Inverted Pepper Plants: Learn About Growing Peppers Upside Down

Container Grown Upside Down Pepper Plant
upside down peppers
(Image credit: Gardening Know How, via Heather Rhoades)

I’m pretty sure most of you have seen those green Topsy-Turvy tomato bags. It’s a pretty nifty idea, but what if you wanted to grow pepper plants upside down? It seems to me that an upside-down tomato is the same idea as an inverted pepper plant. With the thought of growing peppers upside down, I did a little research on how to grow peppers vertically. Keep reading to find out if and how you can grow peppers upside down.

Can You Grow Peppers Upside Down?

Absolutely, it’s possible to grow inverted pepper plants. Apparently, not every veggie does well upside down, but upside-down pepper plants are a go, probably because they don’t have really deep roots. Really, though, why wouldn’t you try growing peppers upside down? Upside-down gardening is a space saver, lacks pesky weeds, foils pests and fungal disease, doesn’t need staking and, thanks to gravity, delivers water and nutrients easily. How do you grow peppers vertically? Well, you can purchase one of those Topsy-Turvy bags or a copycat version, or you can make your own upside-down container out of all kinds of things – buckets, cat litter containers, heavy duty plastic trash bags, reusable plastic topes, and the list goes on.

How to Grow Peppers Vertically

The container can be as simple and inexpensive as a repurposed container with a hole through the bottom in which you thread the seedling, a coffee filter or newspaper to keep dirt from falling out of the hole, some lightweight soil and a sturdy twine, wire, chain, or even plastic weed eater string. Or, for those engineering, enterprising gardeners, it can be more complex and include pulley systems, built-in water reservoirs, and spiffy liners of landscape fabric or coconut fiber. Buckets are the easiest thing to use, especially if they have lids which will help the upside-down planter retain water. If you have a container without a lid, consider it an opportunity to grow something vertically atop the upside-down peppers, like herbs that will complement the peppers when they’re ready for harvesting. As with upside down tomatoes, add about a 2 inch (5 cm.) hole/opening in the bottom portion of the chosen container and use a coffee filter or newspaper to anchor your plant into place (add a slit for easy installation of the plant). Slowly and gently push your pepper plant through the hole so that it hangs out the bottom with the roots inside the container. You can then begin filling in around the plant roots with potting mix, tamping the soil as you go. Continue filling the container until you reach about an inch (2.5 cm.) or so from its rim. Water thoroughly until it drains out and then hang your inverted pepper plant in a sunny location.

Amy Grant

Amy Grant has been gardening for 30 years and writing for 15. A professional chef and caterer, Amy's area of expertise is culinary gardening.