How to Start Pepper Seeds in Water


Chile peppers are a favorite vegetable to grow in home gardens. In fact, Colorado State University writes that peppers are second only to tomatoes in popularity. Even better, when you choose to grow your peppers from seed, you get to pick from a huge selection of chile varieties that are not found in stores. Before you grow your own peppers, start your seeds in water so that they have the best chance of pushing through the soil (germinating) and becoming a healthy plant.

Step 1

Wait until eight to 10 weeks before the last expected frost in your location before preparing your pepper seeds. Frost kills pepper plants so you do not want to grow them too early.

Step 2

Inspect your pepper seeds and remove any that appear discolored or smaller than the rest. The appearance of the seeds helps you determine which ones that are less likely to germinate.

Step 3

Fill a jar with water and drop your seeds inside. Use a spoon to scoop out any seeds that float to the top. Seeds that float do not have the embryos to produce pepper plants.

Step 4

Allow your seeds to soak for two to three days. This length of time softens the seed shell before planting, which allows the seedling to have an easier time when pushing through this barrier.

Step 5

Remove your pepper seeds and place them in the growing container of your choice. Sow the seeds no more than 1/4 inch deep in sterilized potting soil.

Things You'll Need

  • Pepper seeds
  • Jar
  • Water
  • Spoon
  • Growing container
  • Sterilized potting soil


  • Colorado State University: Growing Peppers is Fun, Easy and Addicting
  • "The Complete Chile Pepper Book"; Dave DeWitt & Paul W. Bosland; 2009
  • The Chile Pepper Institute: Growing Tips

Who Can Help

  • Growing Chilli Peppers
  • Colorado State University: Chiles for the Home Garden
Keywords: chile peppers, grow peppers, soak pepper seeds

About this Author

Jenny Glass has been writing professionally since 2001 and is a glass artist with a Web design and technical writing background. In addition to writing for Demand Studios, she has been a contributor to "Glass Line Magazine" and runs her own art glass business.