Indoor Pepper Growing Guide

Only a few plants are as adaptable as the pepper plant for indoor gardening. Whether sweet, hot, green, or red, Peppers can elevate any dish with their refinement and flavor. As a result, learning how to grow peppers indoors is an excellent idea for any indoor gardener or aspiring cook.

Peppers don’t grow too well when subjected to the cold. However, you don’t have to go without as peppers are perennial plants, and if you offer them the proper care, they may thrive all year.

In our guide, you can learn far more about how to produce peppers indoors in any season. By the end, you’ll have enough information on growing hot peppers indoors, be it during the warmer weather, or you have taken your existing plants indoors to grow indoors during the depths of winter. (Read About the Bell Pepper Worm)

Growing hot peppers indoors

Can You Grow Peppers Indoors All Year?

You have two ways to grow peppers indoors. You can start your peppers from seeds or bring your outdoor pepper plant indoors.

Here you can see how peppers can be grown indoors using either method.

Growing Peppers Indoors from Scratch

Growing peppers indoors from seed is a straightforward process and like grown peppers outdoors. However, with indoor pepper plants, you can start any time of the year. Most specialists advise starting inside from the beginning and keeping the peppers inside for the duration of their life.

You have the advantage of selecting a variety of fruiting pepper plants that will develop to the ideal size for your indoor growing space when you start indoor pepper plants from seeds.

You may quickly grow indoor pepper plants like Hungarian wax peppers and red bell peppers if you have enough space. If you don’t have a lot of space, dwarf chilies are a good option.

Growing Peppers in Winter

Use an organic potting mix formulated for food plants to plant the seeds. In a small pot, place two pepper seeds near the middle and dig them just below the soil’s surface.

It’s essential to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Also, make sure the planting spot is in a location that receives constant direct sunlight. If you can’t offer natural light, you can supplement this using a grow light.

Take Outdoor Pepper Plants Inside

You may bring pepper plants indoors if you have them outside and want them to extend the growing season to all year. If your peppers were planted directly in the ground, the procedure of bringing them indoors might be complicated. (Read Leaf Curl On Pepper Plants)

You cannot simply uproot the plant grown outdoors and bring it inside. To do so, dig around the plant with a sharp garden shovel. Also, make sure you get a lot of soil with it. Lift that plant section out of the ground as soon as possible and place it in a pot.

It’s better to transplant in the evening, so the plant has time to chill down and recover overnight. Place the plant in a plastic plant pot with the soil. During this step of the procedure, stay away from terra cotta, which sucks moisture from the soil.

Care for Outside Peppers

Bringing peppers from the garden indoors necessitates vigilance. Aphids, for example, are attracted to many outdoor pepper plants. As a result, you’ll want to double-check that you didn’t bring any inside your home.

If you notice any pests on the plants, remove them and thoroughly rinse them. If there are several pest symptoms, isolate the plant from other plants. Then, to get rid of the pests, you can use an organic plant pesticide.

As expected, you’ll want to put the plant somewhere where it can get plenty of sunlight. If that isn’t possible, you can sandwich it between two spot lights to get all-around light exposure. Grow lights are relatively inexpensive and provide sufficient light for your pepper plants.

Tips in Growing Peppers Indoors

How Do You Start Growing Peppers Indoors?

Peppers thrive in hotter regions, but that doesn’t mean they can’t thrive indoors when it’s frigid outdoors. Growing peppers indoors in the winter may need more effort.

Smaller peppers, such as pequins, chiltepins, habaneros, and Thai peppers, or small ornamental kinds, are the ideal pepper plants to grow inside.

Here’s a few tips for successful winter growing of pepper plants:

Choose Quick-Maturing Peppers: Select pepper varieties that mature quickly, which have adapted to a cool environment. Because of this, your peppers can grow and ripen before your first frost.

Start Your Seedlings Early: If you’re starting with prepared pepper seeds, read the packaging carefully. The date to maturity is when the plant is transplanted to when it is harvested and not when seeds germinate, as you see on seed packages. If you’re growing from a cutting taken from outdoor plants, add another six or eight weeks to that date.

Growing Indoor Peppers

Use a Heat Mat: A plant heat pad can help your seedlings emerge quickly. Once they’ve risen to the top of the soil, you can remove them off the heat mat and place them in natural sunlight — or use grow lights. Keep any artificial light around two inches away from the seedlings if you’re using the latter.

Fertilize Seedlings: Start feeding the seedlings with an organic pepper fertilizer once you see leaves emerging. Follow the manufacturer’s directions to get the best results.

Mulch: Mulch the soil surface with straw or an organic peat moss blend to improve the soil’s ability to retain moisture. To avoid interfering with the growth of your pepper plants, keep the mulch away from the stems.

Choose a Planting Location: Bright light is ideal for peppers. So, get a well-draining planting tray and put it somewhere to get 6-8 hours of sunlight every day. It’s always a good idea to add some compost to boost fresh soil moisture. (Learn What To Do About Bugs On Broccoli)

Full Guide Indoor Peppers

Here are all the steps you need for growing pepper plants indoors and your plant’s health.

Growing indoors Pepper Seeds

Starting Pepper Seeds

Starting pepper seeds for growing indoors does not differ from growing outdoors. The seeds can take from 4 to 14+ days to germinate based on seed age and variety.

Label seed trays:

It’s easy to forget which plant is which, and it can make all the difference.

Pre-moisten soil:

Use a seed starter mix that doesn’t contain any nutrients for germination. Pre-moisten your soil with plain water. Ensure the soil is moist but doesn’t drip when you squeeze it.

Fill containers:

Add moist soil to seed cells or small pots. Soil should be lightly compacted until you feel a slight resistance.

Seeds should be planted 1/8-1/4 inch deep. Pepper seeds should be sown only 1/4 inch deep and covered with dirt. Poke a tiny hole with a pencil and place two seeds in it. Cover with earth.

Spritz the area:

Mist the surface with a spray nozzle to ensure the water reaches your seeds. Because the seeds must be kept moist until they sprout, this should be done daily. Keep your soil damp but not too wet.

Place in a warm environment:

Germination depends on the environment is warm. You can find many products to help if it is cold climates where you are planting.

  • Germination tips:
  • Use a humidity dome to retain moisture and moderate humidity
  • Never pour water onto the soil surface, so you don’t disturb the seeds
  • Use the seedling tray with a heating mat if outside the summer season

For speedy germination, the most critical aspect is warmth. Invest in a seedling warming mat if your growing site is cold. These are heating pad with a built-in thermostat.

This mat is used to keep the soil warm until the seeds sprout. When the temperature falls below your predetermined point, a thermostat activates the heating pad.

For the best germination results, set the temperature to 80°F (27°C).

Seedling Growth Stage

When your peppers sprout, place them under grow lights right away. Light is required for the plants to photosynthesize and build a strong root system early on.

A bright window with natural lighting isn’t the best option. A grow lamp is required if you are serious about growing a full-sized indoor pepper plant that bears fruit.

Lighting tips for young pepper plants:

Light height: At 18′′, we start at 50% power with a P1500 LED. With larger plants, this alters.

Cycle between on and off: A longer on cycle is better for early peppers. More light is recommended for the first few weeks of development, so set your timer to 15 hours on, 9 hours off.

Curling leaves: The lights may be too close or too strong if your plants have curling leaves. Raise the lights or lower the power to see if the situation improves.

White spots: Young pepper leaves can be burned by intense light. Keep an eye out for sunburn and adjust the light’s height or intensity as needed.

Pepper plants grow slowly for the first 2-3 weeks when the plants outgrow a standard 1.5′′ seed cell.


Seedlings should be watered from the bottom to prevent disturbing the young, vulnerable plants. Allow the soil’s surface to dry to the touch between waterings to avoid overwatering peppers, especially at the seedling or plant stage.

To avoid overwatering, dump excess water from your plant trays. Standing water causes soil to remain soggy and causes root problems, pest issues, and the onset of fungus.

Overly wet soil kills young pepper plants through damping off. If young pepper plants fall at the base of the stem, you have damping off.

Fertilizing peppers indoors


Fertilizer is required once the seedlings are a week old if you use a soilless seedling mix. If you plant in fertilizer-rich soil, you can wait until the plants are transferred to larger pots before feeding them.

Apply an all-purpose fertilizer at 1/4 strength to pepper seedlings when one week old. Just follow the manufacturer’s directions but cut the fertilizer in half.

Fertilize weekly at 1/4 strength after the initial feeding. You can help boost the strength of your plants after 2-3 weeks, and you re-pot to a new pot.


Moving an entire plant from one container to another when growing peppers indoors is known as transplanting. It may appear a contradiction to start with a smaller container and then move to a larger one. However, starting small saves room and helps to prevent damping off.

At around three weeks old, peppers are ready to be up-potted from 1.5′′ seed cells. Check the root system to see if it reaches the soil’s bottom, to be sure. Make sure the pot has good drainage holes to avoid waterlogging.

The size of the container is critical for indoor growing. The mature pepper plant’s size is precisely proportional to the size of the container. Using a smaller pot for a large ghost pepper-type plant will keep the plant more compact and manageable.

If you’re growing many plants in a tiny space, you may keep them all small by planting them in smaller containers. Use 1-gallon containers to keep hot peppers small. Most peppers, however, may be grown in a 3–5-gallon pot for the largest mature plants indoors.

Getting Indoor Peppers to Produce Fruit

Plants usually begin to fruit 3-4 months after sprouting, depending on the pepper kinds you’re planting. The size of your containers will also determine the time it takes. (Read Growing Strawberries Indoors)

Change Fertilizers

Your plants will produce flowers once they have reached a mature size (for the size of pot they are in). Fruiting is prompted by the plant’s age and the roots running out of place to expand.

Another consideration is the nutrient content. Pepper plants need a lot of phosphate, potassium, and calcium to fruit well. Nitrogen is less significant (but it still affects the health of your plant).

As a result, we propose switching to a fertilizer with lower nitrogen content, such as Tiger Bloom or Big Bloom. You might also reduce your general all-purpose fertilizer.

This change will reduce the likelihood of a bushy pepper plant while also encouraging fruiting. Too much nitrogen encourages your plants to continue growing leaves and branches rather than fruiting and reproducing.

Indoor Pepper Growing Guide

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