If you have leggy pepper plants when starting them from pepper seeds, here are the top tips from Sandia Seed to keep your pepper plants growing strong and stocky:
1. Strengthen Pepper Plant Stems:
Once they pepper plant seedlings have sprouted, brush them daily with your hands or run a fan on them for a few hours a day. This will help them to grow stockier and they won't get as leggy. Brushing them or putting a fan on them simulates the natural conditions pepper plants were to get if they were growing outside, and it stimulates them for stockier growth.
2. Make sure your pepper plants have enough light:
Keep the light source within 6-10" of the seedlings. Though we find that light is not usually the problem with leggy pepper plants, it's more about giving them a breeze with a fan, bringing them outside for natural breezes, and/or brushing them daily with your hands is the #1 way to keep them from getting leggy.
Avoid Damping Off
Another reason for giving a breeze or hand-brushing your seedlings is to prevent Damping Off of your seedlings, a common ailment that kills seedlings caused by a soil-borne fungal disease that likes wet, damp, low-air-circulation conditions. It occurs after seeds sprout, the seedlings just seem to wither up and die. Keeping air circulation is critical after pepper plants first sprout so that they don't fall victim to dampening off. We also brush the seedlings daily by hand and that helps if you don't have a fan. You can talk to them or blow on them too, of course. ;)
Also be sure not to overwater your seedlings, as they do hate soggy feet, and this can also cause damping off problems.
Here is another video showing these same plants that have now gotten a lot bigger. You can run a fan on them, or brush them daily with your hands to keep them growing strong stems and staying stockier versus growing taller and more leggy. These seedlings are ready to be transplanted as they are getting crowded:
We also sell Tomato seeds, and these same tricks with work tomatoes, too – or really any seedlings! Simulating the natural breezes that plants would normally have outdoors is the best way to encourage them to grow stockier. So either brush your seedlings gently with your hands, or put a fan on them.
At Sandia Seed, we love spreading the love of growing chile pepper plants around the world! We add lots of unusual and rare pepper seed varieties all the time, so check out our website seed collections for our latest seed offerings for super hot pepper seeds, hot pepper seeds, Hatch chile seeds, and sweet pepper seeds. Happy growing!