So, How Much Sun Do Peppers Need?

Every gardener knows that getting the best possible results from their plans is mostly a battle of making sure they get enough water, and get enough sun.

Concerning sunlight, it’s always tricky because plants that get too much might end up suffering all the same.

Today we are looking at peppers. How much sun do peppers need to grow?

6 to 10 hours of direct sun a day is ideal for most pepper varieties. Some varieties might need more than 10.

Peppers are used in an amazing variety of dishes in all sorts of cuisines, and that means they’re a popular veggie for an at-home garden, but their intense demand for sunlight can make them tricky in some regions.

But if you’re up to the challenge, you can expect a bumper crop. I’ll tell you more about getting enough sun for your peppers below.

Is Full Sun Best for Peppers?

Definitely. All pepper varieties, whatever they are, generally require full sun although there are a few that can cope with partial shade. These latter varieties are the exception, however!

How Many Hours of Sun a Day is Best for Peppers?

Peppers are, as a general rule, sun-craving veggies. Depending on the type of pepper, they generally need between 6 and 10 hours of sunlight every day, with a few needing even more…

If you’re in doubt, just refer to the seed packet that you have planted your peppers from or consult the greenhouse or nursery that you purchased your plant from.

Will Too Much Sun Hurt Peppers?

Yes, it can, in certain cases. When temperatures are really, really hot, and the UV index is through the roof, plants with young fruits might get scalded.

This can be a serious pain in the butt for gardeners because on one hand you’ll be working overtime to make sure your plants get enough sun, and then seemingly as soon as you give it to them they get injured or even die back.

The easiest solution to this problem is of course an elegant one. Don’t rearrange your garden or set up any complicated methods of shading your plants, but do be ready to give them shade when required using mesh or even cardboard strategically staked to shield them from the most intense sunlight for an hour or two a day.

Do Peppers Do Well in Indirect Sun?

Yes, or at least they can. You can grow peppers with indirect sun indoors, for instance, but they will typically need more light than they would normally if they were outdoors with full, direct sunlight.

If in doubt, give peppers that are getting indirect sun more than is normally prescribed, and don’t forget that grow lights can be your ace in the hole in these cases.

Will Peppers Thrive in Shade?

No. It is possible for the pepper plants themselves to merely live in partial shade, but they won’t thrive, and full shade will punish them.

Even with partial shade, the plants will typically not produce fruit or if they do it will be stunted. You’ll know your pepper plants aren’t getting enough sunlight if they stop producing all together.

The rule is, as always, give these sun loving plants plenty of what they want!

That being said, there are always exceptions and one exception for peppers in general pertains to certain species of chili pepper.

Most chilies don’t need as much sun as larger varieties of peppers, so if you have a partially shaded patch on your property that is otherwise suitable for growing peppers, you might consider planting your chilies there as you could expect them to still produce on a lot less sunlight.

You can apply the same methods to growing chilies in indirect light or indoors.

What Will Happen to Peppers That Don’t Get Enough Sun?

Easy: Peppers that aren’t getting enough sunlight will stop growing fruit, or even stop bearing fruit at all.

The plants themselves might begin to die back even though they will be focusing all of their available resourves on simply staying alive at that point.

More than many other vegetables you might grow, peppers will suffer greatly and quickly if they aren’t getting enough sun.

Also worth mentioning is that peppers, at least most species, are infamous for starting to grow fruit and then halting when their ideal requirements are not being met.

Extremely high temperatures can be confusing for gardeners which are unfamiliar with peppers because this is also a stressor; it is easy to get a false positive concerning soil, water, sunlight and other factors when temperatures soar.

Before you assume that temperatures are too hot for your particular kind of pepper, look up the specifics about the type, then double-check your soil, watering and other variables.

If everything looks good, trust the recommendations and then wait out the period of hot weather: your peppers will probably start growing again!

Sun Requirements for Different Peppers Varieties

As mentioned throughout this article, there can be a surprising amount of variation in the sunlight requirements of different pepper varieties.

That’s part of what has given peppers their tricky reputation, because you just cannot treat them all the same!

Looking at the most common and popular pepper that is grown for consumption, bell peppers need 8 to 9 hours of sunlight every day. Sweet peppers, on the other hand, need anywhere from 7 to 8 hours.

Most chili pepper varieties need a lot less, and might get by and produce well enough with six to seven hours of sunlight per day.

But remember, as long as temperatures aren’t extreme you should err on the side of more sunlight rather than less if your peppers seem to be growing sluggishly or not producing the way you want.

But, when temperatures get hotter than is normal, that’s when you need to take a moment and assess all the other things affecting them before you start reaching for the shade mesh.

Remember: they might be fine once the temps drop a bit!

Tips for Bringing Indoor Peppers Outside

If you were growing peppers indoors and preparing to transfer them to their new home outside, you’ll want to harden them off gradually by placing them in a shady spot for just a couple of hours each day for at least a week and preferably too.

But, each day, gradually increase the amount of time they spend outdoors until they are ready to tolerate full sun all the time.

Then you can leave them outside in their container or plant them as required. If you don’t follow this procedure you can shock your plants and they can die on you.

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