• Blog your pepper progress. The first image in your first post will be used to represent your Glog.

Paprika For Everyone

About the Grow:

The (hydro) spice must flow

This year I am starting Pepper Joe’s Leutschauer indoors and transitioning them outdoors

The entire grow will be using hydroponics

Once finished I will produce several lifetime's worth of Paprika, also cornering the market

I'm starting 10 seeds and will do a pheno-hunt in my indoor tent for a mother plant

Once the mother is established I will do about 10 clones and transfer them outdoors

Stages of Growing:

Seed starting
Solo cups
5 gallon bucket
55 gallon drum (outdoor)

I'll document these methods in following posts

About Me:

I'm not exactly a master grower but I have successfully created crosses and done quite a bit of pepper growing in the past

I can't handle any heat anymore, which has limited me to extremely boring sweet peppers in a traditional outdoor garden

After stumbling on the idea of growing some paprika peppers I decided to dust off the hydroponic equipment and give it a go

Thanks for reading and I look forward to sharing my experience with this project


  • IMG_20200920_090815.jpg
    85.2 KB · Views: 2,223
Welcome to the new season, John. I know what you mean
about the heat. I can't tolerate was much as I used to, either 😉

Looking forward to seeing your hydro grow.
I'm here saying to everyone that I don't like those very hot peppers and getting irritated that this statement gets less and less truthful with every sauce I make and they're saying they can't tolerate what they used to... :confused:

Once finished I will produce several lifetime's worth of Paprika, also cornering the market
I love the way you think. I also have something like that in mind! Freezer is on my wishlist for the autumn... and maybe freeze dryer... :metal:

Sweet little pepper you've shown there!

Have a wonderful season :cheers:
Thanks for the interest everyone.

While waiting for the seeds to arrive I'll detail the stages of growth, they don't arrive for a week and not very exciting for a few days after that

Seed starting:

I use these specific seed starting trays, which I use for microgreens, purchased in bulk quite a few years ago. They're hard to find but I've still seen them on eBay and Ali sites

They have a clear lid, a strainer basket and a plastic base. Inside the strainer basket I place a plastic tray with cells using General Hydroponics Rapid Rooter plugs

The light is a 25W T8 which I run from the start, I've had seedlings get leggy in such a short amount of time there's no reason to not run it for an extra few hours or days before they sprout

Light is on a mechanical timer, and every morning I water the plugs through with a tiny drink. The inside of the container stays extremely humid because of the reservoir in the bottom. In the past I've used a seedling heat mat but I think the heat from the light bulb is enough to crank it up a few degrees

I've had really good luck in the past with germination percentages, so hoping for good results when the seeds come in a few days

Pictures attached are:
Microgreens from years ago, and current Basque Pepper and Farmers Market Jalapeno starts for the regular kitchen garden, along with some chives and other herbs waiting to sprout

Thanks for reading!


  • 20200202_084401.jpg
    155.4 KB · Views: 67
  • 20240310_122543.jpg
    74.1 KB · Views: 56
  • 20240310_122609.jpg
    79.3 KB · Views: 59
Last edited:
The seeds magically arrived a week early

Got them started in the standard setup, 13 in total.

I added another 25w light to the setup which feels a bit excessive but we'll see

Some Leutschauer stats:

A lovely drying pepper that comes from Matrafured, Hungary. It has been grown there since the 1800s when it was brought from Leutschau (Slovakia). The medium-hot paprikas have great flavor, are terrific for drying, and make a delicious spicy powder. Very rare!

Solanaceae Capsicum annuum

Ease of Growing: Moderate
Grown As: Annual
Days to Maturity: 85 (Spring/Summer)
Growing Habit: Bush
Hardiness: Very Tender
Color: Green > RedFruit
Size: 2.0 - 2.0"
Plant Height: 18.0 - 36.0"
Plant Diameter: 10.0 - 12.0"
Hardiness Zone: 4-12
Taste Profile: Medium-hot paprikas have great flavor, are terrific for drying, and make a delicious spicy powder.
Fruits: Solanaceae + Cucurbits


Next post I'll get some photos of the solo cup / seedling phase while we wait for them to sprout


  • 20240311_094311.jpg
    48.1 KB · Views: 44
Last edited:
A great surprise this morning, always a welcome sign. Looks like we got 3 of 14. I found a straggler very sad seed hiding in the envelope so the official count is 14 now, a much luckier number.

Seems like several will be joining us in the next few days as well. Nice strong sprouts and no helmets.

The next stage is almost done being set up, I have the cups arranged, just need to hang the light.


  • 20240319_115129.jpg
    193.9 KB · Views: 48
  • 20240319_102850.jpg
    139.1 KB · Views: 48
Last edited:
Seedling Update: 9 sprouts have shown up, should be a few more. I'm only keeping 10 so nice to have a few backups.

Solo Cups / Juvenile Stage

The solo cup phase is almost upon us, unlike every other year I'm actually prepared ahead of time

By far my least favorite stage as it seems to drag on and the plants don't change much

Details of The Setup:

I'm using the underside of a shelf area. I've hung the light with wires and an adjustable pull rope. I'll also wire it to a different point for safety

The plants will be in solo cups placed in a cardboard flat for jars. The seed plugs will be in a 3" net cup full of hydroton to keep it upright

Using a jar ring makes a perfect adapter for solo cup and net cup, but I've never done it and I'm slightly worried about how sturdy they will be

These are going on the carpet so I'll lay down some cardboard or plastic to protect it

Spider Farmer SF-1000

Fox Farms Big Bloom, Grow Big

3" net cups
Solo cup
Wide mouth jar ring

Feeding Schedule:
Fox Farms Hydroponic

Vivosun PH and Ec Pens
Ratcheting pull rope
Hanging wire

I haven't decided if I want to put a 25W T8 light or 2 in the area temporarily or if they 100W will raise up enough to not burn them. I may also just water them in the seed trays with some big bloom because their nutrients are mostly water in the early stages

Seedlings in the picture attached are my outdoor Basque peppers for this year. I just pulled 3 culls and stuck them in their own setup so I'm hoping to have 5

Thanks for checking in. I'll update when we get more sprouts, and then at least weekly after that. I'll detail the final step of the project setup when I establish the tent, ventilation, and cloning system for the mother


  • 20240315_172600.jpg
    129.5 KB · Views: 48
  • 20240320_184326.jpg
    46.2 KB · Views: 47
  • 20240320_184306.jpg
    76.6 KB · Views: 53
Last edited:
Transplant day is upon us

12 seedlings moved into the solo cup setup

I decided I want to put them back under the 50w lights so that they don't have too many changes in one day

In about 3 days I'll move them under the 100w light


Mostly Fox Farms Big Bloom, with a tiny bit of Fox Farms Grow Big Hydro

The nutrients are a little bit hot at 1000 ppm, but the seedlings look mature so I think they will handle it

I'm going to need to calibrate my pens and test the pH soon, I'll post an update here


3" CZ net cups
Solo cups in a ball mason jar flat

I've never used this setup before, previously I used yogurt containers with a hole cut in the lid

I didn't think I could find, cut, and paint them in enough time so I improvised this setup

They can definitely fall over, so I don't know how well it will work for me

I will probably replace the cups with actual jars, if I can get out to spray paint them before it rains


2x 25W T8

I added a tiny 5v desk fan as well.


  • 20240331_125054.jpg
    119.5 KB · Views: 44
  • 20240331_125150.jpg
    252.4 KB · Views: 45
  • 20240331_132458.jpg
    138.5 KB · Views: 45
  • 20240331_143751.jpg
    110.2 KB · Views: 44
Last edited:
Time for a nutrient "flush"

Going to step up to 2000 ppm and add Cal-Mag

If I had a better eC meter, and honestly a better understanding of eC I would try and reuse my nutrients for seedlings etc. But I will most likely just throw them out

Still haven't officially tested my pH

OR moved them to the better light

I will move them this week for sure as they are outgrowing the shelf setup, still don't want to shock them with nutrient change and light increase.

I have tons of other sprouts waiting for their spot

If anyone is interested in the official (non-GLOG) related list:

Brazilian Starfish
Roatan Pumpkin Habanero
Basque Peppers F2
Farmer's Market Jalapeno
Chocolate Cherry
Bahamian Goat
Carolina Reaper
Datil c. chinense x Dracula c. annuum F2
Naga Bhut Jolokia
California Bell
Chocolate Bell
Purple Beauty
King of the North

These are mostly random / whatever I could get my hands on. As usual I have no plan to actually be able to effectively grow this many plants, but I want to anyway

I'm having some leaf issues

It's only 3 of the 10 so not a total loss, but a couple of the bigger ones are damaged. Part of the reason I love to grow this way is to see the difference in the individual plants and find a suitable mother who has taken well to hydro

the 2nd picture was touching the light, so that is an easy solution. It's hard with the weak T8s to keep them from getting etiolated without making them hug the light

I'm suspecting edema for the 3rd picture, there was some salt like bumps underneath a couple leaves, all the sources say to increase airflow but I really don't think that's the remedy. The plants are next to a window and have a fan on them that I move around to randomize the direction

Over watering is another commonly cited mistake, but it's not exactly possible to fix that. It's possible the plug is staying too wet but I don't think that's happening in these big mature plants

If anyone has any suggestions I'm very open to feedback

Thanks for reading!


  • Untitled.png
    102.3 KB · Views: 54
  • 20240409_133018.jpg
    319.4 KB · Views: 45
  • 20240409_132941.jpg
    116.7 KB · Views: 38
  • 20240409_132937.jpg
    130.3 KB · Views: 46
  • 20240409_132933.jpg
    326.8 KB · Views: 41
Last edited:
I added a little redneck eye protection to this project. The purple light is visible from the peripheral of my desk. Just used a little cardboard, wood glue and tin foil. Definitely don't need the foil but I want to maximize coverage with these weaker lights.

The game of containing light, while maintaining temperature and airflow has begun. Luckily these are close to a window and it's still relatively chilly here.


  • 20240411_094157.jpg
    134.1 KB · Views: 34
  • 20240411_094905.jpg
    137.8 KB · Views: 42
Last edited:
I've moved them to their semi permanent home under the 100W Spider farmer light

Amid a bunch of problems I have become disgusted with the performance of these FF nutes

I've never used the Big Bloom for any serious grows before, and the organic matter has become disgusting

I have no pearly white roots and every plant is showing some different symptom of something

I was just following their feeding schedule, but I'm assuming they are for a circulating system? Or something other than kratky cups

I'm currently dumping the fox farms and going with General Hydroponics Maxigrow. It's so much simpler and I always hate paying for water based nutrients. The maxigrow is concentrated so a little packet goes a very long way

I'm flushing them overnight with plain water, then tomorrow I will bathe them with hydrogen peroxide and mix up some nutrients for them.

Will keep everyone updated on the results.
Last edited:
I've done some culling

Switched to GH Maxigrow @ 800 PPM

Finally tested pH at 6.9 so I will start using pH down with the next round of nutrients

Some plants have started to thrive, we have 3 that are fairly perfect and another 4 freaks. So the official count is at 7

A nice candidate for the mother has emerged, pictured first. I hate getting attached to them because that's the one the light will fall on later


  • IMG_20240425_081415267_HDR.jpg
    165.6 KB · Views: 40
  • 20240331_125054.jpg
    103.7 KB · Views: 31
Topping and pruning day, along with nutrient change

Finally addressed the pH. The water is really bad at 7.0 so with nutrients it goes sky high. I lowered it down with General Hydroponics (GH) buffer and managed to get the pH at 6.0 and the ppm at 600. Easy to remember if this works. Added 1 teaspoon Cal-Mag for good measure.

I'm feeding way less because nutrients are expensive and the fox farms feeding schedule wasn't working. Plants are still dropping dead randomly as well. Official count is now 6. I looked into the GH feeding schedule more and decided to go somewhere between light and medium feed.

Interestingly General Hydroponics recommends feeding WAY less than Fox Farms. I've always heard from older growers to not take advice on how much to use from the people selling the product

Try not to judge me too harshly on the pruning jobs on the ones marked backup, they are genetic freaks and I tried to make them look nice

A lot of them have absolutely gigantic leaves, so I clipped the ends to try and stop them from making dinner plates

Other than that I tried to top the 5th node on the unscathed ones. One of the plants marked primary has absolutely terrible root growth, I don't think it will make it much longer

I'm thinking #5 will be the mother, it's got nice medium growth rate, gorgeous roots, and without knowing the phenotype (that would involve research) I think it looks great

I added some friends to the mix, King of the North, My Datil x Dracula F2 crosses, and some chocolate bells and purple beauties

On a side note I'm interested to see how growing these big heavy peppers will go with hydroponics, I feel like the nutrient use might not be worth the yield

It's already time to start setting up the next stage, 4 x 4 grow tent, the same 100w light, and 3 gallon buckets

I will keep two mothers in there, the Paprika from this project and one King pepper

Thanks everyone for reading, looking forward to the next update


  • IMG_20240504_133334417.jpg
    99.6 KB · Views: 42
  • IMG_20240504_131834527_HDR.jpg
    262.5 KB · Views: 38
  • IMG_20240504_124913597_HDR.jpg
    50.9 KB · Views: 38
  • IMG_20240504_124857697.jpg
    82 KB · Views: 38
  • gif-20240504-132148.gif
    4 MB · Views: 70
Last edited:
The project continues but I'm not excited about the progress. I'm not happy with the way the main candidate has responded to topping, it seems to be needing more nutrients. The leaf curling up continues and at the same time they are slightly etiolated

I'll be feeding them soon. I'll get the feed up to 700 ppm and actually measure the cal mag this time

First it was overfeeding and wilting and now I think I have some sort of nutrient deficiency. I've asked and asked around as well as internet search and the most I've found is "heat or nutrient deficiency"

I have almost no shot of diagnosing nutrient deficiencies, so I have raised the light a couple clicks and turned on the big fan just to make sure it's not heat. I can't imagine airflow and heat are an issue with this relatively small light and open grow space

It's time to thin the herd yet again, I'm going to try and plant 3 of them outside in dirt, which I've had mixed success with in the past. I still have 6 so plenty of backups for the mother until cloning starts.


  • IMG_20240515_072751967.jpg
    166.7 KB · Views: 40
Last edited:
Not too much exciting to report. Changed nutrients, haven't done any pruning. I added a second USB fan just for fun, the area is getting really crowded as the younger exotic peppers are starting to veg. I didn't plan to share the space but here we are

Still procrastinating upgrading to 5 gallon buckets. The hydroton is one of the last missing pieces and it's on order. One of the drawbacks of this system is that I'll need a ton of hydroton for the large net pots, and it's not very easy to find

Nutrients were slightly raised to 750 ppm
pH was right at 6.0

As far as the pheno hunt goes, #1 has responded the best to topping and the new growth on it looks beautiful. I believe it is now the best contender for a mother plant

#4 has some bizarre lack of root growth that I thought might be interesting. It's definitely stunted but I have no idea how it's alive without any real roots

Coming up is obviously the move to their final home, probably not going to increase the nutrient strength for awhile. I'm thinking about firing up the air pump and switching over to Deep Water Culture. For a mother plant it will be beneficial because kratky style can kill a perfectly healthy plant instantly

The difference is with DWC you can fill the entire container, as the aeration from the pump eliminates the needs for air roots

The drawback is the extra electricity, setup time, and the noise of the pump. For the last reason I'll probably only setup the pumps if I can move them from my office


  • IMG_20240525_105342112.jpg
    95.2 KB · Views: 34
  • IMG_20240525_105434847.jpg
    47.4 KB · Views: 33
Last edited:
Well the peppers are angry to say the least

I went on vacation and somehow left the person taking care of the plants with a SUPER hot mix of nutrients

It was 8.5 pH and 800 ppm, most of the plants either wilted or got very angry and started to cannibalize the leaves

I believe this is due to nutrient lock out

We're not done by any means, but down to 3 plants

The plants I had moved outside did not withstand the journey, and several of my other exotics didn't make it

The clones I had started did not take at all, going to try again because that could be a major issue. I don' t think there's such a thing as a plant that won't clone, but very odd as all 3 clippings didn't produce any roots

The nutrients have been lowered back down to 6.0 pH and 680 ppm. Pictures to come next time. We're now really overdue for up-potting, some of the plants are drinking a lot
Last edited:
We have officially switched over to the fruiting / bloom period

I really didn't think it would get this far so I'm already excited

Some of the supplies I got were: 5 gallon bucket, 5 gallon bucket topper, and a copious amount of hydroton

I soaked the hydroton in water for a few days, it was impressive how much water it absorbed

The 5 gallon topper already has a hole drilled for an air pump, once these 5 gallons of nutrients go down I will most likely be converting to Deep Water Culture (DWC) on the next refill. But for now we're still using the Kratky method

The mother has really terrible roots, but is by far the most stable and well rounded up top. I have a 5 gallon bucket net cup that had the bottom cut out, so the smaller 3" net cup can sit right inside it perfectly. This puts the roots, as short as they are, pretty deep down into the bucket. I usually try and save or cut away completely the smaller net cup, but I think in this case I will just leave it because it fits perfectly

I now remember making 5 gallons of nutrients is extremely difficult, especially indoors

I've switched to GH Maxi-Bloom

6.0 pH and 950 ppm

3 mL / gal of Cal-Mag

I've raised the light as high as it will go, I'm still a little worried that the tops will be burned. The next stage will be moving into a grow tent in the garage. From there I will eventually start bagging the flowers for seed, and cutting clipping for clones.


  • IMG_20240711_111905553.jpg
    184.9 KB · Views: 12
  • IMG_20240711_092909864.jpg
    62.2 KB · Views: 13
  • IMG_20240711_111429659_HDR.jpg
    87.9 KB · Views: 11
Last edited:
Updated fruit picture and an overview of the whole setup. I'm adding at least one more 5 gallon bucket, possibly more

Some of the other varieties that made the cut:

Chocolate Bell - Big fruits already, will probably be up potted to a 5 gallon
Datil x Dracula (F2) - no fruits yet but plenty of flowers opening
King of the North - pictured in the foreground
Purple UFO - Lagging behind the rest but flowers are starting to open

I still have some other varieties kicking on the smaller plant shelf. Several of them are on life support, and all of them are way under performing.

The current list is:

- Dracula
Brazilian Starfish
Roatan Pumpkin Habanero
Basque Peppers F2

- Farmer's Market Jalapeno
Chocolate Cherry
Bahamian Goat

- Carolina Reaper
- Datil c. chinense x Dracula c. annuum F2
Naga Bhut Jolokia
California Bell

- Chocolate Bell
- Purple Beauty
- King of the North


  • IMG_20240714_111835032_HDR.jpg
    174.5 KB · Views: 15
  • IMG_20240714_111806928.jpg
    77 KB · Views: 17
Last edited: