How to Grow and Care for a Pepper Plant


A pepper plant provides colorful peppers all summer long if you grow it outdoors. It will keep producing indoors under the proper growing conditions. In their tropical native habitat, peppers are perennial shrubs. They produce best in heat and humidity. Peppers thrive in full sun. Grow a pepper plant in a container, and move it outdoors to a patio, deck or balcony during the summer. Bring it indoors before cool temperatures arrive.

Step 1

Select a healthy pepper plant at a nursery. Look for one with at least four or five sets of leaves and some side branching. Pepper plants should be allowed steady, continuous growth from seed to maturity. Avoid plants that are already blooming in the starting pot.

Step 2

Remove the pepper plant from the starter pot. Lean it sideways so you hold the pot in one hand, and hold your other hand at the base of the plant to catch the soil and root ball as it slips out of the pot. If the plant does not release from the pot easily, gently tap the sides to loosen the plant. If matted roots extend outside the bottom of the pot, trim them off to release the plant. Set the plant 1 inch deeper than it was previously growing, and firm the soil around the roots.

Step 3

Water the pepper plant. Soak the soil until water drains from the bottom of the pot. Keep the soil moist, but not soggy. Drought has an immediate effect on pepper production, so never allow the soil to dry out. Dry conditions cause flower and leaf drop, as well as blossom end rot.

Step 4

Place your pepper plant in full sun. If the plant is indoors, then provide supplemental light that is equal to full sun.

Step 5

Fertilize your pepper plant weekly with a balanced liquid organic fertilizer. A fertilizer ratio of 10-10-10 provides balanced nutrients for good foliage growth, as well as flowers and fruits. If your pepper plant has too much foliage and does not produce flowers, use a fertilizer with less nitrogen, the first number in the ratio, such as 5-10-10 or 5-10-5.

Tips and Warnings

  • Prevent the tobacco mosaic virus from spreading to your pepper plant if you use tobacco products. The virus can be carried in tobacco products. Wash your hands thoroughly before working around your pepper plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Pepper plant
  • Planting container with drainage holes
  • Potting soil, compost
  • Organic fertilizer


  • University of Illinois Extension: Peppers
  • Ohio State University: Peppers
  • Mother Earth News: Growing Colorful Bell Peppers
  • West Virginia University: Peppers

Who Can Help

  • Texas A&M University: Growing Peppers
Keywords: grow pepper plant, pepper growing tips, pepper plant care, growing peppers, container garden peppers

About this Author

Fern Fischer writes about quilting and sewing, and she professionally restores antique quilts to preserve these historical pieces of women's art. She also covers topics of organic gardening, health, rural lifestyle, home and family. For over 35 years, her work has been published in print and online.