New to gardening. Just received like 10 small thai/vietamese chile plants & some basil. Need to know care instructions.

Soil(s)?
Amount of light?
Pest concerns?
How long do I have until I need to move them to bigger pots?

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5 Comments

gandalf July 5, 2019
I grow hot peppers in 5 gal. pots outdoors; and I would add to the advice given by Smaug with the following comments:

(1) If you are keeping them outdoors, put them in a place where they can get a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight.

(2) I water my peppers daily -- each morning (or evening) -- unless it has just rained, because you do not want the soil to dry out.
 
Smaug July 5, 2019
You have to be a little careful with peppers in full sun, as they can burn easily at high temperatures. Where I live, we have occasional triple digit heat waves which can ruin a lot of peppers- as with most plants, morning sun is generally best, but if you have severe heat, you may need to move them or shade them. It's more of a problem with the larger peppers. We have a long growing season here, and most pepper plants will fill out a larger pot- 10 gallon is about right, though they're hard to find- I usually use 15 gals. but don't necessarily fill them all the way. Some of the plants do grow smaller- habaneros and that clan, and maybe some of the other super hot types.
 
Smaug July 5, 2019
ps Talking about nominal sizes of nursery containers here; a 5 gal. nursery container is actually about 3 1/2 gals, and the other sizes commensurately small- a genuine 5 gal. would be more like it.
 
gandalf July 6, 2019
Yes, my pepper pots are closer to actual 5 gallons in volume; and I also mulch them to help keep the soil in the pots from drying out.
 
Smaug July 4, 2019
That's really too big a question for this forum, but I can offer a few brief tips- all of these plants will prefer full sunlight for a large portion of the day, but that will mean different things depending on location, and whether you're growing them indoors or out; most plants will pretty much shut down at temperatures in the mid 90's. Peppers prefer a slightly alkaline soil, but it's not a huge deal- in pots, standard potting soils will be OK. I'm not going to go into ammendments you could go out and buy here, but some might be helpful.Basil prefers a good deal of nitrogen; this promotes leaf growth above flowering, which will come too soon anyway; once the flowering cycle is triggered, the quality and quantity of the herb will go down; this can be somewhat allayed by heavy feedings of nitrogen and pinching or harvesting regularly, but it's an annual plant and once it goes into it's cycle it's pretty inexorable- I usually grow 3 batches from seed every season to keep fresh plants coming. They will appreciate plenty of room- constricted root systems are bad for health and will tend to trigger flowering. Pepper plants are generally fairly large, but starting this late you can probably get away with a 5 gal. pot as a final home: 2 gallons will do for the basil. The plants will need repotting when their root systems have filled the pot; you could move them through some intermediate sized pots, but these are annual plants and by this time of year should be growing quite rapidly. None of these plants are very prone to pest attacks, but they aren't immune; it's far too big a subject to go into here. I'd suggest buying a book- the Sunset gardening books are dependable. In pots all of these plants will require steady feeding; a high nitrogen fertilizer such as fish emulsion is good for the basil; peppers will prefer a more general type of fertilizer; common brands like Miracle Grow or Schultz will be adequate- once again this is a big subject and there are tons of options. The plants appear in the pictures to be pretty small, so you probably won't need to transplant for a couple of weeks anyhow, but things can happen pretty fast in the summer- I hope this is a little help, but you would do well to seek further information.
 
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