Sweet Peppers (Capsicum Chinense) are known in Spanish as Ajíes Dulces – They are native to Latin America and the Caribbean. These sweet peppers are bright green. However, when they are left long on the plant, they turn yellow, orange and red. They slightly resemble the habanero pepper in appearance but are sweet with a unique aroma and flavor.
The sweet peppers (ajíes dulces) and culantro are the essential ingredients in preparing our famous sofrito (a puréed condiment), which is added to our stewed rice, beans, fish, meats and soups. In addition, I package and vacuum seal the whole (or halves) sweet peppers (ajíes dulces) and place them in the freezer for future use. I love to add them whole (or halves) to the soups and stews for a more flavorful dish.
Because they are seldom available at the grocery stores in the United States, I decided to grow my own sweet peppers (ajíes dulces) indoors during the winter months in Indiana. Click on the link to learn How to Plant Sweet Peppers Outdoors.
Where Do You Purchase the Seeds?
When I started to grow my indoor sweet peppers (ajíes dulces) 7 years ago, I initially purchased my first seeds online. I make sure to order the Capsicum Chinense because there are a variety of Capsicum sweet peppers online. Click on this link for more information about our Sweet Peppers!
Every year I remove the seeds from my sweet peppers and store them in a plastic container so that I can use the seeds for the following year. Let me share with you how it is done!
How to Remove and Store Sweet Peppers (Ajíes Dulces) Seeds!
Cut the sweet peppers in half. With your thumb, remove the seeds.
Place the seeds on a paper towel to dry.
Once the seeds turn to a dark yellow color, they are completely dry and can be easily separated with your hands.
Place the dry seeds in a plastic container to be used for planting the following year.
Let’s Discuss the Flower Pots and Potting Soil!
Purchase several starter kits. A starter kit consists of 7 peat pots (3-inch peat pots) and a tray. The tray holds the peat pots.
Since I grow a lot of sweet peppers, I purchase many starter kits. The potting soil that I purchase is the Organic Seed Starter for Organic Gardening.
We Are Ready to Plant the Seeds!
Add potting soil to each peat pot. Gently press down to pack the soil, leaving at least ½-inch space from the top rim. With a circular motion using a skewer, make a well in the center of the potting soil, measuring ½-inch deep.
During the month of January is when I start planting my sweet pepper seeds in the peat pots. This will allow ample time for them to grow 6 inches tall to plant them outdoors in May.
Place two seeds in your hand.
Drop the 2 seeds into the center hole.
Distribute the top dirt with your fingers to cover the hole.
Pour 2 ounces of water on top of the potting soil.
For each peat pot, repeat this process for planting your sweet pepper seeds.
Place the trays with the peat pots on a plant stand or tables (see above) near a window that will provide much needed sunlight during the winter months. Water the plants on a weekly basis to maintain the soil moist. Do not over water. Every two weeks give the plants some plant food.
I live in the Midwest so we experience cold winters. These are the basic instructions on how to grow the indoor sweet peppers in order to transplant them to the outdoor garden in May.
Click on the button below to watch my YouTube video on How to Grow Sweet Peppers Indoor!