Watering – the contoversy

Just to sum up: there seems to be a bit of a controversy regarding how much water capsicum plants need. I have previously quoted various sources here, here and here.  Some of the sources (like Floridata and TropicalPermaculture), indicate to water lots and daily (with a regular watering regime), as long as the soil drains properly and isn’t saturated.  Other sources (like Gardening.eu) suggest watering lots but infrequently.

So, to sway the debate, I’ve found some additional information taken from ChilePlants:

  • Try to water in the morning, not in the heat of the day.
  • Water the soil, not the foliage.
  • Once the plants have established, it is better to water heavy and infrequently, then frequently and light. This promotes roots that go deep down versus those that stay on the surface.
  • The heat level of chilis is in direct relation with the amount of water that the plant receives as the pepper fruits are forming. Milder than usual chilis are found on plants that have been given an excess of water, pampered plants tend to produce wimpy chilis! This also will happen with plants grown in cool and wet areas […] Plants grown in dry and hot climates tend to produce chilis that are quite hot. If you want to produce extra hot chilis, stress the plants by withholding water, even letting them wilt. Do this only on established plants, not to very young transplants that are just getting started. To revive them from the wilt stage, water like normal, do not over-water at this time or you may drown the plant, and kill it.

In summary, “If in doubt about watering, don’t… never over-water.

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