How to Grow a Pepper Plant


With the increased popularity of peppers, more varieties are available at the local garden supply store as transplants and seeds. Peppers are medium feeders that need a consistent water supply. They prefer warm weather and are sensitive to extremes of heat or cold. The plants need soil temperatures above 55 degrees F to germinate, while temperatures above 90 degrees F often result in blossom drop. Ideal growing temperatures are between 60 and 80 degrees F.

Step 1

Start seeds indoors six to eight weeks before the last frost date, or purchase seedlings for transplant directly into the garden.

Step 2

Till or dig the location to loosen soil. Test soil for pH and nematodes. Add lime as needed to adjust the pH to 6.5. Fumigate for nematodes if present.

Step 3

Harden off transplants grown indoors by placing them in the garden for a few hours daily. Increase the time outside gradually until the pepper plants are outside all day.

Step 4

Create rows or hills 3 feet wide. Wait until the soil has warmed, then transplant seedlings 12 to 18 inches apart in well-drained soil. In areas with poor drainage, plant peppers in raised beds.

Step 5

Fertilize transplants with a 1/4 strength water-soluble fertilizer solution after planting. Apply a side-dressing of 1/2 oz. of high nitrogen fertilizer per plant after the fruit sets, or use 3 lbs. of a balanced fertilizer like 10-10-10 per 100-foot row.

Step 6

Water plants in the morning as needed to keep soil moist, but not soggy.

Step 7

Lightly hoe or hand pull weeds weekly.

Step 8

Harvest green or ripe peppers, using a knife to cut the fruits off the plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Pepper seeds or transplants
  • Water-soluble fertilizer
  • High nitrogen or balanced fertilizer


  • NC State Extension: Home Garden Pepper Production
  • AZ Master Gardener: Peppers
  • University of Illinois Extension: Watch Your Garden Grow, Peppers
Keywords: grow pepper plants, transplant pepper plants, pepper plant care

About this Author

Diane Watkins has been writing since 1984, with experience in newspaper, newsletter and web content. She writes two electronic newsletters and content around the web. Watkins has a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Clemson University. She has taken graduate courses in biochemistry and education.