Spicy exchange / 2023
What does the internet say?
There's mixed evidence as to whether or not watering less can make your peppers hotter. Some evidence suggests that reducing water does increase capsaicin content, while other researchers have not had the same results.
Capsaicin acts as a natural insect repellent for pepper plants, so some people think that insect pressure can benefit the heat of your harvest. I haven't found concrete evidence either way, but I try to maintain a healthy ecosystem with insects and pollinators by avoiding any pesticides, including neem.
Growing sweet and hot peppers together won't have an impact on the heat of your peppers in a single season. However, if you want to save seeds, cross-pollination is possible between generations so you may want to isolate your hot peppers.
The "green thumb" is a myth — with the right information, anyone can successfully grow peppers. Enjoy this free 34-page guide to help you grow an abundant harvest.