Most chilli lovers end up with either buying a chilli plant at a local nursery or trying their hand at planting it from seed. Regardless of how you acquire your first chilli/pepper child one thing is for sure, you will want to water it.
Now, this is where our upbringing counts against us, as our parents always taught us that plants need water to grow. While this is true, we often believe we can solve every problem with a good watering – but before long we have a pepper child that is all wilted and dropping leaves. Now usually when the plant looks like that, many people think the plant needs more water. The hard truth here is that peppers hate wet feet and that less is really more.
So when do you water your chilli plants?
A simple rule of thumb is to insert your index finger all the way into the soil and if you feel any moisture then the plant does NOT need water. If it feels more dry than moist then best give a proper watering.
It is best to rather water properly so that the water can reach the roots further down in the soil, which ultimately makes for a much stronger and healthier plant. Overwatering is the number one cause of pepper plants dying so learn to know the signs of overwatering and lay off until the plant recovers.
You have overwatered your plants – what now?
Yellowing of leaves or leaf drop is a sure sign of overwatering and it is best to use the index finger method at this point to confirm it. If a plant is overwatered the best thing to do is slightly loosen the soil and leave the plant to dry out a bit. Peppers are resilient and before long they will bounce back strong. If in doubt, post a picture of your plant on our Facebook page or our Pepper Addicts Group and get advice from some of the worlds greatest pepper growers.
Article written by Tony Lague