How to Start Cayenne Pepper Seeds


Cayenne peppers are red chili peppers known for their hot, potent flavor. They are used frequently in cooking spicy foods. Dried, they are a major ingredient in chili powder. Cayenne peppers grow well in a variety of well-drained soils, doing best in heavier soils. They are a warm season vegetable and have a relatively long growing season. Because of this, starting cayenne peppers from seeds indoors is a good idea, and in some areas, absolutely essential. Planting peppers seeds is very easy.

Step 1

Check that your seeds will germinate by placing a small number of seeds on a damp paper towel. Place the towel in a warm area with good light exposure. Keep the towel damp for the next week. Check the seeds to see if they are germinating. If so, your seeds are viable.

Step 2

Fill the cells of a seed flat with potting soil and gently level the soil. Put the flat in a pan of shallow water overnight to thoroughly hydrate the soil.

Step 3

Plant the cayenne pepper seeds by gently pressing them into the soil to a quarter inch deep. Place plastic wrap over the seed flat to keep the soil damp and promote germination.

Step 4

Place the newly planted seed flat in a warm location at a temperature of 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not place the flat in direct sun.

Step 5

Watch for growth. Remove the plastic wrap, after the seeds sprout. As the seedlings grow, continue to keep the soil moist, but not wet.

Step 6

Examine the cayenne pepper plants for damping off disease and remove any infected plants. Treat the remaining plants with fungicide.

Step 7

Place the seedlings in bright light, preferably in a south facing window. Feed the cayenne pepper plants with a water-soluble plant food at half strength until ready to transplant.

Things You'll Need

  • Seedling flat
  • Potting soil
  • Plastic wrap
  • Cayenne pepper seeds


  • Starting Hot Pepper Plants From Seed
  • Colorado State University Extension, Planting/Yield Chart
  • University of Illinois Extension, Peppers
Keywords: cayenne pepper seeds, cayenne pepper plants, start pepper seeds

About this Author

In Jacksonville, Fla., Frank Whittemore is a content strategist with almost a decade of experience as a navy hospital corpsman and licensed paramedic. He has more than 15 years writing for several Fortune 500 companies. Whittemore writes on topics that include medicine, nature, science, technology, the arts, cuisine, travel and sports.

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