Pepper plant | How to grow peppers

The Ultimate Guide How To Grow Peppers

Have you been wanting to add peppers to your garden but just didn’t know how to grow peppers? Or maybe you’ve planted them but need to know how to cover them. We’re going to cover everything you need to know about how to grow peppers in this post!

Peppers are pretty easy to grow, and usually quite easy to find at your local stores which makes them the perfect choice for new gardeners. They also are a great choice for container gardening!

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How To Grow Peppers

Just like anything else, how to grow peppers starts with good soil. Whether you are growing peppers in containers on your porch, in a raised bed, or in the ground having good soil is a must. Check out this article we did on soil preparation.  

Peppers like lots of sun and need a place that has good drainage. They also like rich, loose soil that is deep, if your soil isn’t amended add an inch of compost or well-rotted manure to your plot. Don’t add to much manure to your garden plot because too much nitrogen can make your plants grow to fast. This can leave them susceptible to disease and cause them not to thrive.

How To Start Peppers From Seeds

What you will need:

Generally, you should start your pepper seeds somewhere in the late winter to early spring to be ready to transplant into your garden when temperatures permit. Most pepper varieties take sprout in about a week at 70-80F, however, some varieties can be a little tricky. Very hot peppers can take up to 6 weeks to sprout. 

Before you plant your pepper seeds, soak your seeds in warm water overnight. Fill your seed starting trays with soil and gently tap them to remove any air. Plant 2-3 seeds per pot and lightly cover over the seeds with soil (don’t tamp the soil down). Once the seeds sprout make sure your seedlings get lots of sunlight. Spritz seedings when the soil begins to turn a light brown. Keep them moist but don’t let them get to wet. 

Once your pepper seeds have sprouted and gotten about two inches tall, trim out all but the strongest seedling in each pot. Or if you are very careful you can try to gently separate the seedlings to transplant into separate pots. We did a video on how to separate seedlings that may help you. 

Transplant your pepper seedlings into larger pots when they are 3″ tall and have their first set of true leaves. Be careful not to damage the roots. Before you plant them out in the garden be sure to harden off your peppers plants.

How Long Does It Take To Grow Peppers From Seed

Peppers need a long growing season to reach full maturity, usually 4-5 months from starting the seeds to the first harvest. Although some varieties grow much faster than others. 

Can I Grow Peppers From Store-bought Peppers?

As long as the peppers you bought are red, orange, yellow, or another ripe color, when you saved the seeds for planting you’ve most likely got mature seeds. Peppers can take up to 14 days to sprout inside, so make sure to give them consistent dampness and temperatures around 70 degrees to aid germination.

How To Grow Peppers: Transplanting Peppers Into The Garden

The next step in how to grow peppers is planting. Peppers require warm weather, frosts and freezes will wreak havoc on your plants (many come from tropical climates). Plant your peppers out in the garden when nighttime temperatures are consistently above 60 degrees. Try to plant them on a cloudy day to reduce stress on your pepper plants. 

Space your plants 12-20″ apart, plant them a little deeper then they were in the pot. Like tomatoes, peppers grow extra roots on the buried stems. You may need to stake or use a tomato cage on taller plants so that strong winds or rain don’t damage the plant.

How Long Does It Take For A Pepper Plant To Bear Fruit?

For the most part, sweet peppers reach maturity in 60-90 days; hot peppers may take up to 150 days to reach maturity.

How To Grow Peppers The Best Way

Peppers are pretty easy to grow, but they still need a couple of things you should know about how to grow peppers. Your pepper plants need about 1″ of water a week. If you are experiencing times of extreme heat or drought check your plants regularly because your plants can take about a gallon of water a day. 

If you live in a very hot region add a thick layer of mulch around the base of your plants (only after it’s gotten warm if you mulch cold soil it will keep the soil cool and stunt your plant) to help retain the water. 

Pinch the first flowers off your pepper plants, this will help to direct their energy into growing. This will help you get larger fruit later on in the season. 


How To Grow Peppers: Harvesting

The final step when it comes to how to grow peppers is harvesting. Harvest your peppers when they are full size using a pair of scissors. Avoid using your fingers to harvest peppers because you can damage the plant. 

How Many Peppers Will One Plant Produce?

Typically a bell pepper plant will yield about five to ten peppers per plant; but, some varieties will produce a few more or less. Weather and soil conditions will play a factor in how many peppers you get. 

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Tips For How To Grow Peppers

  • Water your plants from the bottom, pepper plants can be prone to fungus. We like to water ours with a soaker hose on ours.
  • Fertilize your peppers after the first fruit sets. 
  • Be careful not to disturb the roots of your peppers when you are weeding them. 
  • Avoid planting peppers where you’ve planted other members of the nightshade family (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant) because these can expose your plants to disease.  

Have a question about how to grow peppers? Drop them in the comments and we will try to answer them!

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