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Why are my pepper plants not growing?

Why are my pepper plants not growing?


Pepper plants growing slow? Wondering why your pepper plants aren't growing? Or why are your pepper plants growing so slow? Here are our top tips on getting your pepper seeds and plants to grow faster:

  1. Keep Seeds Warm: For the most successful and fastest germination, pepper seeds need warmth and moisture. We recommend keeping them very warm at 80-90˚F for fastest germination. To keep seeds this warm, we often use a seedling heat mat under the trays to keep them at the optimal temperature.

    Once sprouted, give them a gentle breeze a couple times a week with a small fan, or brush them with your hands daily. This stimulation and air movement helps to keep them stockier and not get as leggy, plus cuts down on dampening off, a common seedling ailment that causes them to shrivel up and die. Learn more about Weak Pepper Seedlings »

  2. Bright Light & Full Sun:  If starting pepper seeds indoors, after they sprout, make sure your peppers are getting plenty of bright light. Keep the light source near the seedlings and keep the light on them for at least 12-16 hours a day. Eventually, when it warms up enough outside, the pepper plants should be planted outdoors in full sun with at least 6-8 hours of sunlight a day.

  3. Warm Weather: Do not transplant pepper plants outdoors until temperatures reach a constant 60-70° F or higher, even at night. Slightly cool nighttime temperatures can stunt plants so they grow very slow or not at all, and frosts can kill your pepper plant very easily. 

    Note that the opposite is true, too:  If the weather is super hot, over 90˚ F, pepper plants also slow down on growing and may not have good pollination of blooms, so don't be alarmed if they slow down a bit during super hot spells.

    Note, if you live in a cooler region like the mountains, you can also try growing these are cooler weather tolerating peppers »

  4. Don't Overwater!! One of the biggest mistakes of gardeners (even experienced ones) is to overwater pepper plants and seedlings. Peppers hate soggy feet and will quickly wilt and turn yellow if their roots are drowning in wet soil. Make sure to keep the soil moist, but it let it dry out slightly between waterings. 

Fastest Growing Peppers

How do I make my pepper plants grow faster?

Find our top tips for fast growing peppers to learn about the fastest growing peppers to grow and how to take care of your pepper plants so that they grow more quickly and produce larger harvests! 

Why are my pepper plants so small?
They could be stunted by cool weather, especially cool nights. Keep peppers warm and wait to plant outside until the weather has warmed up to 60-70˚ F at night consistently. You'll find once the hot weather arrives and the soil warms up, the peppers should start taking off.

Also, be sure they are planted in full sun (6-8 hours+) and that you're not overwatering your pepper plants as soggy roots are one of the most common reasons for stunted and unhealthy, slow-growing pepper plants. 

Want more pepper growing tips? 

Learn more about How to Grow Peppers: 

How to Grow Peppers