If you’re wondering how to grow hydroponic habanero peppers then you’ve come to the right article. You’ll find out everything you need to know about growing habaneros hydroponically such as lighting, nutrient and spacing requirements as well as much more!
So keep reading to find out everything you need to know!
What Will You Need To Grow Habanero Peppers Hydroponically?
- 5-Gallon Container
- 2″ Net Cup
- Air Stone And Tubing
- Rock Wool Cubes
- Clay Pebbles
- pH Up & pH Down
- Nutrients (General Hydroponics 3 Part System, CalMag)
What Requirements Do Habanero Plants Need?
You need to make sure that you’re making the environment absolutely perfect when you’re growing habanero plants. So you need to pay particular attention to the pH, EC/PPM, Temperature and Lighting.
The idea pH for your habanero plant is between 6-6.5. If the water falls from either side of this then there could end up being problems with your habaneros. If it’s too low they’ll suffer from magnesium and calcium deficiency as well as copper and iron toxicity. When it’s too high they can suffer with iron deficiency.
But the bottom line is in both cases your plant is going to be able to uptake as much nutrients as it needs to grow properly.
Fortunately the easiest way to test the pH is with a pH test kit which you can pick up off Amazon easily.
Arguably the most important part to remember is the EC/PPM. This essentially measures the amount of nutrients that your plant is getting. The EC should be between 3.0-3.5 or 2100-2400 ppm
If the PPM is too low then your plant is going to suffer from stunted growth and if it’s too high then it’s going to suffer from nute burn which will look like they’re drying out.
Fortunately, in both cases it’s easily measured. You just need to use a TDS Meter.
If you’re growing multiple habanero plants then you need to make sure they’re getting enough spacing. 7-9 inches apart is the ideal space to make sure the’re all getting enough light while also maximising the light.
When you’re growing hydroponic habaneros you need to make sure you’re keeping the temperature around them between 65-75°F. If you don’t keep the temperature at this level you’ll notice that your habaneros flowers will fall off before they turn into pods.
If you’re growing your habaneros indoors then they’re going to need a lot of light. Ideally, you want to keep the light on for 14-16 hours a day and leave it off for 8-10 hours a day.
This may seem like a lot to you but chilli plants really do need as much as possible.
Providing the right levels of nutrients to habanero peppers is quite easy compared to some other plants. Providing them with General Hydroponic Three-Part System is going to be enough to sustain them in most cases. Just make sure you’re using Calcium Nitrate and Magnesium Sulfate as well.
When you’re adding the nutrients to your tank there’s an order you want to do it. If you don’t get the order right then the nutrients may not mix properly which could affect the health of your habaneros.
- To start you should add 10g of Calcium Nitrate to your water (10g for every 5 gallons), and then stir it until it’s completely mixed in.
- Next, you’ll need to add the Magnesium Sulfate. This time add 5g per 5 gallons. And most importantly before you add it make sure that the Calcium Nitrate has dissolved.
- Lastly, add your General Hydroponic Three-Part System. If you’re not sure how much you should add you can check the back of each bottle to get the right recommendations.
- You may notice that the pH of your water changes when you add the nutrients. Depending on whether it’s turned to acidic or alkaline you’ll need to add either pH up or pH down.
(Want to know how to grow hydroponic garlic and ginger?)
How To Grow Hydroponic Habanero Peppers
Now that you know exactly what you’re going to need here’s how you grow hydroponic habaneros. However, before you learn the exact nutrients and time they’ll need to grow, it’s important to know the different methods you can use when you start growing your habaneros.
How To Start Habanero Peppers Hydroponically
When you start habanero peppers, there are two methods you can choose from. The one you choose should be based on your experience growing plants as well as what you think will suit you most! However, with a little bit of effort, all of them are viable options!
Starting From Seeds
One of the easiest ways to start growing hydroponic habanero peppers is growing them from seeds. This method is a little bit longer as you have to wait for them to germinate however, it’s often much more rewarding.
If you plan on growing them from seed, then you’ll need to make sure that you’re purchasing high quality seeds to reduce the chances of dud seeds. As well as this, you’ll need to place them into moist rockwool, in a container with a small layer of water on the bottom.
You should leave them in this container until you’ve noticed they’ve begun to sprout. The container is going to create a warm humid atmosphere that will soften the seed making it easier for the plant to sprout through.
Once you’ve noticed all the seeds have sprouted leave them for a couple of days before you add them to your hydroponic system. (As a side note it’s important that you don’t open the container otherwise it will lose it’s humidity.)
Cloning Your Habanero
If you’ve already got a habanero plant or you know someone who does then you can also try cloning your plant. However, cloning is a little bit more difficult, so there’s a lot less room for error.
To start you’re going to need the cut about 3-5 inches of stem off your plant, making sure you’re cutting the healthiest part of your healthiest plant. Ideally the plant should have 2-4 leaves on it.
Once you’ve planted it into rockwool you’re going to want to make sure you’re keeping the atmosphere as humid as possible for them. You can try creating a protective dome over the plant in the beginning to do this.
And when your habanero has about an inch of roots you can take the protective plastic off and let it grow as normal, making sure to take the same care of it as you would with a normal habanero.
The main benefits of cloning your habanero is that you’re going to get a cloned plant, which will grow just as well, you’re going to save time by not waiting for it to germinate and there’s a decreased risk of spreading disease compared to the next method.
(Check out How To Grow Kale Hydroponically!)
Transplanting Your Plant
If you can transplant a habanero that has always been grown hydroponically, then that can often be an effective method. However, in most cases, you’ll probably end up only finding habaneros that have been grown in soil.
The biggest problem with transplanting a habanero plant from soil is that you’re going to risk spreading pathogens, bacteria and parasites. If you’re only growing one habanero plant then it isn’t a problem, however, if you’re growing a group of them then you could end up infecting your whole crop.
As well as this, it’s likely that your habanero will also suffer from transplant shock. However, you can reduce the chances of this happening, by keeping the roots undisturbed, watering your plant thoroughly and making sure the rock wool is always moist.
You’ll notice that your plant has transplant shock because their leaves may begin to wilt and fall as well as die off.
And of course, the biggest upside of transplanting a habanero plant is that you’re going to get fruit a LOT faster.
What Hydroponic Setup Is Best For Habanero Peppers?
When you’re growing hydroponic peppers, one of the best ways to choose is a deep water culture. Deep water cultures are going to allow the peppers all the space they need to grow and because the containers you keep them in are sturdier, you’re not going to have to worry about them toppling over at any point.
Just make sure when you’re growing hydroponic habaneros you keep the container they’re in around 5 gallons in size or bigger. Habaneros are heavy feeders so they’re going to need as much nutrients as possible.
As well as a DWC some people have also had success growing habaneros in an Ebb and flow system as well. However, if you’re a beginner this is a little bit more expensive as you’re going to need a lot more equipment.
How To Setup A Deep Water Culture
Fortunately, deep water cultures (DWC) are one of the easiest hydroponic setups. To create a DWC for your habanero plants you’re just going to need a 5-gallon container, net cups, an air bubbler, and a light.
To setup your DWC do the following:
- Start by cutting a hole in the lid of your container. You should use the top end of the net cup to measure how big the hole is going to be.
- Once you’ve put a hole into the container, place the net cup into it. Then fill the container with water until the water reaches about 1/8 up the net cup.
- When this is done you’re then ready to add your habanero sprouts. Remember, you should add them once they’ve sprouted and not when they’re seeds.
- And lastly, before adding your habanero sprouts, make sure you’ve let the water sit for 3-4 hours so that all of the chemicals can dissipate.
- (As a side note, you should also add nutrients to your water as well.)
(Check out How To Grow Cilantro/Coriander Hydroponically!)
Other Things To Remember When Growing Habaneros
When you’re growing habaneros hydroponically there are a few more things you should be aware of. If you don’t pay attention to these things then you may notice the growth rate and yield of your habaneros may be slower than it should be.
If Your Habaneros Fruiting There’s A Problem
One thing you should be aware of is that if your habaneros aren’t fruiting then there’s definitely a problem. This problem is either going to be that they aren’t getting enough light, or the temperature around them is too hot or cold.
If the temperature of the room is fine, then you should try to make sure that you increase the duration of the light they’re getting every day. And if they’re already getting enough, try increasing the intensity of the light.
Make Sure You’re Pollinating Your Peppers
If you want your habanero plant to produce fruit, then you need to make sure you’re pollinating the flowers. Fortunately, it couldn’t be easier. Just get a small soft paintbrush to spread the pollen from one flower to the others. Failing this you can also tub two flowers together for the same results.
Make Sure You’re Providing Enough Support
You also need to make sure that you’re providing your habeneros with enough support when they’re growing. If they don’t get enough support, then they could topple over, or the branches could snap.
The easiest way to do this is to build a trellis next to the setup and encouraging the branches to grow around it. Failing this you can also try bamboo canes and other sticks to help support the branches as well.
Common Pests That Can Affect Habaneros
Another common problem you should be aware of when growing habaneros is pests that can grow on them. While they normally only occur on habaneros growing outside, make no mistake, it can also occur indoors as well.
Here are some of the most common pests you should watch out for.
Aphids are some of the most common pests you can find in your garden. So it’s no surprise you can also expect to find them growing on your habanero plants. The easiest way to know your plant is suffering from aphids is if you can spot them.
Unfortunately, aphids are more likely to occur on plants grown inside as they’re not going to have as many natural predators
Fortunately, though, infestations inside are normally nowhere near as severe. If you do have an infestation inside you can normally just pick the aphids off and drop them in soapy water. If there’s too many to pick off, then you can also spray the plant with neem oil. (Just make sure you’re waiting 24 hours before you eat your habaneros.)
Slugs And Snails
As well as aphids, slugs and snails are another pest that can be massively damaging to your habanero plant. And as you know, slugs and snails leave one tell-tale sign that’s easily noticeable. If you notice a big trail of slime on or around your habanero plant, then you know it’s being eaten by slugs or snails.
To stop slugs and snails getting onto your plants you can place copper tape or matting around the plant which they absolutely hate.
Flea beetles are another annoying pest that grow about 2mm in size and have the ability to jump (hence the name).
Fortunately, if you notice flea beetles on your habanero plant, they’re quite easy to prevent. Flea beetles absolutely hate water, and they love to feed on your habanero at midday. To prevent them from doing this you can simply spray your plant with water at midday to scare the flea beetles off.
If your habanero plants have been infested with pepper maggots there’s not much you’re going to be able to do to save the infested pods. Your best option is to simply remove them and destroy them.
You’ll be able to spot pepper maggots in your habanero plants because they’ll often leave small puncture holes in the pods. As well as this, the maggots will often cause the pods to rot a lot faster than they should do, and they’ll also turn red a lot faster. The maggots themselves are white to pale yellow in color.
How Long Do Habanero Plants Take To Grow?
As far as growth is concerned, habanero plants do take a little while to grow. If you’re transplanting your habanero plant, then it’s still going to take about 100-120 days before you can pick the peppers from the stem.
If you plan on planting your habanero plant from scratch then this can take even longer. The time it takes your habanero plant to sprout seedlings can be anywhere in-between 7 days and give weeks.
- When To Harvest Habanero Peppers (4 Signs Of Ripeness)
- When To Pick Serrano Peppers (Secret Ways To Tell They’re Ripe)
- How To Grow Fenugreek Hydroponically
Now you know everything there is to know about growing your own habanero plants! As you can see, there are a few things you’ll need to take care of before you can properly harvest your own pods. But if you follow the advice above, you’ll have some fantastic pods in no time!
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