warm and the soil of your garden becomes workable with 65 degrees F temperature.
You can transplant the seedlings in your garden.
There should be 2 feet of space between two seedlings. Once they gain their fill size and produce small peppers, they need support. Install wooden stakes near the plants to support their structure.
If you have unused tomato cages you can use them to support pepper plants.
Growing fish peppers in plant containers
The first thing you need to check is the size of the plant pot. I use 14 inches wide container.
The second important thing is the type and quality of the soil. The container soil must be well-draining and rich in organic material.
Mix organic compost in a high-quality potting mix. Do not use a potting mix with perlite or any other ingredient.
You just need to mix compost only to increase the fertility of the potting soil.
Then put this mixture in the plant pot and sow one seedling in each pot. Now that your container is ready you need to arrange light for it.
Container growing fish peppers need 8 to 10 hours of sunlight daily.
You can put the container outside in a sunny place.
If you do not want others to know about your pepper plants then you can use grow lights to grow them indoors.
Use the same liquid fish emulsion fertilizer for the container growing fish peppers.
Note: Container peppers need less water but more nutrients to grow. Because they do have the access to the ground to absorb soil nutrients.
Pepper has 3 common pests Aphids, Spider mites, and Slugs and Snails.
To prevent these pests, you can grow many pest preventing plants in your garden. You can also grow plants that attract lady bugs like beneficial insects.
Aphids and Spider Mites
These insects are most commonly found in vegetable gardens. Because each vegetable contains juice and they suck the sap of the plant to live.
These soft body pests reproduce at a faster rate. This doubles their number on a plant in few days.
To kill these insects manually you can use rubbing alcohol and cotton cloth.
Pour some drops of rubbing alcohol on the cloth and wipe each leaf.
You can use insecticidal soap to rinse your plants.
Slugs and Snails
Slugs and snails are common problems in the spring season. It is hard to get rid of these plant pests. They attack the small and soft plants.
High humidity in the spring season helps these pests to move easily and to infect other plants in the garden.
The best solution is Diatomaceous earth to combat slugs and snails.
Harvesting the fish peppers
You can harvest fish peppers when they are green and white or when they become fully matured and turns red.
For your safety, it is best to wear gloves at the time of plucking them.
For professional harvesting use snips or pruners.
Each plant produces many peppers and you need to store them to use in the future.
Rinse them in cold water then let them dry, then put them in the freezing bag and put them in the fridge.
In the second method, you can dry the peppers and make their powder. Then use the fish pepper powder in different dishes to add a mildly spicy flavor.