How to Sprout Pepper Seeds


Peppers suffer when exposed to cool temperatures and prefer daytime temperatures between 75 and 80 degree Fahrenheit and nighttime temperatures above 50 degrees. For many areas of the U.S., this means young seedlings must be started inside six to eight weeks before the last expected frost in your area to allow peppers to reach maturity in the home garden. Fortunately, peppers germinate easily and grow relatively quickly when started inside.

Step 1

Fill seed starter trays or peat cells with moist seed starter. You can make your own seed starter with a mixture of equal parts peat moss, sterilized potting soil and perlite. This creates a lightweight porous growing media that promotes drainage and provides aeration for growing roots.

Step 2

Plant pepper seeds to a depth of 1/4 inch and cover with growing media. Firm down with your hands to secure the seeds.

Step 3

Mist the surface of the soil with water to moisten the seeds. Cover with plastic wrap to hold in moisture.

Step 4

Place the seed trays in a warm location. The top of a water heater or other appliance that provides gentle bottom heat is ideal. Peppers germinate quickly in soil temperatures of 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Germination takes longer in cooler soils.

Step 5

Remove plastic wrap and move to a sunny location once seedlings emerge in seven to 14 days. Keep the soil evenly moist. Use caution to prevent over watering, as peppers suffer from excess water.

Step 6

Transplant to the garden after all danger of frost has passed in your area.

Tips and Warnings

  • Avoid cold drafts as pepper seedlings are sensitive to cold. Do not plant peppers in the garden until nighttime temperatures remain above 50 degrees Fahrenheit, as this will delay growth.

Things You'll Need

  • Seed starter
  • Seed trays
  • Plastic wrap
  • Misting bottle


  • Penn State Extension: Growing Peppers
  • Iowa State University Extension: How to Grow Peppers in the Home Garden
  • Colorado State University extension: Growing Peppers is Fun, Easy and Addicting
  • Ohio State University Extension: Growing Peppers in the Home Garden
  • Texas AgriLife Extension Service: Vegetable Gardening in Containers
Keywords: germinate peppers, sprout pepper seeds, start peppers, grow pepper seeds

About this Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with 4 years experience in online writing and a lifetime of personal journals. She is published on various sites, including Associated Content. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.