How to Germinate Pepper Seeds


Peppers are a summer vegetable that are loved for the flavor they add to salads and barbecue dishes. When it comes to planting peppers, even experienced gardeners tend to plant pepper seedlings that have already been started in a greenhouse, as pepper seeds can be tough to germinate. While peppers are very touchy when it comes to temperatures, there are a few tips you can follow that give you greater success at germination, no matter what type of pepper you are planting.

Step 1

Fill 3-inch seed pots with sterile potting soil, and place them in a seed tray.

Step 2

Water the soil until it is moist, and allow it to drain.

Step 3

Use the tweezers, insert the pepper seeds 1/4 inch down into the soil and make sure they are covered. Plant two seeds per pot.

Step 4

Cover the tray of pots with a sheet of clear plastic wrap to trap in moisture and heat, both of which are needed for germination. Continue to monitor moisture content during the germination process by touching your finger to the soil. If the soil feels dry, mist it with a spray bottle.

Step 5

Set a dish towel on a table or counter top, and then lay the heating pad on top of it. Set another dish towel on top of the heating pad, and then place the tray of pepper seeds on top of the heating pad and towels. Turn the heating pad to the medium setting, and leave the pad on all day. Shut the pad off at night when going to sleep.

Step 6

Remove the seedling pots away from the plastic tray and into a bright sunny window when they germinate. When there are two sets of leaves, thin the pepper seedlings to the strongest ones by cutting the weakest ones off at soil level.

Step 7

Plant seedlings outside when soil temperature has warmed to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, 3 inches deep. Space seedlings 1-1/2 to 2 feet apart in rows that are 3 feet apart.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never leave a heating pad unattended for an extended period of time. During germination make a habit of placing your hand under the heating pad to make sure the counter and bottom towel are not getting too hot.

Things You'll Need

  • 3 inch pots
  • Seed starting mix
  • Plastic seed tray
  • Sheet of plastic wrap
  • 2 dish towels
  • Electric heating pad
  • Spray mist bottle


  • Floridata: Start Your Own Pepper And Tomato Plants
  • Hot Pepper Seeds: Pepper Seed Starting Tips

Who Can Help

  • University of Illinois: Watch Your Garden Grow: Peppers
Keywords: germinating pepper seeds, pepper seed germination, starting pepper seeds

About this Author

A freelance writer for more than 12 years, Traci Vandermark has written extensively on health and fitness topics. She is a student of health, fitness and nutrition at the International Institute Of Holistic Healing, certified by the American Association of Nutritional Consultants. Her articles have appeared in Catskill Country Magazine, The Lookout Magazine, Capper's, Birds and Blooms and Country Discoveries, to name a few.