How to Grow Peppers from Seeds? Growing peppers from seed can be difficult for novices, but it is actually rather simple. In this post, I’ll show you exactly how to grow peppers from seed, step by step, and provide you with everything you need to succeed! Peppers (also known as capsicum) are one of my all-time favourite vegetables! My husband like them as well, and we’ve grown numerous types (both hot and sweet) from seed over the years.
You may have heard that peppers are tough to germinate when it comes to sprouting seeds, and this is accurate. However, if you learn a few special tricks, you’ll realise how simple it is. So, in this article, I’ll show you step-by-step how to produce peppers from seed. I’ll go over the best way to utilise, when to start, planting instructions, germination time, seedling identification and care, transplanting, frequent difficulties, faqs, and more!
Growing Peppers From Seed
One of my favourite aspects about planting pepper seeds is the incredible variety available. There isn’t much variety in seedlings in the garden centre; they usually only have a few different ones. However, the variety of seeds available is astounding! It’s mind-boggling how many various sorts there are to pick from.
They range in flavour from mild bell peppers to the sweetness of banana peppers to the medium intensity of chillies… all the way up to hot cayennes, jalapenos, and habanero or ghost peppers. Whatever you can think of, I’ve probably grown it! Cayenne (hot), jalapeno (hot), bell (mild), Padron chile (mixed), and purple bell are some of my favourites (mild).
WhenTo Plant Pepper Seeds
Planting the seeds indoors 8-12 weeks before your average last frost date is the best approach to ensure a strong crop. The precise date for planting pepper seeds depends on where you reside. I live in Minnesota (z4b), and our normal latest frost date is approximately May 15th. So, in early March, I plant them indoors.
Planting Pepper Seeds
Growing peppers from seed is also simple because you don’t need to do anything specific to prepare them for planting. There is no need for nicking, soaking, or cold stratification. You can plant them right from the packet, and they will grow!
A word of caution… if you wish to sow hot pepper seeds, make sure to wear gloves when handling them. Otherwise, the capsicum oils may get on your hands and cause irritation (or worse, get in your eyes, OUCH!).
How to Grow Peppers from Seeds?
1. Fill the seed trays
Pre-moisten the peat pellets or fill the cells with damp seed starting soil. After that, place them in the trays.
2. Decide how many seeds to use
If you’re using fresh seeds, you can only plant one per cell/pellet. Plant 2-3 per cell/pellet if they are old or have a poor viability rate.
3. Plant the seeds to Grow Peppers from Seeds
Planting depth should be twice as deep as the width of the seed. Plant pepper seeds around 1/4′′ – 1/2′′ deep. To plant them, place the seeds on top of the dirt and gently press them down. Alternatively, you might drill the holes first, then drop the seeds in.
4. Cover the seeds with soil
Fill in the holes, then carefully press it down to ensure the seeds make contact with the earth. However, do not compact the earth; instead, softly press it down.
5. Add water to Grow Peppers from Seeds
If the soil isn’t already damp, you should soak it. It is recommended to water from the bottom to avoid disturbing the seeds.
Pour it into the tray until it’s about 1/4 the height of the pellets, or just over the drainage holes. Any extra water that hasn’t been absorbed within 15 minutes should be drained.
6. Cover the tray to Grow Peppers from Seeds
Put the clear plastic lid on top of the tray to keep the soil warm and moist.
7. Place the tray in a warm spot
If possible, place it on top of a heat mat. This will hasten germination. Otherwise, put it in the warmest possible location or use a space heater nearby. If the temperature is too low, germination will be slowed or the seeds may not germinate at all.
Pepper Seed Germination Time
When it comes to growing peppers from seed, patience is required. Germination might take anywhere from one week to nearly a month. Some kinds are more rapid than others. If yours is taking lengthy, it could be because it is too cold. Place the pans on a heat mat or over a vent to help them germinate faster. It’s incredible how quickly they germinate when you add bottom heat.
Pepper Seeding Care Tips
When the seeds begin to sprout, you may be wondering what to do next. Yikes! Don’t worry, one of the best aspects of growing peppers from seed is that the seedlings are incredibly easy to care for. You can read all about general seedling care here, but here are a few brief recommendations for caring for pepper seedlings…
Pepper seedlings require continuous watering but dislike wet soil. Allow the top layer of soil to dry out slightly between waterings, but never totally. If you overwater them and the soil becomes wet, drain all of the excess water in the tray. Then, put a low-powered fan to blow over the tray. This will aid in the drying of the waterlogged soil.
If pepper seedlings do not receive enough light, they will become leggy and will reach for the nearest window. It’s preferable to use a grow lamp to keep them growing thick and compact. As soon as they germinate, hang a grow light a few inches above the tray and set an outlet timer to keep it on for 14-16 hours per day.
3. Fertilizer to Grow Peppers from Seeds
When real leaves appear, it is time to begin fertilising. But don’t give them the entire dose right away. Start with a tiny dose and gradually increase the potency as they grow larger. I use (and strongly advise) an organic compost solution (or I make my own with compost tea bags). Alternatively, you might use a plant starter fertiliser.
4. Air Circulation
When all (or almost all) of the seeds in a flat have germinated, it’s time to let them breathe. Remove the lids and run a low-speed oscillating fan over them. This helps to reinforce them while also preventing mould growth in the trays. Connect it to the same timer as your lights, or use a shorter timer if you like.
5. Potting up Pepper Seedings to Grow Peppers from Seeds
When your pepper seedlings begin to outgrow the trays, transfer them to larger containers to allow them to grow larger. I like to use plantable pots to make transplanting into the garden easier. If you enjoy the idea but desire a more environmentally friendly alternative to peat, try coco coir or cow pots.
Alternatively, small plastic nursery pots can be used (which are reusable). Alternatively, you may use recyclable containers such as yoghurt cups or small milk cartons (just be sure to poke drainage holes on the bottom!).
Also Read: How to Grow Potatoes in a Bucket?