It is safe to feed worms fresh peppers including jalapenos, bell peppers and long Thai peppers. Peppers will not affect the balance in your worm farm if you only add small amounts. Do not add peppers that have been picked or covered in salt or sugar. Ants will be attracted quickly to any peppers that contain sugar. Roasted peppers can also be added to the worm bin if they do not contain any added salt.
Pepper flesh will be broken down quickly in your worm farm. Pepper seeds will not be broken down and can sprout from the worm castings when you mix them through your garden. Pepper stems take longer to break down than the flesh but will eventually be eaten by the worms and soil bacteria.
If you have extra peppers on your bush, or if they have grown moldy and old in your fridge then you can definitely feed them to your worms. Chop them into small pieces to help them break down quicker.
How to safely add peppers to your worm farm
Fresh peppers will be broken down quickly by your worms. You can slice them up into small pieces to increase the surface area and help the worms to break them down quicker. You can also cut bell peppers in half and let the worms work their way in. They will crawl into the bell pepper and eat the flesh.
Worms will generally eat from the soft fleshy side first leaving eh skin for last. They usually let the pepper stems start to break down before eating them. They are much harder than the flesh so take more time for the worms to break down.
1. Bell peppers
Bell peppers that are green, yellow or red are perfectly fine for adding to your worm farm. To support the worms to break the down quicker, chop or slice them into small pieces less than 1/3 an inch wide. Bell peppers are loved by worms because they are easy to digest.
Sometimes worms will let them break down in your worm farm for up to a week before they start eating them. Worms usually start to break down food scraps that have already started to rot before the fresh food.
2. Jalapeno peppers
Jalapeno peppers are great food for worms fresh. Do not add salted or picked jalapenos because this can upset the balance of bacteria in your worm farm and attract ants. Worms also do not like to eat picked foods and will often avoid them.
3. Habanero peppers
Fresh habanero peppers are safe to feed to worms. Add small amounts, starting with 2-3 peppers before adding more. Remember that worms will break down food quicker in the spring and summer so adjust the amount down when the weather starts to cool.
If you are growing habanero peppers at home you can throw any extras in your worm bin. Chop them open to make it easier for the worms to eat from the inside.
4. Roast peppers
It is safe to add roast peppers to your worm farm if they are not salted. Any excess salt can upset the balance of bacteria in your worm farm. You can rinse the peppers under cold water to wash off any salt before adding them in.
Plain roast peppers will be broken down quickly by the worms. Cut them into small pieces if they are large and start with adding equivalent to 1 large bell pepper at a time.
5. Peppers on a pizza
If you have a family member or friend who picks off peppers on a pizza you can add these to your worm farm if they don’t have any cheese on them. If the peppers were fresh on the pizza and not salted you can add them to your worm bin.
These small pieces of pepper will be broken down quicky in you worm bin and will prevent you having to throw them in the bin.
6. Small spicy peppers
Tiny Thai peppers or long peppers are fine to add to worm farms. Worms do not taste food in the same way that we do so are not turned off by the spice or capsaicin in the peppers. Start with adding 4-5 small peppers before adding more.
These spicy peppers will be broken down quicker if they are chopped. These small peppers usually contain a lot of seeds which take worms a long time to break down. They can often be left uneaten and can sprout in your worm farm or garden.
Having small peppers sprout in your worm farm is no problem, just gently dig them back into the worm castings. Letting them grow in your veggie patch is also a great bonus.
7. Pickled peppers
Any peppers that have been prepared in picking solution should not be added to your worm farm. Excess salt, acid from the vinegar and sugar is not great for the worms. They will usually avoid these peppers until they have been in the worm farm for weeks.
By this time the peppers can attract ants or flies so it is best to avoid getting rid of them in your worm farm.
Can you feed worms hot peppers?
I have been adding hot peppers to my worm farm without any problems. Worms will usually allow them to break down for a while before eating them. Worms like to let most food scraps start to break down before they eat them.
Soil bacteria will also move in to break down the peppers. The worms will eat the soil bacteria and turn the whole lot into worm castings. The nutrients will be trapped in the castings and are perfect for your garden.
How to Feed Worms Peppers | Summary
Feed worms fresh or roasted peppers that do not have any added salt or sugar. Cut large, fresh peppers into smaller pieces to help worms to break them down quicker. Avoid adding any picked peppers to your worm farm as the worms won’t like them and they can attract ants and flies.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.