Can I Grow Peppers in Shade?

Many horticulturalists believe that covering your pepper plants with some shade can increase the yield of the pepper plant and can extend the growing season. Because we have such a short growing season many people have to manage their crops in different ways. For instance, if you were taking care of a crop of lettuce, you would take different measures than managing a pepper plant. Many crops of vegetables do need direct sunlight and people think covering your pepper plants can hinder growth.

Essentially all vegetable crops need direct sunlight for certain hours of the day especially if there is fruit being produced within. If these plants aren’t grown in sunlight, you won’t experience the full crop that it could’ve produced otherwise. The idea of shading pepper plants is based around the fact that there can be growth disorders within the plants that can affect the peppers. Owners of pepper plants can create tent like structures around the plant so that it is adjustable and lets the plant breathe.  

The word chili comes from the Aztecs meaning capsicum fruit. Chili has been used in food since the 1500’s and had a variety of uses, mainly for their use of capsaicin to kill of harmful bacteria and microbes that affect our food. Peppers are also used in things like sprays to keep bugs off plants, bear mace, and hot sauces.

Do peppers grow better in sun or shade?

We believe that you should test different growth methods when procuring pepper plants and test which yields more fruit and fits your personal needs. Depending on the type of pepper plant you will have and the size of the fruits you will need to adjust the shade cover accordingly to control heat and the amount of direct sunlight the pepper plant will get.

Because pepper plants require a fair while to produce fruits and be mature enough for use, it is imperative that you keep a good eye on your pepper plants. We have tested two plots of pepper plants and results for the covered crop yielded more than 40% of the fruits the uncovered crop did. Using multiple layers of netting around the plant will also affect the sunlight getting through and could damage the plant. In terms of a very small plant made only for the single household, you won’t need more than a small amount of netting to cover the plant.

Shading the plant can create an extension of the harvest time which is beneficial for every grower who wants to get good yields off their plant. Adapting a strategy so that you can increase your yield is what you want to do as peppers are so damn tasty.

Providing the chili pepper full sun in the morning will provide the plant with essential nutrients to get optimal growth. If you have a netting over the plant, make sure you have taken into consideration which way the plant is facing, and any obstacles in the way of the plant. If temperatures are over 80-90 fahrenheit you must make sure that there is ample room under the netting for decent wind flow as well as good enough shade on the plant so it doesn’t get too hot. Experiments have shown that seedlings and smaller plants grown in 50% shade have fruited and spouted much quicker than plants without. We believe that this is due to the protection it receives from the elements.

When you have found the ideal spot for your pepper plant, and there is enough shade / sun balance, make sure you carefully deflower the plant so that it focuses on root regeneration and fruit yield. Pepper plants can sprout many flowers over their lifetime and in a short space of time so it is ideal that you remove these flowers to promote growth. Flower blossoms will not develop in colder climates or areas with less temperature.

If you find that you are getting sunscald from the direct exposure to sunlight, try adjusting your netting so that the pods are shaded during the hotter parts of the day. Sunscald looks like a see-through area on the leave and can cause damage to the chili plant. When looking under the netting and you find your pepper plants isn’t yielding enough growth or it’s a relatively small plant, you can try moving the plants further away from each other and increasing the netting over the entire plant.

How much sunlight do peppers need?

There are few vegetable plants that are easier to grow in the home and in small patches of gardens. Generally people love to plant peppers as they are super colorful and they also produce peppers that you can eat. In the first few weeks of growth make sure you are familiar with what the soil looks like when it is healthy and what a healthy chili pepper plant looks like. Scout your pepper plant at least twice a week to check for any damage or sunburn. Pepper plants can be in direct sun light depending on the size and age of the pepper plant.

Always check the moisture levels of the soil near the roots of the pepper plant, as this will give you a clear guideline on what to do next. If you spot sunburn on your plants, check for light discoloration on areas that are mostly affected by the sun. If these issues aren’t addressed, they can turn into long term damage to the plant, decay the leaves and organisms in the pepper plant. Be sure to adjust irrigation and any netting you may have over the plant so it gets optimal sunlight and optimal cover.