trevonator
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Need help with chilies.

Hey, guys. I live in Phoenix, Arizona, and all season I have been having a problem with growing my chilies. All season, my peppers (Jalapeño, Seranno, Banana pepper, Thai Chilie, and bell pepper) have been staying at about a foot tall. I looked up all of the plants I have on YouTube and google, and I see that all of these plants get to be like BUSHES! I was very disappointed when I saw this. My thai chili plants are putting out a lot of peppers, but they are staying the same size (about a foot tall) and it is FRUSTRATING! Does anyone have any idea why my plants are staying so small?

Side note: All of my plants are in a 4x4 raised bed.

Thanks,
Trevon
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rainbowgardener
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Don't really know and to try to answer it would help to know a lot more about the conditions they are in, amount of sun, type of soil, how you water.

Stunting could be a lack of nutrients.

You might want to pull one up and inspect the roots. Sometimes when a plant is just sitting there and not doing anything, the problem is the root system. When you pull it up, you discover it has hardly any roots. That can be caused by over watering rotting the roots out, or various diseases and pests.
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PunkRotten
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I grew a bunch of peppers this year and had 1 variety (Aji Dulce) grow just like yours. I never figured out why, the plant got great sun, watered, fertilized etc.

trevonator
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PunkRotten wrote:I grew a bunch of peppers this year and had 1 variety (Aji Dulce) grow just like yours. I never figured out why, the plant got great sun, watered, fertilized etc.
I know! It's a pain in the butt! If you find out why, please post it here. I will be interested to know.
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cynthia_h
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You may have been trying to grow them during the "normal" months. But in Phoenix (at least according to what I've read in the Sunset Western Garden Book), those aren't good months for growing veggies: they're actually too HOT.

Also: how much sun did the pepper plants receive (hours per day)? What were the ambient temps, more or less? What kind of growing medium (soil or other) do you have in the raised bed (many of us here, including me, use raised beds)?

Cynthia H.
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trevonator
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rainbowgardener wrote:Don't really know and to try to answer it would help to know a lot more about the conditions they are in, amount of sun, type of soil, how you water.

Stunting could be a lack of nutrients.

You might want to pull one up and inspect the roots. Sometimes when a plant is just sitting there and not doing anything, the problem is the root system. When you pull it up, you discover it has hardly any roots. That can be caused by over watering rotting the roots out, or various diseases and pests.
Thanks! I think I will tomorrow with my banana pepper plant, even though that one was doing the best... Anyways, here are the specifics.

Conditions: Right now, it gets down to about 40 degrees here in Phoenix. In the summer it got up to about 117 degrees. I keep a drip system on them, so that might have caused root rot. I will find out tomorrow.

Amount of sun: I think they get about three hours of full sun a day.

Type of soil: Miracle-gro potting soil.

Fertilizer: I use Miracle-gro plant feed. They look like pellets and they work when water dissolves them. I think I should switch to compost.

Also, I would LOVE to start a garden indoors. With lights and whatnot. It's not organic, but hell, if it gives me good plants, why not try it?

Thanks,
Trevon
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trevonator
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cynthia_h wrote:You may have been trying to grow them during the "normal" months. But in Phoenix (at least according to what I've read in the Sunset Western Garden Book), those aren't good months for growing veggies: they're actually too HOT.

Also: how much sun did the pepper plants receive (hours per day)? What were the ambient temps, more or less? What kind of growing medium (soil or other) do you have in the raised bed (many of us here, including me, use raised beds)?

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9
I use a 4x4 raised bed.

Hours per day : About three.

Ambient temps: In the summer it was about 117 degrees. In the spring, I would say it was about 80-85 degrees. Right now, in the winter, it gets down to about 40 degrees.

Growing Medium: Miracle-gro potting soil. I use the Miracle-gro feed stuff to fertilize them. I am actually thinking about switching to compost, though.
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cynthia_h
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The fruiting vegetables (e.g., peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, and others whose fruit we eat) require from 6 to 8 hours of sunlight a day. However, tomatoes (at least) become sullen and refuse to "work" (i.e., grow) when temps are above 95 degrees during the daytime.

This is why knowing your **Sunset climate zone** and recommended growing dates is important, esp. in places like PHX. Florida and PHX, to name two, have different tomato--and, possibly, pepper--growing seasons from "normal" four-season zones. Don't let advice for your USDA zone ruin your gardening experience.

Ask me how I know--or don't, and believe that I've had those experiences already and am trying to save you from more of the same. :)

Cynthia

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applestar
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Check out this thread called "Winter Pepper Torture"
https://helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=31055

It's a long thread mostly about overwintering hot and sweet peppers indoors, but the jist is that pepper plants are perennial in native habitat and they can be overwintered indoors or outdoors depending on your climate. When peppers don't do well during the first year due to insufficient growth, you can still get them to grow bigger and mature fruits earlier next season.

I'm finding that some hot peppers are actually really forgiving about lower light situations and still produce blooms and set fruits at the expense of foliage growth, but they would really do much better with proper amount of light. You will be amazed by the difference.

So if you do decide to overwinter yours, it would be best to plant them in a better location next season.

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rainbowgardener
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Good suggestions you have gotten so far. Peppers do better with more hours of sun, but nothing (plant or human!) does well at 117 degrees!

You are in USDA zone 9b (that is sort of between 9 and 10). That only tells you how cold it gets in winter (not very, the lower the number, the colder). But here's a planting schedule based on zones:

https://www.thevegetablegarden.info/reso ... g-schedule

Note it suggests planting them very early for a spring/early summer crop or in Aug-ish for a fall/winter crop. For my zone, it gives one planting date - May. I'm thinking all of those would be dates you put transplants in the ground...

You said you are growing them in potting soil. Does that mean they are in containers? That is a little different than growing in the ground. You can maybe mix a bit of compost in, but compost isn't really suitable for containers - it compacts and gets too dense, shutting air out. But that makes it easier for moving them around, bringing them in for the winter, etc.

Are your containers large enough?

At this point to be able to give you any more suggestions, pictures would help. Instructions for posting pictures are in New to Helpful Gardener? under Helpful Tips and Suggestions for New Members.
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prettygurl
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My pepper plants stunted when the heat wave of the summer went over 85 degrees. They rocketed when the temps dropped in the late summer/early fall.

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I live in Hawaii and some peppers are annuals and some are perennials. There is a miniature thai hot that never get more than 8 inches tall. Peppers like it hot so some parts of Arizona should be great for growing peppers. However, some varieties do better than others. Below is a link to the pepper institute with their advice on how to grow peppers.
https://www.chilepepperinstitute.org/fil ... 20Tips.pdf
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