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Is it practical or possible to grow hot peppers on the West Coast in North America? It seems they require a ton of sunshine, and that's not exactly something we get in abundance. I'm a rookie with gardening, and all I've ever had to manage is some spider plants and cacti.

I'd like to try growing ghost peppers and scotch bonnets, but I'm not quite sure where to begin. Also, I don't want the local hydro company thinking I'm growing marijuana, so I'm trying to figure out the power requirements for indoor growing of something that requires so much sunshine.

Is this something I could reasonably accomplish?

Thanks.

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    Could you add your location? When I think of the West Coast, I think of Southern California which gets a ton of sun. – Debbie M. Feb 26 '16 at 18:14
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Read all you can about indoor growing & seek out varieties that are know to do well in containers. (Example 1: Datil Pepper) (Example 2: Pineapple Rocoto) (Example 3: Bhut Jolokia / Ghost)

The most important things for you will be light & nutrients (a good fertilizer applied properly & at the correct intervals).

Get a grow light (Example 1) (Example 2)

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and set it up hanging from chains so its height can be adjusted as the plants grow.

Ghost & Scotch bonnets are members of the Capsicum Chinense species, most members of which do better with higher temperatures, so you will need to keep that in mind, keeping them in a warm room, with well circulating air either relying on your grow lights or a heating pad / element to provide additional warmth. Not that they will not grow in sub-optimal temperatures, but they will not produce as well. My Habanero (same species as ghost) is in my south facing office window, with no additional light or warmth & still has eight peppers forming on it.

By contrast, peppers in the Capsicum Pubescens species (Like the Pineapple Rocoto linked to above), do better with cooler temperatures.

I am on the west coast also & have no outdoor growing area & am currently growing Habanero, Rocoto, Bolivian Rainbow & Black Pearl indoors in simliar, frankly sub-optimal conditions & they are all doing fairly well.

There is a good (if short) guide on sfgate specifically for growing Ghost Peppers indoors. They suggest the grow light as an option, but I wouldn't expect to get as good results without one, even in a well exposed south facing window.

  • Extremely helpful and informative. Thank you so much! – Cloud Feb 26 '16 at 18:38

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