Since many centuries, home gardeners cultivated chilies due to their pungent aroma and the hot and spicy flavor they add to any dish. Mainly grown in the warm and temperate climates of South America and Asia, chili plants can be successfully grown all year round in indoor and as well as outdoor growing environment using hydroponics.
Growing hydroponic chillies from seeds require basic information about the plant species and some effort. By using techniques like hydroponics your chili plants will grow more quickly due to easy availability of requisite nutrients producing greater and higher quality yields. Chilies can be grown from seeds just like any other plant. For two to three weeks before planting, seeds should be kept at 75 F to enhance the germination process. You can use one stonewool or rockwool cube per seed for germination, which generally takes around 10-12 days. These rockwool cubes should be presoaked for 24 hours and drained before planting. Keep these cubes wet by using a grow nutrient formula of half strength and pH between 5.5 and 6.0 at a temperature ranging between 75 & 77 degrees Fahrenheit until the first leaves become at least an inch long. After this phase, immerse the rockwool cubes completely in the full-strength grow nutrient solution and after sometime, drain the blocks, transplant the seedlings to rockwool slabs making sure the plant’s roots are constantly immersed in water. You can opt for perlite or perlite & vermiculite mix as your growing medium. Once rooted, transplant your plants into the hydroponics systems along with the rockwool blocks. Feed your plants with bloom specific nutrients as buds begin to emerge. Prune the plant to two main stems and shoots from all sides. This will fetch you late but higher yields. Pollinate the indoor-bloomed plants by gently shaking or with the help of pollinator brush during the driest time of the day.
Hydroponic chilies need warm temperatures, 73 to 79 degrees F during the day and 66 to 70 degrees F at night, for optimum growth. They also need 18 hours of light per day at around 5500 lux if grown indoors using hydroponics; if grown outdoors maintain partial shade. You can use 30 watts of high-intensity discharge (HID) lights for every square foot of growing space, which provide the right spectrum for growth. Decrease the water supply during fruiting to increase the heat of the chilies. Watch out for pests and diseases like TMV and stem rot. Your hydroponic chilies are now ready to be harvested!