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So you want to grow chili peppers indoors.

Habanero chili in the windowsill

It’s quiet around here lately. Sorry. Jamie and I are having our spirits crushed by our #1 summer (now autumn, now winter) project — stripping and repainting the exterior walls on our house — and it’s making me feel overwhelmed by all things home-related at the moment, even my beloved plants. And yet, the chili pepper that lives in our living room is thriving and as cheery as ever. We’ve had two years to get to know each other, and I think I’ve got him figured out.

Back when Jamie and I were living in an apartment, one with no private outdoor area, I made use of the large, north-facing window in our living room and stuck a bunch of plants in front of it. (Apartment gardening!) I potted a few chili seedlings — at the time, if you wanted anything other than medium-hot Thai chilies, you had to grow them yourself — and they thrived in that mini-hothouse environment. I was growing chilies year-round! Yay!


And then I got Texas Pete, my habanero chili. He came home as a weeny, bug-eaten sprout two years ago during an end-of-summer clearance sale, and he’s grown quite a lot since then, surviving the move and a couple of re-pots. A chili plant can live for years in the right environment, and I’ve learned a few things about successfully growing chili peppers.

WHAT YOU NEED FOR INDOOR CHILI PEPPERS:

 

This corner of our living room faces north-west, so I sometimes put other house plants here when I want them to get an extra boost. The snake plant living in Don Draper’s ashtray survives in darker aspects just fine, but I left it here for a few weeks and there’s a little pup popping up at the base. Awww.

Sidenote: my scented candles have been getting some use lately. I like earthy scents, and that Paddywax tobacco-patchouli candle is heaven. (The other tins are coffee and potpourri-scented.) And yeah, those wood-slice coasters are the twee-est thing, but they’re absorbent so I like them.

That birch tree already has much fewer leaves on it than when I took these photos. Texas Pete already lives the pampered indoor lifestyle, but I’m sure he’s extra-relieved to be indoors right about now. I got you, buddy!

 

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