Here are our best tips for How to Grow Hot Peppers from Seed:
Step #1 for Growing Hot Peppers from Seed:
Note: Pepper Seed Germination Time
Germinating pepper seeds sometimes takes a LONG TIME and patience. Certain pepper seeds (like super hot peppers) are notoriously slow germinators, and need consistent moisture and warmth (80-90˚ F) for best germination. Be very patient, and don't give up on your pepper seeds or let them dry out, it can take some time for them to sprout!
Step #2 for Growing Hot Peppers from Seed:
Once they germinate, give them air circulation and brush them with your hands everyday or run a fan on them for a gentle breeze for a few hours a day. This will stimulate the pepper seedlings to grow thicker and stockier, as well as prevent dampening off seedling deaths (caused by fungus growing in the soil).
Step #3 for Growing Hot Peppers from Seed:
Make sure to give your hot pepper seedlings good light, and keep them moist but do not overwater! Other than not using heat when germinating, overwatering peppers is the most common problem we find that people have when growing hot peppers. Hot peppers hate wet feet, and the pepper plant leaves will turn yellow and wilt if overwatered. Make sure to let the soil dry out between waterings so they can breath. Don't drown them!
Step #4 for Growing Hot Peppers from Seed:
Make sure to harden off your indoor hot pepper plants grown from seeds indoors! That means you should take them out on nice days, we like to put them in dappled shade at first for a few hours, then move to the sun the next day for a 1-2 hours, and keep increasing the time over a period of days to get them used to the sun. Sunscald is another common ailment of hot peppers started from seed, if you take them from indoors to outdoors for a full day of hot sun, the leaves may turn white and the plants will get sunburned. So it is important to harden them off in small doses to get them used to the sun, temperatures and breezes.
It is also good to wait to plant hot peppers outside until it's warmed up to 60-70˚ F at night, as peppers like it hot (with the exception of some peppers for colder climates). You can also use covers or waterwalls to keep your peppers warmer if you want to plant before it gets that warm. Peppers won't grow much until it gets hot, so don't be discouraged if they are slow to get going at first when the nights are still cold and the spring weather brings cool days.
Learn more about How to Grow Peppers »