My plant (Lemon Drop, sitting in a pot on my balcony) is making huge amounts of leaves, flowers and new chilis but the ones it already has seem to stagnate both in size and ripeness.

What should I do? Should I just be patient and wait. Fertilize more/less (currently once per week 1 liter of fertilized water)? Cut some flowers?

Edit: Fertilizer I use (10ml / Week): NPK 7-5-6 with micronutrients (Boron, Copper, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Zinc)

Yes. Used potting soil. No, no compost.

I'm reasonably sure the oldest fruits are there longer than 80 days. I've had this plant since last spring. Last year it only managed to make 3 small chilis so this is essentially my first year...

Edit 2: I didn't have time to care for the plant the last few days and the leaves got really flabby in the hot weather. Watered it last night and this morning there were two yellow chilis on the bush. Some of the newer smaller ones. I guess we did have a bit of a cold spell around here.

Also I'm going to make more of an effort to let the soil dry out before watering again (It's a pot with reservoir at the bottom so I always just filled that up and let the plant draw the water it needed)

  • 1
    Sounds healthy. Do you mean they are staying green? Just wait. They should change color. It says 80 days from fertilized flowers to ripe fruit.
    – jbord39
    Commented Jul 30, 2017 at 16:14
  • 2
    Stop fertilizing so much for sure. Have you grown this Lemon Drop before? I'll go check this pepper out...and what are you using for fertilizer, the formulation? NPK, what are the numbers? Any micronutrients? Did you mix any compost into the soil? That would affect the NPK formula and too much Nitrogen will ensure lots of leaves less reproductive growth.
    – stormy
    Commented Jul 30, 2017 at 18:13
  • 1
    What a lovely chili! Just wait. Did you use potting soil?
    – stormy
    Commented Jul 30, 2017 at 18:26
  • @stormy updated the question
    – Kempeth
    Commented Jul 30, 2017 at 19:14
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    Lots of good info here. I'm going to add my anecdotal 2 cents (which are completely unencumbered by the scientific process as Click and Clack used to say). First, let them get a bit dry between waterings. Second, pick a few of the unripe peppers. I'm convinced that my hot peppers will start ripening faster if I pick a couple of the green ones. I'll admit that it could just be that I just didn't wait long enough and picked just before they would have ripened anyway, but there's that. And the hardship of a light wilt I find makes the peppers hotter and seemingly eager to ripen.
    – That Idiot
    Commented Aug 2, 2017 at 15:35

1 Answer 1


The main thing that chillis require is heat, your feeding it ok, although I would recommend a liquid feed with a bit more potassium in it, a tomato feed would be a good start, also keeping fruit on the plant for too long can inhibit fruit production- they will ripen on their own eventually, but my own concern that on a balcony, that outside winds are cooling the plant too much (micro climate as to say) ventilation is good for all plants, so you'll have to find a balance there, plus chillis like a gritty soil that's well drained- on the plus side the plants can live for years if protected- I had one for four years before I threw it out, and I got loads of fruit mostly the second year not the first.

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