Growing Peppers From Seed

Like the past few seasons, I started growing all my peppers from seed and indoors. Most of the peppers I grow have to be started from seed – you can’t buy them anywhere (plants or pods) and surely can’t find them locally (I’m in Northern Illinois). They also have to be started indoors. Growing peppers indoors for the first few months is required in my part of the country because of the long growing cycles needed. Most of the hot peppers I grow take a minimum of 120 days to produce ripe pods, most take more than 150 days.

Tips for Growing Peppers from Seed
I wish I could say that I follow all of this advice but I don’t. I’ve found that peppers are very resilient and despite my best efforts to prevent growth they thrive anyways:-) I would also add that these are just tips/guidelines…many pepper growers do things differently with great results. In no particular order of importance….

1 When it comes to growing peppers, less is more. I’ve read countless threads and blogs where people describe problems with their pepper plants and very often it’s because they are doing too much. Over fertilizing, over watering, tinkering with the soil, re-potting again and again, etc. You have to remember that in the wild peppers just fall to the ground and the next season the seeds grow. Not saying you should take that approach to your peppers just highlighting the fact that nature has a pretty basic process that works well. Don’t over think it when it comes to peppers – you don’t need to spend a lot of money buying all kinds of fertilizers and high end soils. My peppers spend the first 6 – 10 weeks of their lives in your basic red solo cup typically in MG potting soil.

2 For the most part, tap water is just fine. I’ve read all sort of claims that you need to buy water or use heavily filtered water to get seeds to sprout / successfully grow peppers. BS. Unless your tap water is really, really bad – like undrinkable for humans – it’s fine for growing peppers. Save your money, no need to buy water for pepper growing. Rainwater is great if you can collect and store it. All I have ever used is unfiltered tap water and I’ve never had any water related problems when it comes to growing peppers.

3 Pepper seeds germinate best between 75 and 85 degrees. There are quite a few different ways to germinate peppers seeds – in wet paper towels, in baggies, in dirt, etc. Regardless of how you choose to germinate your seeds temp is important and you’ll want to aim for a consistent 75 – 85 degree range. Temperatures in that range really speed germination. That said, I just fill solo cups with MG potting soil and bury seeds about 1/2 inch deep. I germinate everything in my basement where the temps float between 60 and 65 degrees. I typically get 80% germination but it takes a lot longer due to the lower temps…25+ days is not at all unusual for hot pepper seeds germinating in lower temperatures.

4 Start hot pepper seeds early. The biggest mistake I made during my first season growing hot peppers was that I started way to late. Last frost/plant out in my part of the country is May 15th. My first year I didn’t start my seeds until mid April and most of them had not even sprouted by plant out time. That year 90% of my peppers will still on the plants and far from being ripe by the time the season changed and temperatures started dropping below freezing. It goes without saying I was not happy about throwing away 90% of my peppers and that has never happened again. Here’s a good place to determine when it’s safe to plant out in your area. You can use this info to determine when to start your seeds. Depending on the type of pepper you’re growing you’ll want to start seeds indoors anywhere from 8 – 12 weeks before your plant out date.

5 Give them light! The moment your pepper seeds poke through the dirt they need light and lots of it. If you plan to move your plants outside when it’s warm enough you don’t need fancy or expensive lights, basic florescent lights will do just fine. Get a florescent fixture or two and keep the lights 2 – 3 inches off the tops of your plants. Give your pepper sprouts 24/7 light for the first 4 – 5 weeks then switch them to a 16/8 cycle, also 7 days a week.

6 Keep the air moving. Probably the most common threat to young seedlings is dampening off. Having a fan come on a few times a day (just set it with a timer) is a great way to keep the air moving and helps prevent dampening off.

7 Don’t water until pepper plants start to wilt. Over watering contributes dampening off and other nasties. After your plants start growing don’t water them until the wilt. Even if the soil is bone dry don’t water until the plant actually starts to wilt. Peppers just don’t need that much water.

8 Drainage is key. Pepper plants hate “wet feet”. Make sure your pots or whatever you have your peppers planted in has great drainage. For example I start my plants in solo cups and drill 4 – 5 good size holes in the bottom of each cup. If you have poor drainage it can lead to root rot.

9 While indoors, pinch off any buds. Until you move your plants outside it’s a good idea to pinch off any buds before they form into flowers. You don’t want your plants using energy on buds/flowers while they are inside, you want them using energy on growing leaves and roots. Pinching off the buds will force the plant to focus it’s energy while it’s still inside and trust me, once outside and the conditions are right it will start to bud/flower again.

I’ll update this post from time to time with other tips or suggestions for growing peppers from seed. If you have any suggestions, questions or comments please feel free to leave them in the comment section below.

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211 Responses to Growing Peppers From Seed

  1. larry smith says:

    thanks for the info. i have grown habeneros but this is my first years for butch t’s. my plants are about 18 inches tall and have alot of buds. we are going through a bit of a drought but the peppers seem to be thriving. i’m glad you mentioned about overwatering.

  2. pepperseed says:

    Glad to help Larry. I’ve found peppers really prefer to be dry. I’m amazed how long I can without watering them, especially after they really take root in the garden. Once they start wilting I give them a nice long drink and they do great.

    • Tammy says:

      Thank You for all the great info. I really appreciate your knowledge. I have a 9-10″ Bhut Jolokia-Ghost Chile plant, which I grew from seeds. I planted them back on Feb. 6th, it’s in a pot indoors. My problem is never know how much water to provide it and the leaves always seem droopy. It is not a husky looking plant, the stems and leaves are very delicate, then as it’s grown, it keeps dropping the lower leaves. What am I doing wrong? About how long does it take to produce peppers? Thank You, in advance, for your time and efforts in this matter.

      • Norm says:

        Tammy: You still have it indoors? Are you in a cool climate? I live north of Seattle and gave up on growing some peppers because I don’t have a hoop house or effective tunnel for them….too cool for some peppers here. Regarding your situation; there is not enough info for a good diagnosis, but it sounds like the plant is too wet. Are the leaves curling? If so, up or down? Are the leaves yellowing and falling off from the bottom up? (It is normal for pepper plants to lose some lower leaves as they age). Is the whole plant wilting, or does it start from the top or the bottom? Is the plant getting some air movement during the day, or is it in still air all the time? Many people say this pepper is more delicate than others, and has less margin or forgiveness if conditions aren’t right. Some call it a “moderately difficult” or “advanced gardener” pepper, so you have been more successful than many to this point! But there could be other factors.

        1. This pepper can get 4′ tall — is your pot big enough?
        2. It needs hot weather; never below 65 at night, and not over 95 daytime; best is around 85 degrees. It likes it a little cooler at night, but nice and warm during the day. My temp swings out here can go from 75 daytime to 50 nighttime; a lot of peppers don’t like that!! My daytime highs are too low for this pepper and night time temps are much too low. The swings of temp, and rain, are too much for them.
        3. It needs full sun. Unless you are in a location with 100+ temps day after day, then they might do with a some afternoon (mid to late) shade.
        4. They like moderate water, but do not like standing with wet roots; best to have a fast draining soil and water often (I know, counter intuitive with the “water deep” folks). Drip is a good way to go. Just don’t over water! That may be your issue. You can get a moisture probe from a nursery for very little money — it may look and feel dry in the top inch or two but could be soaking wet at 4 inches and below!
        5. Peppers, up to bloom/fruit, are heavy feeders. If you have fast draining soil you may need to give some liquid fertilizers more often. But, don’t overdo the N (nitrogen); just make sure it is available for the pepper.

        If you are growing these indoors in a small pot with 6 or less hours of light and air conditioning, you won’t get very far for producing any fruit. Good luck! Oh…if you have a Master Gardener clinic close to you (generally at a county extension office), they could look at it for you (take it to them). It is a free service.

      • Andrew says:

        If anyone has any pepper pods they would like to send me I’d gladly return the favor!

  3. James Davis says:

    Thanks for the info, we returned right at 80% germination, but I fear we may have planted them too early, it is august 12 and flowering is in process as we speak, I live in North Central Indiana so we share common season temperatures with a few variances in weather conditions im sure. My question is how long between flowering a fruit cycle. Do we have a good shot at getting some hot peppers yet this year? If so about when can I expect them.

  4. pepperseed says:

    Hey James, you should start seeing fruit a week or two after flowering. What kind of peppers are you growing?

    • Chhean Mieying says:

      Hi all
      I really want to know about the cycle of pepper plant from seeds until can harvest.
      Anyone can share me?

      • pepperseed says:

        @cheap it depends on the pepper. Super hots tend to take longer, 120 – 180 days from seed to rip pods is not unusual.

  5. Barry Bertolet says:

    What potting mix should I transplant my Butch T’s into. They just emerged and have their two leaves. Also is there a site that tells you how to transplant them? Its my first shot a growing them. Also I am growing them indoors seed-finish.

  6. pepperseed says:

    Hey Barry, I use Pro Mix.

  7. Summer says:

    Thank you for posting this! I am new to gardening and this is the first year I have ever started anything from seed and the info here is incredibly useful. I have started a few pots of jalapeno and regular bell peppers and while everything else (herbs, cucumbers, tomatoes, spinach) has already started to sprout, I’ve had no action from the peppers. I started them indoors about a week and a half ago, putting them outside during the day and bringing them in at night (daytime temps here in Tennessee have been running in the mid-seventies, but dropping to about mid-fifties at night, and the last frost isn’t until mid-April). I’m going to try watering them less than the other plants and keeping them warm and see if that will do the trick.

    • pepperseed says:

      Hi Summer,

      Happy to have helped. Peppers can be slow to sprout, I have some this year that have taken up to a month. I think my jalapenos took 12 – 15 days. Keep em’ warm and give them time and they should pop through the dirt soon ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. john says:

    Glad I found this post… though it might be a bit late for some of my little sprouts.
    I have my seedlings under a fluorescent light and over a plug in oil radiator. I am in fear of maybe over watering a few of the little ones (with a spray bottle 5 sprays). I have a few Serranos and early Jalapenos that were the first up (about 1″) and I resprayed only to find them wilted and in a state of non recovery. I am hoping that the other seeds planted with them will come up and I won’t make the same mistake.
    When they are this vulnerable size, what are the signs of needing water, just wait for a slight wilt in the leaves, the stems or???

    • pepperseed says:

      Hi John,

      You mention having the seedlings on a radiator…make sure it’s not too hot. Temps that are too high can kill seedlings off pretty quick.

      My rule of thumb for watering pepper seedlings is to wait until the soil is completely dried out. If it’s moist all the seedlings will be fine, too much water and you can end up with dampening off…perhaps that’s what happened to your seedlings this time?

  9. MUNSCH says:

    I planted 13 Scorpians, within 4 days only the front row (5) became visible. One took off with two leaves right away. I “thought” at that point the warm sun room (90) would be a treat. Fail! All five stopped doing anything and the other 8 have not shown up yet. The best one is barely standing or alive for all I know. Question: Should I be patient for the other 8 to break the surface or do you believe I’ve killed them all (It’s been 9 days total). I’ve brought them back to their heating pad and put the top back on their planter but I’m just wondering if I should just resow with the seeds I stored in the refrigerator.

    • pepperseed says:


      Super hots can take up to 30 days to sprout so it’s ok to be patient. Did you sprout them inside and them move them outside into the sun room? If so that can kill them quick…if you sprout them inside you need to introduce them to the sun slowly, maybe 1 – 3 hours of partial sun for a few days gradually increasing.

      90+ degrees is pretty hot for seedlings too. All my sprouts come up in temps in the 60’s and 70’s and then gradually move the areas of the house where it’s in the 80’s. My plants never see antying close to 90 degrees until mid summer when they have already been outside for a at least 4 – 6 weeks and are pretty good size.

      • MUNSCH says:

        Thanks. Yes, I sprouted them inside last week, what was interesting was that only the front row started to sprout.
        As long as you don’t believe the un-sprouted ones could be ruined I will not dump them and I will also from now on leave them inside under the lights and on their warm happy pad for quite a bit longer. Only 3 of my Ghosts last year out of 13 made it. Actually 2, it was my first time growing and I thought #1 was a weed and plucked it….DOH!

  10. Michele says:

    My husband and I are growing the moruga scorpion and purple ghost pepper this year. We are experienced gardeners who like to try new things and we have grown other varieties of hot peppers in the past. We started the seeds indoors in March with the help of a heat mat and had sprouts within 3-4 days. We were considering growing them in our sunroom when they are ready. Our sunroom reaches 90-100 temps in the middle of Summer. Do the morugas and ghosts do best with the real high heat or can they be grown in 80 degree temps? My husband was wondering what PH level is ideal for them and if it’s possible to grow them hyroponically in rockwool? Would they prefer sandy soil?

    • pepperseed says:

      Hi Michele,

      Sorry to be the one to tell you that you’ll be disappointed with the “purple ghost”. The pepper will not look anything like real ghost peppers (some say they are not even hot) and they will ripen to red.

      In terms of your growing conditions temps in the 80’s are fine, sunroom temps may be a little on the high side especially if they are consistently hot. You’ll want a ph around 7 and some sand in the soil (for drainage) is ok too. Good luck with your grow!

      • Michele says:

        Thank for the reply and info. The Morugas are really the ones we are excited about. We bought the purple ghost pepper seeds before we knew about the Morugas. We’ve decided to grow half hydroponically and half in soil.

  11. angela says:

    really interesting post.

    i cant eat hot peppers, but love salad peppers. I bought some seeds, but they didnt sprout. with hindsite i think i over watered them. a week ago i was chopping salad peppers and thought ‘what the hell’ and threw some seeds from the peppers into the trays, and they have sprouted.

    im a bit concererned now that they should have been dried and stored for a year before being planted. im a bit of a haphazard kind of gardener! was going to move to the window sill for light now and plant into bigger pots in a week or two when they were bigger. i live in the uk so they wont be going outside for a while yet. far too cold!

    do you think they’ll survive? not sure whether to get excited about them or not!


  12. lee herron says:

    I have a grown what was stated to be a trinidad scorpion/bhut jolokia hybrid, the plant itself is fine and has reached nearly 3ft tall, only thing that is bothering me is that it has only one chilli on the entire plant which sprouted about a week and a half ago, it has plenty of flowers and buds but nothing seems to be happening with them,should i remove the buds and flowers and allow it to grow further or just wait and see what happens?? any info would be much appreciated thank you

    • pepperseed says:

      Hi Lee,

      I would just give it some time. Pepper plants tend to drop flowers if the time and conditions are not right for it to produce pods. When the plant is ready it will start producing pods like crazy. No need to pull the flowers or anything else, just let it do it’s thing. Thanks for stopping by!

      – PepperSeed

  13. Ontario Gardener says:

    You can place a heating pad underneath the seeds when you start them in a room which is not the ideal temperature. I leave the h.p. on 24/7 and get really solid results.
    Thanks for the tips, esp. the watering info.

  14. Michele says:

    I’d like to comment again about starting peppers from seed. I highly recommend a seed germination mat (heating mat specifically for sprouting seeds). Just make sure you either have a thermostat for it or an accurate way to test the temp. of your seed starting medium. You can buy them online or in garden stores. Mine stayed around 80-82 and I had the Morugas sprouting in 4 days!!! Some of my tomatoes popped up in two days! This is how I start all my pepper and tomato seeds.

    • pepperseed says:

      Hi Michele,

      A heat mat definitely helps speed up germination and great point about being able to measure the temperature…pretty easy to cook the seeds if you can’t!

  15. Andrew says:

    I’ve started all my peppers in the past with peat moss, and this year in trying to grow some bhut jolokia and butch t. Its been almost a month and I have yet to see any sprouts! I’ve tried keeping the soil no less than 80 degrees and no hotter than 90! I always start my seeds inside, my jalapenos, and banana peppers are doing great, I just need some help, what’s going on? Thank you!

    • pepperseed says:

      Hi Andrew,

      If it’s been a month you may have some bad seeds. I have had seeds sprout after a month but generally speaking they should sprout a lot faster.

  16. Andrew says:

    That’s what I was thinking! I’ll give them another week then I’ll start a new batch! Thanks!

  17. Michele says:

    Here’s an update on our Moruga Scorpions and Purple Ghosts. We now have seven very healthy looking Moruga Scorpion plants and three very healthy looking Purple Ghosts. My husband gave up on the hydroponic method after killing three of the Ghosts. They are all currently in our sunroom which has been staying in the high 70’s-high 80’s and all thriving. ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Josh says:

    My habanero plants flower and then the stem turns yellow and flower and stem fall off. Can anyone please help me. I have maybe five plants left of the twelve that have stem and flowers on them the other ones don’t. But they are like three foot tall and very green and no yellow leaves.

    • pepperseed says:

      Hey Josh,

      Not sure of your growing conditions but in general flower drop is nothing to worry about, happens to every plant. Once the plat is ready the flower drop will stop and it will start to pod up.

    • fatalii guy says:

      I have found that if you are loosing flowers that your plants may need more light

    • Philip says:

      Im growing my peppers on a balconey and was wondering why it they where flowering well but then fell off, I worked it out that you need to manualy fertilise the flowers as theres no bees, insects or wind to do the job, I got a good crop of peppers after that.
      I just used my finger and rubbed each flower inside once a day and worked a wonder

  19. Josh says:

    Ok just worried cuz all my other banana and jalapeno plants have many peppers in fact I’ve pick and Jared some. 8 of the habanero don’t even have any more stems for peppers. This the first Year your growing them. But fifth year growing peppers first year with problems. thank you for the help. I was excited when I seen all these flower and stems on each plant I was like holy cow. Must of been like 30 to 40 at a time all flowering and then one by one the stem would turn yellow and fall off. I said to my self come on you got to be kidden me, but thanks now I know. How long do you think they will start to pod?

    • pepperseed says:

      Hey Josh,

      My plants never typically drop flowers more than a few weeks. Are you growing in the ground and what part of the country are you in?

  20. Josh says:

    I was just worried that if I was gonna get some peppers before it got cooler out, but I guess I have a couple months yet. And yes my plants are in the ground. Thanks again for the help. I live in Pennsylvania, Schuylkill county to exact.

  21. Mark says:

    I planted some Trinidad Butch-T scorpions at the beginning of the year from seeds. They are now outside in five gallon buckets and growing fine. They are about three feet tall and full of blossoms. Only problem is that some of the blossoms turn yellow and fall while the others flower but donโ€™t produce fruit. I live in Louisiana and the day time temperatures reach in the high 90โ€™s. I am trying to be patient and sit back to let the plants do their thing but am somewhat disappointed with not seeing any fruit.

    • pepperseed says:

      Hi Mark,

      The heat and lack of rain this year has been hard on plants for sure. I think excessive heat contributes to flower drop. I normally get two big waves of harvests…one in the late spring early summer and the other in late summer / fall. This year the first wave will be tiny…most flowers dropped since it was well over 100 for a lot of days and even now mostly in the mid to upper 90’s. Now that’s it started to cool down even a little I’m noticing more pod set and less flower drop. You probably have a longer season where you live and I bet you’ll get a nice “second wave” later this season.

  22. Mike says:

    first,,,thank you for all this great info,, i am a 1st time grower.i live in upstate NY. i have 5 ghost and 15 bird pepper plants, i started in solo cups in march and now have them in 5 gallon buckets in my sun drenched deck. my plants are any where from 6 inches tall to 12 in tall,, big rich green leafs. my question is how long to i see bud and or flowers? i figure i and about 140 days since the solo cups.
    thanks for any help or suggestions ,,,

    • pepperseed says:

      Hey Mike,

      If the heat in NY has been anything like it’s been in IL this year it’s really slowing things down in terms of flower/pod production. That said you want your plants to be at least foot tall before they start putting out pods otherwise you’ll end up with plants that only put out a few pods for the whole year. I have one bhut jolokia/ghost pepper in a pot this year and it’s just now flowering up so pods should start setting anytime now. Once you start seeing flowers pods won’t be far behind.

  23. Pepper Joe says:

    Hey Gang,
    This is one reason I always grow part of my Pepper crop in 5 gallon containers. In a really hot summer or a drought I can just move the containers into a more shaded area. Same deal with a bad thunderstorm coming, hail, even the tropical storms and hurricanes we are prone to in a Coastal area like Myrtle Beach and Florida. The good news is your plants will start holding the flowers and buds and setting peppers when the nights get chillier in a month or so…
    Fiery Regards,
    Pepper Joe

    • Chili carol says:

      Pepper joe. I purchased the box of hot peppers from you and they are great. I live in south Florida and I am growing in a greenhouse. Many peppers but they are not turning red. Especially peters. Over 100 peppers and Butch T. Over 400 peppers on the 8 plants. How can I turn these peppers red. It’s been a month and no red peppers. Please help!

  24. hotdave says:

    Hi. I am an amature Gardner and very excited of butc t pepper and ghost peppers. I transplanted them into five gallon pots with porting soil and small amount of fertilizer. I have had them in direct sun. I live in southern California where weather has been hi 90’s and low 60’s. Is there any special instructions which I have to follow in order to have them grow healthy and sprout many peppers.. just so excited.

    • pepperseed says:

      Hey Dave, sounds like you have it dialed in, no need to worry you should have many peppers before you know it ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. Mike says:

    is it good to trim off some leaves ?

    • Mike says:

      i have bhut jolokias and pequin plants,,,,,

      • pepperseed says:

        Hey Mike, I sometimes remove damaged leaves or leaves that look “sick”. I also pull the leaves off the bottom 4 – 6 inches of all of my plants since I grow them in rows with a short fence:

        Plants need leaves to grow and produce so generally speaking removing leaves won’t help the plant and there’s no need to trim them.

  26. ChristheFuzzy says:

    Hello all.

    I am a first-time grower – I have successfully grown a banana pepper plant from a seedling to fruit production. I planted some Butch Ts around July 1st and they had sprouts just a few days later (I soaked the seeds in a paper towel suspended just above water in a cup and left it outside in 95+ degree weather. Maybe that’s their version of HGH). I ordered 10 seeds from refiningfirechilis, but they sent me 24. Every last one had sprouted by week 2. I just moved three of the larger sprouts outside as a test group (being as I have plenty to spare), and they seem to be doing well. Their leaves are about an inch long.

    I was wondering if I can expect to get some peppers off of them before the end of the season. I’m in Augusta, GA, and it doesn’t get cold until early-to-mid-November. How long does it typically take them to produce fruit?


    • pepperseed says:

      I started my super hot pepper seeds in late Feb this year and started seeing green pods in June. Just now as of this week starting to see my first ripe pods. Even in GA you might have started too late to see any ripe pods this year ๐Ÿ™

  27. Michele says:

    All my Ghost and Moruga Scorpion pepper plants (all started from seed) are in 5 gallon pots. We kept them in our sunroom (where they got full sun) until the temps in the sunroom started reaching 100. Then we moved them into the backyard. We live in Oregon (Pacific Northwest) and our sunroom stays warm through most of the fall. (We had a sweet pepper produce a pod in November!) I did start all my pepper seeds in early March. Both the Ghosts and Moruga Scorpions started producing lots of flower buds about a week and a half ago and none have fallen off yet. Meanwhile the plants keep growing and seem to be thriving. All are atleast a foot tall and thick with leaves. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Michele says:

      We got pods!!! Our Moruga Scorpions are producing pods left and right!!! They are still tiny but very healthy looking! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • pepperseed says:

        Cool! You should be on fire in no time ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Michele says:

          Doesn’t it take them about a month to ripen though? One of the Moruga Scorpion is pretty close to full size. The ghosts are also podding up left and right.

          • pepperseed says:

            Yea it can take anywhere from 2 – 4 weeks Once it starts though it’s quick. I’ve looked at peppers that are 100% green at night and the next morning they are 50% ripe and the next day completely ripe. Have you ever had any super hot peppers or super hot powder / flakes? If not I have some extra I could send your way while you wait for the ripening. If you’re interested e-mail your name/address to and I’ll send a care package your way. Have a great day and grow on!

            • AO says:

              I have several morouga scorpion plants about 4 ft tall. CanBringing them in for the winter but i have some peppers on then now. Can I pull the peppers as soon as they turn red or do I wait for them to turn darker red. A bunch are turning. I know when green they are not hot, when is peak heat?

  28. Amanda Armstrong says:

    I bought some pepper plants a while ago and they seem to be thriving, lots of fruits and plenty of flowers still, the peppers that have grown seem very dimpled and Im wondering if this is normal? Most of the peppers are still green but I do have two which are turning red

  29. BeckyH says:

    Hiya my friend gave me a small pepper plant and and its grow a foot since, i live in a flat so cant plant them out side i have loads of flowers wiv green buds growin in the middle looks like peppers to me , can they b peppers? And i dont over water them x

  30. Becky says:

    Hiya my friend gave me a small pepper plant and and its grow a foot since, i live in a flat so cant plant them out side i have loads of flowers wiv green buds growin in the middle looks like peppers to me , can they b peppers? And i dont over water them x

  31. Michele says:

    After a month and a half our Moruga Scorpion pods have gone from yellow to neon orange to orange with hints of red. ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. Mr debeodero says:

    I plant my pepper seed outdoor on a well drained loamy soil on 18/10/2012 bt not germinating.

  33. Anna says:

    I left my birds eye pepper plant outside after frost, the plant appears dead but there’s still dried peppers on it, is there any way to plant those indoors or should I just buy a new plant?

  34. toni says:

    I live in.the uk and its freezing here with snow could i still stary peppers off and have success

  35. Exactly what genuinely inspired you to write โ€œGrowing Peppers from Seed | The Pepper Seedโ€?
    I personallytruly loved the post! Thanks ,

  36. Samantha says:

    Thanks for the post! We live in Las Vegas and recently started planting in the house, many different varieities of peppers after my hubby had success with one seed! Variety TBD on ‘David’…

    This project has provided endless entertainment! What we have found though is that ‘David’ (about 6″-8″ tall right now) doesn’t like it outside with natural light. We have only put him out in 60+ degree weather since he was planted around Christmas, but his leaves turn in/shrivel and almost darken in color. 20 minutes inside under the light and he’s perked up and picture perfect! (For you indoor growers out there- Compact Flourescent Bulb in Bright White installed in desk and floor lamps works great)

    Anyone here know if these pepper plants can stay in the house permanently? We’d be happy to have producing plants in the house if it’s feasable.

    • pepperseed says:

      Hi Samantha, plants need to be “hardened off” when they are started indoors. You can google it but basically it means slowly exposing them to natural outside light…like putting them in the shade/partial sun for a few hours a day so they can get use to it. If you want to leave it indoors it can produce peppers (CFL won’t cut it, would have to be in a window or use lights like HPS) but not nearly as much as it will outside.

      Good luck and happy pepper growing!

  37. Sarah says:

    I started all my seeds last week and my tomatoes, cukes and beans are all sprouting fabulously. I didn’t understand why my peppers weren’t! After reading this article, I now know why.

    1. They are too wet.
    2. They are at a lower temp (about 65ยฐ – 68ยฐ)

    Looks like I’ll be starting the pepper seeds over again. Thanks for the tips!

    • pepperseed says:

      Hi Sarah, they may still sprout…cool temps just seem to slow them down. I typically wait 12 – 15 days before I give up on pepper seeds and start over. It’s ok if they are kind of moist before they sprout but after they do you’ll want to make sure they don’t stay too wet or you could have issues with dampening off.

      Thanks for reading and good luck!

  38. Scott and Magali Nelson says:

    I just took seeds out of peppers from the grocery. I am drying them. How long before I can sow them?

    • pepperseed says:

      I’d just let them dry a day or two before planting. What kind of peppers?

      • Scott and Magali Nelson says:

        They are Sweet Mini Peppers โ€“ like little bell peppers, 2lbs in a bag of thirty odd peppers. Very tasty โ€“ not a lot of seeds โ€“ many have no seeds.

        • Scott and Magali says:

          Thanks for the your response. It is the first time I ever see these peppers in the grocery store. The name in the bag is Mini Peppers. I would say they measure an average of about 1″ to 2.5″ long, with a variety of widths with colors from yellow to red. They are quite crunchy and juicy, making them great for lunch bags. The bag gives the website:

  39. Scott and Magali Nelson says:

    They are Sweet Mini Peppers – like little bell peppers, 2lbs in a bag of thirty odd peppers. Very tasty – not a lot of seeds – many have no seeds.

  40. Norm says:

    A twist and question on starting peppers;

    I found a site online and made an “A” frame and covered it with greenhouse type poly on a 4’x8′ table with heating coils. (think big heating mat). Hanging from the top of the “A” frame is a 4 bulb T-5 florescent fixture. Sort of like a miniature greenhouse nursery inside my home.

    Using some fast draining seed starting mix, and making sure it was damp and not wet, I planted pepper seeds 1/8 to 1/4 inch deep after soaking them overnight between two sheets of paper towels. They were started in #2 Jiffy Pots under bright light in a “nursery” about 85 degrees. They germinated in 2 days!! Some varieties took 5 days, and a couple made appearances in about 2 weeks but it blew me away! I also had roughly a 95% germination rate. I say their name earlier in the post; the seeds came from Pepper Joe’s.

    Now, here is my question — The first “true” leaves are just starting to appear. Of course, their “nursery” has been humid and around 85 degrees. But I need the nursery for some other starts. Can the peppers be moved into the room outside of the nursery? It is about 65 degrees. I have some racks with t-8 bulbs I can put them under, but the bulbs are more like 12″ above the plants instead of 2″. I can’t do anything about the light height short of setting the starts on blocks or something. I am wondering if this will be too cool or if 65 is o.k. to continue growing them.

    • pepperseed says:

      Hi Norm, 65ish is fine for the pepper sprouts, mine are in my basement for months and rarely get above 70. Most of the time they are the mid 60’s even during germination.

  41. Steven says:

    Hello, I live in arizona and during the summer the temps can get to 115. Is that hot of direct sunlight good for my pepper or should i move them into the shade.

  42. JOSHU says:

    I started some peppers in my basement a few weeks ago and the pepper seedlings are not growing. How big should they be 3 weeks after they pop up?

    • pepperseed says:

      A lot things can impact how fast pepper seedlings are growing. Some but not all of the things can impact growth in peppers are;

      1. Type of pepper
      2. Temperature of growing area
      3. Type of light(s)
      4. Distance from light to top of pepper plants
      5. Number of hours lights are on
      6. Growing medium (type)
      7. Drainage
      8. Size of pot or container
      9. Fertilizer use
      10. Lots of other things…

      In general growing my basement is solo cups using pro mix my seedlings are usually 1 – 3 inches tall a few weeks after sprouting. 3 would be on the high side, my basement is cool and I keep my lights (T5s) pretty close so the plants grow stocky instead of tall. Here’s a picture from today to give you an idea of size. I put seeds in the dirt on February 3rd or 4th.

  43. Tony says:

    Great article. I planted scorpions about 3 days ago in a small “greenhouse” box. I have a heating Matt under it and there is a good amount of moisture at the top. Am I doing this right? I live in georgia and it is still very cold so I’m heating them inside.

  44. shane olsen says:

    Does anyone think having sprouts a couple weeks old now will be good enough to plant in may? I live in southeastern wisconsin.

  45. Duane says:

    Hi, I have some maruga scorpions that I started from seeds and are in 5 gallon buckets now and are about a foot tall. I bring them inside when it’s cold but otherwise they stay outside. Do I need to transplant them in the ground or will they do well and make peppers in the bucket? Also if I do need to transplant should they be in full sun, partial or what? I live in louisiana and it gets quite hot in summer.

    • pepperseed says:

      Hi duane, yes your pepper plants will produce pods in the buckets. Make sure they have good drainage. If you transplant them to decent soil in the ground they will likely get bigger and produce more pods than If you leave them in buckets. If you do transplant them I would suggest some partial shade. As you said it can get hot! I’m in Northern Illinois and most of my plants are in partial shade. Good luck and keep us posted.

      • Duane says:

        Hey thanks for the quick replay and the info. I have 1 more question. If I leave them in the bucket what should I do to fertilize them?

        • pepperseed says:

          Duane, no problem happy to help. Depends on what they are in now and how much fertilizer it already has in it. When I have grown in buckets I just used the most economical organic/natural fertilizer I could find at the local nursery. Less is more when it comes to peppers ๐Ÿ™‚

  46. Michele says:

    We have had very good luck growing our peppers in 5 gallon pots. It makes it handy if you need to move them. We live in the Pacific Northwest and our Moruga Scorpions produced tons of pods in their pots. We have a sunroom we move them into when the weather cools in the fall that works wonders. We have had good luck with Black Gold potting soil, Miracle Gro soil as well as the organic potting mix our local garden store sells. We didn’t have to actually feed the peppers for quite some time because they did so well with what was already in the potting mix. This year we are growing the Moruga Scorpions, Red Bhuts (ghost peppers) and the Aconcagua pepper (largest pepper in the world that is said to be as sweet as an apple and prized by culinary chefs). So far our seedlings are healthy and doing well. ๐Ÿ™‚

  47. Pete says:

    I’m from Melbourne, Australia and even though our seasons are opposite it’s good to read all the info provided on this site. I have grown 6 Ghost chillies and each one has lost their first lot of flowers completly. Is there any specific reason for this?

    • pepperseed says:

      @ Pete, it’s pretty common and generally nothing to worry about. I’ve seen this posted as a list of possible reasons for flower drop:

      1. Day temp too high >95F
      2. Night temp too low <65F
      3. Too much nitrogen fertilizer
      4. Too much water
      5. Low light levels (reduces fertility).
      6. Very low humidity (reduces fertility)
      7. Poor air circulation (air circulation contributes to pollination).
      8. Lack of pollinating insects.
      9. Size of pot
      10. Too much mineral in feedwater.
      11. Too much grower attention.

      In my experience pepper plants to drop flowers - sometimes even all flowers - until growing conditions are just right for creating peppers. I've had them drop in almost everyone of the points listed above but have had them set pods in most of those same conditions.

  48. Pete says:

    Thanks for the response Pepperseed, greatly appreciated. As it’s now mid Autumn here and the days are warm and the mornings have been quite fresh 11C or 52 F this may have caused the flower drop. I only water as the plant shows signs of wilting. I think I will bring them inside at night and see if that improves the situation.

  49. Pete says:

    Sorry forgot to mention that my Butch T and Harbaneros are thriving at the moment, so I’m perplexed about why the Ghost’s are struggling.

    • pepperseed says:

      @pete sound good I’m sure you will dial them in. Sounds like your peppers area in pots… When I grew in pots I had issues with too much nitrogen. Keep us posted if you get the chance, thanks.

  50. SarahSeeds says:

    Hi there,

    I am a fairly new gardener, and am attempting to start some seeds indoors this year (rather than buying plants from the nursery like i have in the past). I started them in one of those seed starting kits 8 days ago. I have pea seeds and cucumber seeds sprouting well, but the bell peppers have not shown any sign of movement yet. Just a few questions for when I go to transplant outside. BTW I’m just north of Grand Rapids, MI.

    1) About how large should the plants get indoors before it is okay to harden off and transplant outside?
    2) Should I transplant from the starter kit into larger containers after they sprout and have a few leaves? or is it fine to leave them in the small space they have for a month or so?
    3) Should I fertilize in between now and transplanting?
    4) Also, my garden plot outside is mostly sandy soil on top of clay. I have been able to grow in it before but would like to know if you have any suggestions for what I could mix with the sand when planting to improve the quality of the plants.

    I would really appreciate your help, I am nervous that a whole garden started from seeds may not go very well…


  51. pepperseed says:

    @ SarahSeeds,

    Hi, thanks for reading and welcome to thepepperseed. Let me take a shot at your questions.

    1. You can transplant outside at any size really, same goes for hardening off. The key is the temperature. I start all my seeds in my basement and move them out to the garage once the night time temsp are not dropping below 40. That way its easy to move them outside for hardening off. When hardening off start slow…maybe 30 – 60 minutes in partial sun or shade for a day or two with gradual increases in the amount of time and sun.

    2. I start my seeds in solo cups and when growth slows I transplant them to some larger pots before they go outside. I’ve found the key to a quick outdoor start is to make sure they dont get root bound while they are still inside. One year I started my plants in Dec and had huge plants by April but they were so root bound when I moved them outside in mid may it took them forever to start growing again.

    3. I primarily use pro mix for my potting soil and don’t fertilize before they head outside. Peppers are fine without fertilizer for the first 4 – 6 weeks (or more) of their lives, and, if your soil has fertilizer already that should be more than enough to keep the plants healthy until they find their permanent homes.

    4. Compost and then some more compost. I’ve tried a bunch of things over the years but have found that nothing helps peppers like piles of compost.

    Keep us posted and feel free to ask any questions as your plants progress. Good luck with your peppers and your garden!

  52. Matthew says:

    Hi, I started my ghost peppers about 3 weeks ago here in MN. Only about 2 inches tall now i hope they will be fine. But i was wondering, I’m using a blue heat light and they dont seem to be growing as fast as i though. Should i get a flourescent light also or is this blue heat light fine? Or can i do both. Thanks.

  53. terry marlowe says:

    this is my first time growing trinidad moruga scorpions. I planted indoors in late february, 5 inch pots using MG. germination in 12 days. I had an overwatering problem and almost lost the lot, until I read your advice and started watering only after wilt. most recovered nicely and look green and healthy. but after @ 9 weeks, the plants are only 2 inches tall. is this normal?

    • Matthew says:

      Yea mine are still 2 inches and planted them 3 weeks ago but yours planted in feb? I don’t know its my first time also.

      • pepperseed says:

        @ Terry/ Matthew

        I would not worry about height just quiet yet, especially if you had some troubles early on. Sometimes I have plants that are 6+ weeks old and only a few inches tall…heck, that describes about 1/2 my plants right now and I put seeds in the dirt in early Feb. Mine do start a little slower though since they are in my basement and the temp is always around 65 – 70.

  54. Richard says:

    Great resource thanks for posting! I am looking to trade advice and seeds from Phoenix area. I am growing Ghosts in light box, also in ground and hydroponically and am interested in getting seeds for Trinidad Scorpions and other hots. Look me up:) or Facebook

  55. RichD says:

    I got great yield off my butch T plant in a 5Gal container. I brought it into the basement in September under lights. I had a mite infestation and the last leave fell of by mid February. Left it in the dark and put it out in the yard in May and surprisingly it spouted at all of the branch nodes and it had another great year. Took it in again and left it by a basement window. The leaves were off by December. I started watering last month and I’m getting new growth again. Any idea how many years a plant can go domint for before I have to try growing from seed again? Having a mature plant in may seems to be the best way of getting around the short wisconsin growing season.

    • pepperseed says:

      @ RichD, what you’re doing is commonly referred to as over wintering. I’ve seen people get the 3 – 5 good seasons from pepper plants using this method. Pests to be the only hassle…if you have a solution for them (thanks Michele!) you should be set.

  56. Michele says:

    We grew Moruga Scorpions last year l in big pots and we had great sucess. We also have a sunroom where we move the plants into when the weather cools off in the fall. We live in the Pacific Northwest and we had fully ripe Morugas by the first of October. I also highly recommend Neem oil for the mite infestations but get the straight oil and mix your own spray. (t tells you on the bottle how to mix it). Most of the premixed Neem sprays are too diluted to do any good. Neem is organic and you can usually get it in any garden dept. or garden store. We also successfully grew Peanuts in our sunroom last year in 15 gallon pots with great success. The mites liked the peanut plants even more than the pepper plants and that Neem stopped them in their tracks.

  57. Drew the Ghost says:

    My Bhut Jolokia has been thriving and is now starting to produce pepper pods. It’s currently inside but what should I do? It’s on a 18/6 light cycle. Should I keep that? Keep both 6500k and 2700k lights going or just the 2700k? Should I add any bloom booster fertilizer like 10-30-10? (I have never fertilized it and it’s 10 months old in a 5 gal pot) ANY advice would be terrific! Thank you!

    • pepperseed says:

      Hi Drew, I don’t take my plants to the pod stage inside, everything always gets moved outside very early on. I guess I would say if the plants are thriving under the conditions you have been giving them keep giving them more of the same:-) Sorry I can’t be of much assistance. Good luck with your bhut!

  58. Ola says:

    Hi, thank you for the wonderful article,i get peppers fruit from market and use the seeds to grow pepper, it grow and became red color but the size of the fruit is about the size of an egg, if I use the seeds of these fruits and sow theme am I going to have a normal fruit size . Thank you

    • pepperseed says:

      Hi Ola, are the peppers you grew from the seeds you saved bigger or smaller than the original pepper? Unless they crossed you should get the same kind of pepper. Lots of things can influence pepper size…temps, space, watering, nutrients, etc.

  59. Crashing Boulder says:

    Pepperseed, I just came upon your site today. Lots of great information. Many thanks to you and the other contributors. I live in the South West Metro Atlanta region and daily temps are mid eighties with nights at high sixties. There is plenty of sun to go around as well. My question revolves around pest and disease control. I have two Trinidad Moruga Scorpions grown from seeds. They are about three and a half months old now. They are out on my back deck in separate large clay pots. They are right at 2 feet tall now, with about a dozen unopened blooms on each. One bloom opened recently and it has shed that part of the flower that is designed to drop off as the fruit itself begins to grow at the end of the stem. Others should follow soon as well. I am having a problem with some mal-formed leaves – not a lot – and there is evidence of some leaf cutting damage on the leaves – again, not all leaves, just a few on each plant. I see small irridescent flies – about a third of the size of a house fly – and small, green in color leaf hopping and flying insects about the size of a small grain of uncooked rice that look like tiny grasshoppers minus the large extended legs, in and on my two plants. I have tried using a hand held liquid spray on product put out by Bayer – supposedly all natural – called Natria, but it has proven completely ineffective. I recently purchased some hand held, spray on liquid Sevin which I will use today. Pepperseed, what can you suggest that I might do or use in the way of pest and disease control that has worked for you? I saw some brief mention of Neem Oil on this thread, but nothing else besides that. What – if anything – can you suggest or offer as a possible solution for me? The kinds of pests that live in our two parts of the country might differ some, so I am looking for a systemic kind of pesticide solution if not a ‘natural’ type of liquid or powder that I can apply to my plants. I thank you in advance and I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for the great site as well Pepperseed. Cheers!

    PS Pepperseed: By ironic twist of fate, I was born an American citizen of European ancestry on the twin island nation of Trinidad and Tobago – in Trinidad proper – birthplace of the”Trinidad” Moruga Scorpion – and lived there for the first fifteen years of my life before touching down in the United states many years ago. the “Moruga” part of the name of this pepper is an agricultural village about as deep in the jungle as you can get in Trinidad. Needless to say, fiercely and fiery hot pepper runs through my veins.

    • Norm says:

      I suspect you have Six Spotted Leafhopper is also known as the Aster Leafhopper. There are many kinds of leafhoppers, but the Aster, Beet, and Potato are the most common or troublesome; but treatment is pretty similar. Here is a link with info on them. I recommend you cover your peppers with row cover material. Since you need so little, maybe a local nursery, Master Gardener, etc will have a scrap piece they can give you rather than buying a whole roll of it for two peppers! Your other pest sounds like a pepper maggot fly. Here is a link with the information and treatment on them (and also recommend “row cover” material). Good luck!

    • pepperseed says:

      I think norm summed it up pretty well:-)

      I’ve actually been very fortunate…no real problems with pests or disease since I’ve started growing. The soil is awesome in my raised beds so the plants always grow strong and are seemingly very resistant/resilient when it comes to fighting off pests/disease.

      Good luck with your grow and let us know if Norm’s suggestions help solve your problems.

  60. Norm says:

    Sorry Crashing Boulder….I forgot the other link for the pepper maggot.

  61. James says:

    Pepperseed, I am a first-timer growing trinidad moruga scorpions. I’m doing an organic plant, and have the plants in soil mix with cow manure, egg shells, with fruit and vege compost mixed. The plants are great with leaves nearly 4-5 inches long and 2-3 inches wide with tons of flowers. My plants are about 2.5 feet tall now but for some reason the flowers seem to be falling off before they fruit. I have the plants in 5 gallon pots and they get about 8hrs of full sun since our balcony faces the east side with temperatures ranging from 80-95F between the highs and lows. I’ve read the posts and I think patience seems to be what I’m lacking but any other advice you can give would be great!

    By the way, this is an awesome site, my wife got me these seeds as a present after researching your site and so far 100% success rate on the seeds. Definitely learning a lot from reading your posts!

    • Duane says:

      I am growing my exactly the same as you and the flowers fell off just as you described at first but now they are producing like mad. I think this is probably normal.

      • James says:

        Thanks for the reply and I’m glad that patience is the only thing I’m lacking. It’s been tough seeing the flowers drop so much without doubting if I’m doing something wrong. I’ll keep watch and update once they start fruiting.

        • pepperseed says:

          Hi James, I’m a little late to the party but Duane nailed it. There are lots of reasons flowers can fall (water, heat, cold, etc) but I’ve always found that when the conditions are right the plants will start setting pods. I’ve had tons of flower drop this year but recently as the weather has cooled a bit and the sun’s been out all day pods have been setting like crazy. I’m glad you enjoy the site and happy growing, it’s addicting!

    • Crashing Boulder says:

      James, having grown two Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Pepper plants from seed this year both of which are COVERED in pods of various sizes, colors and maturity and having experienced TWO separate and distinct rounds of problems similar to what you have related, there are possibly one of two scenarios occuring here. First, your blooms are not being pollinated causing both the flowers AND the stems to drop off due to a lack of pollination generally because of a lack of bees or sufficient wind o spread the pollen. This is fixed by carrying out MANUAL polination on a daily basis on all fully open blooms using a small paint brush and swirling it around inside the open blooms in order to spread pollen from the stamens sorrounding the pistil of the flower onto the pistil itself. It is easy to accomplish and you will know you are successful when you return to your plants the following day and ONLY the flower has dropped off on the ground below and the stem with the tiny beginning fruit on the tip is still on the tree. The second and more likely scenario causing your problem with blossom drop – given that we are at the height of the heat of Summer – is that when daytime temperatures are consistently 90 degrees and above and overnight temperatures are likewise 70 degrees and above, the plant goes into a self-preservation and protective or dormant mode and almost ALL blooms and attached stems are forcibly dropped by the plant itself as a reaction to stress and in an effort towards self-preservation. Only when temps fall back into the eighties during the day and the sixties at night will the plant begin to set and retain blooms and stems at full production levels again. However, when that time eventually does return, you must still consider manual pollination in order to avoid the first scenario I laid out for you above. With that said, best of luck with your grow. I recently picked THIRTY ripe pods from my two trees, twenty of which I put in a pineapple orange pepper sauce. It was so incredibly FIRE HOT – even after I doubled up on the pineapple and orange juice – I thought my mouth was going to explode! Be VERY careful. These Trinidad Moruga Scorpions are FEROCIOUS for sure!

      • James says:

        Thank you for your comments Crashing Boulder, I think you are definitely right as I’m experiencing both scenarios you’ve laid out. The heat here has been very intense and the plants are constantly in self preservation mode due even though I try to keep them well watered. I also noticed that the number of bees have decreased dramatically so I may also have the pollination problem as well. I am still getting tons of flowers on my plants, but they are just falling off instead of fruiting. I will start by manually pollinating the flowers and wait for the temps to drop off in the meantime.

        Thanks again for the comments and I will update my post as I go along.

  62. Frank says:

    Can I take the seeds out of the ghost peppers I grew last season and plant them this season? I’ve heard it won’ t work and that the peppers won’t have the same quality. Is this true. Will I have to buy seeds every year to grow my own peppers or is there something I can do to be able to use my own seeds? I sure do thank you for any help and or advice you can share with me.

    • pepperseed says:

      Yes you can. If you were growing other kinds of peppers or other kinds of peppers were being grown in the area you could end up with a cross but more often than not you won’t. I grow all/almost all of my peppers from my own saved seeds and with taking any precautions like isolating plants or nodes I rarely have a seed not grow true.

  63. Drgon Fire says:

    Here’s another freebee. Use the water from a dehumidifier for your infant peppers. Better than tap water and cheaper than buying water and again, it’s free if you use a dehumidifier anyway. Way off base here but I’ve brewed beer using this kind of water.

  64. Liam Morrison says:

    Hi there pepperseed,
    I live in New Zealand and its spring right now, with summer starting in december. My question is i have ordered some scorpion and naga seeds and am waiting for them to arrive, would there be any point in trying to get them going now or should i wait till the end of next years winter?

    Regards Liam

  65. Conner Mog says:


    I have a 10’x5’x7′ greenhouse in my bedroom where I am growing 30 Trinidad scorpions in solo pots. They are about 4 and a half feet tall now and I just put them into flower recently. I have hundreds of peppers that have set and are starting to turn orange. How long until they turn red? I have been working on this project for about eight months now and am curious about the ripening stage. Hope to hear from you!


    Conner Mog

  66. Tina says:


    I’m starting some peppers this weekend and i am using old plastic candle cups that i have drilled about 6 or so holes in the bottom. They are roughly 6 1/2 inches tall and about 2 1/2 inches wide, for extra root space, i’m putting them into a clear rubbermaid tote box with the lid on it and then I am placing a heat mat under the box.
    I was wondering once they have started to sprout, at what point should I take off the lid and turn off the heat matt? as I will be needing the same equip for my tomatoes in about two, to three weeks time?

  67. Bob Shea says:

    I have been growing insectivorous plants like Venus Flytraps and others for many years. This year, I am going to try my hand at growing hot pepper. In particular, the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion and the Carolina Reaper.

    I will start them out indoors in a 72 hole seed tray placed at the bottom of a glass aquarium using grow lights. Can I grow them without using a heat mat? Or can they germinate without it if I keep the temperatures at least 75-degrees?

    Once they are tall enough, I am taking the majority of them to a co-workers home where we will transplant them into her garden for the rest of the spring and summer months. I will be keeping around a half dozen of the remaining plants and put them in two, 5-gallon containers and sit them on a modular shelf system that will be surrounded by clear plastic. The light would be provided from at least two grow lights to keep the temperature at least 75-degrees. Although the window is on the south side of my apartment, I only get 3-4 hours of direct sunlight in the late afternoon and early evening. Do you think that these few hours in combination with the grow lights will be sufficient for growing them indoors? I’m not too worried about the majority of plants that will be situated outdoors in my friend’s garden, but I would like to at least try and grow them indoors as well. Any suggestions on indoor growing? Thanks!

    • pepperseed says:

      Yes the light combination should work. You may not get much fruit but they will live/grow just fine until they get moved to the garden.

  68. Jenny says:

    Hi Pepperseed: I tried growing habanero seed by starting them inside as instructed on the packet. They sprouted, grew an inch then the plant grew yellow & sickly. I threw them in my herb box outside where they immediately disappeared, presumably dead (I realize it was a shock to them but figured I didn’t have much to lose). So I thought I’d try jalapeรฑos….but started them outside this time in the Spring. They’ve sprouted and were looking better than the aforementioned, but have reached 2-3 inches tall and are turning yellow again…?! Why are my newly sprouted plants turning yellow? BTW, I live in San Diego and water my raised planter box daily…

  69. Keith says:

    I am completely new to gardening and I have a question…. I planted 5 different types of pepper plants in a elevated garden. They are a foot apart from each other. I was wondering if the flavors and or physical characteristics will blend over the years to come if I overwinter them and keep them together or will I need to plant the seeds from the pods grown off of each plant? I’m really curious on what flavors and heat and look I can create over time. The peppers are Trinidad, Cherry pepper, jalapeno, Red Chili pepper, Serrano pepper.

    • pepperseed says:

      @ Keith, you wont see any crosses until the next season. When peppers cross the characteristics show in the seeds saved and plantedf the following season. There’s zero cross over in the sames eason and no characteristics are crossed or shared.

  70. LEE says:

    Hi… I have a mango scorpion plant that I purchased last fall and has been inside the house until this spring. It has grown to about 6″ tall and has not budged since. It looks healthy and strong but not growing anymore or producing peppers. Do I need to put it in a larger pot or in the ground? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

  71. Peter Tonna says:

    I am a begininner and would like to know how many seed i put in each pot, we have hot
    climate and when is the best time to plants the seeds please ?

    • pepperseed says:

      I put at least 3 or 4 seeds per pot and then kill all but one after they sprout. That way you make sure something is growing in very pot. When to plant depends on where you live + what types of peppers you’re growing.

  72. tony williams says:

    good day Pepperseed,

    thank you for the info and responses you’ve provided to gardeners.

    i live in the mountains, very short growing season. only managed to get a few peppers, (ghost), from purchased plants.
    i have a few hundred seeds from scorpion and ghost and would like grow a few, (a lot), of plants.
    i’m thinking about greenhouse, controlled temperature, hydroponics, and artificial lighting.
    can you grow peppers year around in artificial environment?

    • pepperseed says:

      You sure can. If there’s no sunlight you’ll want to a use a HPS light for at least part of the grow for flowering but T 5’s can handle the first couple months of super hot pepper plant growth. I moved to Duluth MN this year so like you am getting ready to start growing in a much shorter season that I ever have before. Greenhouse is step 1 for me in the spring. Even without any kind of climate control it will give me an extra month on the front of the season and another month on the backend.

  73. rich says:

    Hi. I need some advice . I saw a chocolate habenero plant that has peppers on it at the farmers market and I wanted to purchase it to grow in my house. Do you have any tips for me ? Would it make peppers again ? Or is it jus a bad idea because I can not plant it outside?

  74. rich says:

    Hi. I need some advice . I saw a chocolate habenero plant that has peppers on it at the farmers market and I wanted to purchase it to grow in my house. Do you have any tips for me ? Would it make peppers again ? Or is it jus a bad idea because I can not plant it outside? Please reply to this one I forgot to click the notify button before ..thanks

  75. allen says:

    hey man i am really glad i found this site..i am growing carolina reapers in house(( jan. 17 2015)) started with soil small solo cups & drilled small hole in what i did was put same size cup on with a piece of scotch tape on one side only so i could lift open when needed i also drilled three really small holes as well as one on top for air..five days later 4 of them had sprouted i planted 9 with three seed in each 6 sprouted last 2 took 15 days to question is when they get to big for the cup and i move them to the big solo cups..(((oh yeah i have them in front of a window as well as a reagular lamp light right above them))) i also have to move them from the window to a cupboard.but i”m adding three more lights above them ..will moving them and transplanting them at same time hurt them too much..or should i move them in the cupboard for a week before transplanting..also i am doing the same with chocolate bhut (ghost pepper),trinidad morgua ,and the regular bhut.. if all works out i will be moving them in march to buckets outside..oklahoma city weather will already be in 70″s & 80″s by then. ALSO IF I PUT THE NEXT SEEDS IN REALLY REALLY HOT WATER NOT QUITE BOILING..FOR A COUPLE OF HOURS BEFORE PLANTING WILL IT HELP..SOME ONE TOLD ME THE REASON IT TAKES SO LONG IS THAT THE WATER HAS TO PENETRATE THE SHELL.

    • pepperseed says:

      I never soak seeds. It may help speed up sprouting but seems like extra to work for me with no real benefit.

  76. David says:

    I have some New Mexico Scorpion seeds from a pepper that was given to me. I dried them and stored some of them and planted a few last year to see if I could get them to grow. I started them off indoors in some of those expanding peat moss starters and they grew to about 3 to 4 inches and started to grow leaves. After they seemed to stop growing larger I transplanted into 2 gallon pots and they never really did anything after that, I may have kept them too wet so my bad. One question I thought of after having trouble getting them to grow is, do you think the seeds are viable since they come from what I understand is a hybridized pepper or could that cause the seeds to not be able to produce a mature plant?

    Anyway, I plan to apply the advice I have read on this site and try again. I will start them out in the next week or so indoors (average last frost in my area of NM is mid may). Hopefully I will have better luck this year.

    Thanks for the info on your site and for any help you can send my way.

    • pepperseed says:

      Hi there,

      Doubt it was the seeds, if they grew at all they are good. More than likely it was the growing conditions that made them stop growing. Good luck with the next round!

  77. tom boring says:

    Hi! Great site! I’m growing Smokin’ Ed’s Carolina Reaper seeds for the first time. (Capsicum chinense) I’m using Burpee’s Self-Watering Seed Starting System which utilizes 2″ square starting pots and which continually keeps the soil moist with an underlying mat. I planted the seeds 1/2 inch down on March 19th. Are they getting to much water? What adjustments should I make if any? Thank You!

    • pepperseed says:

      @tom boring I like to let them dry out in between waterings, constant moisture can lead to disease and other issues. I’m a little slow with my reply, how are your plants doing now?

  78. Edna says:

    I have problems with my peppers I started them from seed they all came fine but the leaves after a while got brown spots and eventually lost the leaves or just died what could that be? Thanks for the info on your site now I really hope you can help me with the problem I have.

    • pepperseed says:

      Too much water perhaps? Were they inside or outside and in pots or in the ground?

      • Edna says:

        They were inside and in pots I do only water them once a week and only once the soil is dry

        • pepperseed says:

          Could be a few different things. Using fertilizer? Pests? Did they all die or just lose leaves? How many did you have in total?

          • Edna says:

            I did not loose all of them I had at least 20 pepper plants some were green peppers some red also jalapenos and ring of fire some of them lost there leaves then died some of them just died without losing the leaves and I still have about then that are growing just perfectly fine that’s why I am not sure what the problem is.

  79. Edna says:

    I also must say I did use only on few of them fertilizer but some of them never got fertilizer and both got them now my question is could there be a problem with the soil that I bought but then why do some have the problems and some don’t. I am so lost with that problem right now.

    • pepperseed says:

      Got it. Could be a lot of things hard to tell without pics or more specifics even then still not sure we could say for sure. I have a few die every year and always assume it was the soil or they picked up some kind of pest.

  80. Mark says:

    I live in the Seattle area and have Carolina Reaper, Habanero, and Ghost pepper seeds that I want to start. I have a light and a warming mat and I’m wondering when I should plant the seeds?


  81. Charlie says:

    I had a hard time get my butch t germinate … Already tried many different methods like ziplock bags, set seedling pad 85, do you soak seeds 24 hrs? Any tips will help

  82. pepperseed says:

    @charlie I’ve had super hot seeds sprout 30+ days after I start germination so don’t give up to soon. You could also try backing the heat off a little to 80. Other than that keep them moist but not submerged. Sometimes you just get bad seeds. Where did they come from?

  83. Dirty Diana says:

    Please help me I need some advice I bought two scorpion plants they arrived in solo cups. They were about six inches high and I placed each one of them in a 6 inch pot with fertizler. I have been giving them 16 hours of indoor plant light for the last six weeks. They are starting to form little pods I want to finish growing them under this condition. Will peppers. eventually show up. Thank you please help.

  84. Susan says:

    Hi, all! I’m so glad I stumbled upon this thread; there’s some great info on here. I, too, am new to starting pepper and tomato plants from seeds. I think I am doing everything right for the most part, but would love to have some advice/pointers as well. I live in southeast UT, so I would like to have my seedlings in the ground by beginning of May-ish. It’s not uncommon for us to get a freak snowstorm in mid-late April around here. I bought some seeds from a southwestern native seed producer, so they will be well adapted for the extreme heat we will soon be receiving here. I may have made a rookie move, however, and overwatered a bit. I just planted the seeds last Tuesday, so from what I have read on here, it’s not uncommon for peppers to take awhile to sprout. My house has been around 68-72 degrees F and I do not have a heat mat. I do have a space heater that I am running near the containers, but is there anything else I can do to help my seeds along? The soil is definitely still moist, so I haven’t watered them for several days now. Thanks, everyone! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • pepperseed says:

      Hi, how are your plants coming along? Any sprouts yet?

    • Susan says:

      Hi! Yes, they have started sprouting! About a week after I posted that question, sprouts started coming up. Unfortunately, the overwatering did take a toll on the tomatoes, and I lost several of them due to damping off. ๐Ÿ™ I have 1 or two tomatoes that should make it, and the peppers are doing great! I hope to have them in the ground later this week. I’m currently working on hardening them off. Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • pepperseed says:

        Grear to hear some made it and are heading for the ground. Gardening is 90% trial and error and 10% luck. Hope you have a bountiful season!

  85. Michelle says:

    I put my planted pepper seeds outside for sunlight and accidentally left them out over night then the temperature went down to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Will they be ok? They were planted one week prior.

  86. Eduardoquintero says:

    I just got a jalapeno pepper seedling with little flowers or buds I just transplanted into a bigger pot do i need to water it? and where do i place my jalapeno pepper seedling plant in the sun or not where?

    • pepperseed says:

      Yes you should water when you transplant and jalapeรฑos like full sun. Good luck!

      • Eduardoquintero says:

        Can I add perlite to my potting mix for my jalapenos pepper seedling plants medium size just transplanted some peppers … live in texas

  87. Eduardoquintero says:

    I have a small seedling bell pepper its green healthy but it started to have burn tips …. ?

    • pepperseed says:

      Could be over watering or too much fertilizer. Happens to my seedlings quite a bit and they usually grow out of it.

  88. Eduardoquintero says:

    I have a small chile plant in a 10 oz cup
    How do I water it … bottom water it or
    On top ….

  89. Eduardoquintero says:

    Ok I have a chili pepper plant with flowers and buds on it in a medium size container can I transplant it to a larger container without harming the plant and it’s fruit …. I also have ( 6-7 ) inch jalapeno plants can I transplant them and when top of soil is dry . .

    • pepperseed says:

      You can transplant peppers pretty much anytime without harming them. You may get some flower drop but don’t worry that’s normal.

  90. Eduardoquintero says:

    ok thanks … I have a medium size chili plant not a Serrano plant but a pepper plant when do I harvest thoses peppers
    what month it’s harvest time ….

    • pepperseed says:

      Whenever they look ripe. Here in North Carolina I start harvesting in late June and continue until mid october.

  91. Eduardoquintero says:

    I have a jalapeno pepper plant in container with flowers and buds in it
    but they are falling off I add fertilizer watered it down how when can I add lime to it … how can you self pollinate jalapeno plant

    • pepperseed says:

      Pepper plants will self pollinate. Don’t worry about flower drop, it’s very common and a normal part of growth. When the conditions are right (light, water, temp, etc) pods will start to set.

  92. Eduardoquintero says:

    On my jalapeno pepper plant in container it has little spider with web around it do I got to be alarm or are they there for other pest to eat …

    • pepperseed says:

      You can knock the web off although I doubt it’s doing much damage. If it looks like the web/spider are doing damage get rid of it for sure.

  93. Eduardo quintero says:

    I have a green bell pepper plant in container about 6 to 7 Inches tall can I add wood chips to the top of soil or what can I use on top of soil in container

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