There are many reasons to grow hot peppers at home in a hanging basket. Not only do their bright colors add a happy touch to their surroundings, but their spicy flavor livens up home cooking. On top of that, they are hardy and easy to maintain.
Those who enjoy a challenge will enjoy germinating their own hot peppers at home from seeds. Seedsavers.org is a great source for exotic seed varieties. More common varieties can be found at gardening stores, along with seedlings for those who like a sure thing when it comes to their peppers. Experts recommend planting seeds at the end of winter, but if they are grown inside, they can grow as long as they are kept warm, between 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit. Simply plant seeds at a depth of one half of an inch and keep soil moist but not waterlogged. Fertilize soil using compost or droplets to provide nutrition for the plant.
Once your seeds have sprouted and you have your seedlings, you will want to plant them into your hanging basket. Small, compact pepper varieties grow best in small containers, whereas larger peppers prefer larger baskets. Chiltepins, tabascos, pueblos, ajis and Thai peppers are all well suited for container planting. Make sure that your basket is not too dark so that it does not absorb too much sunlight. As peppers grow, you can prune the bottom leaves and flowers like a bonsai tree to encourage or discourage vertical growth.
Once plants are six to eight weeks old, they are ready to brave the great outdoors. The great thing about hanging baskets is that you can hang them outside to get sun, and then bring them indoors in case of heavy rain or hail, or just keep them inside in a sunny window. Indoors, hot peppers will continue to produce peppers as long as the temperature is warm enough.