This is a common question. The simple answer - Begin watering pepper plants when they need it. Such a sarcastic answer, I know. Seriously, peppers should be watered in moderation. In general, pepper plants are usually thirsty and need a fair amount of water. However, they don't like it if their roots are constantly sitting in waterlogged soil. Well tilled soil should drain fine, but still allow adequate water to penetrate the root system. It is normal for pepper plants to wilt slightly in the mid-day heat during summer months. They will usually recover overnight. If they are wilted in the morning hours, it's time to start watering.
When watering pepper plants, concentrate your efforts where the stem meets to soil. Avoid watering to the tops of the plants as this can encourage diseases and fungi to develop.
Click here to learn more about diagnosing pepper plant diseases.
A drip irrigation system will work nicely, but they can expensive to purchase and install. A soaker hose can be just as effective. Don't use a spray nozzle on the end of a regular garden hose as you may accidentally damage the plant. You're also more likely to get too much water on the tops of the plants. Instead, use a water jug or place the open end of a hose at the base of the pepper plants and run the water slowly.
If no rain falls, watering pepper plants every week is a good idea. You should check the moisture level of the soil every few days. Use your fingers and dig down 3-4 inches in the soil next to the plants. The soil should be moist, but not wet and sticky. If it's dry, it's time to water.
It's a good idea to water plants in the morning hours. This will allow the mid-day sun to evaporate any excess water. Avoid watering plants in the evening as wet plants sitting overnight are more likely to develop fungal problems.
Do your best to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. This will encourage your pepper plants to produce high quality and high quantities of fruit.
These watering tips also apply to pepper plants grown in containers. A container with good drainage holes will prevent the soil from becoming waterlogged.
Click here to learn about fertilizing your pepper plants
Click here for information about harvesting peppers
Click here for some of our favorite pepper recipes
Click here to move from our Watering Pepper Plants page back to the Growing Peppers main page
Click here to return to our Home page