How to Grow a Hot Pepper


Various varieties of hot peppers add spice to cuisines from around the world. Peppers come in a wide range of flavors and heat levels and can be grown in containers or a sunny garden plot. Experiment with different pepper varieties in your garden and find your favorites. Cook with fresh peppers from your garden, dry them out for later use or pickle them for a different pepper flavor.

Step 1

Start your peppers six to eight weeks before the last frost. Place your pepper seeds in a bowl of warm water and let them sit overnight. Place different varieties in their own marked bowls to keep track of your seeds.

Step 2

Fill a planting tray halfway with a seed starting mixture. Lightly moisten the soil and spread the seeds evenly over the soil. Cover with 1/4 inch of the soil mixture and water lightly.

Step 3

Cover your seed tray with plastic wrap to hold in moisture and place the tray in a warm location. Most pepper seeds take two to three weeks to sprout.

Step 4

Remove the plastic wrap when you see sprouts emerge from the soil. Place the tray in a location that receives at least six hours of sunlight per day and keep the soil moist.

Step 5

Thin your pepper seedlings to one plant every 2 to 3 inches when they develop their first set of true leaves. Transplant the seedlings after they develop their second set of leaves.

Step 6

Dig holes in your garden 18 to 24 inches apart and large enough to accommodate the root bundle of your pepper seedling. Carefully remove the plant and root bundle from the growing tray and place it in the hole. Fill in around the base of the plant with soil. Water your peppers regularly.

Tips and Warnings

  • Wear gloves when harvesting hot peppers.

Things You'll Need

  • Bowl
  • Pepper seeds
  • Planting tray
  • Seed starting mix
  • Watering can
  • Plastic wrap
  • Garden shovel


  • Pepper Joe: Starting Hot Pepper Plants From Seed
  • Vegetable Gardening Ideas: How to Grow Hot Peppers
Keywords: growing hot peppers, starting hot peppers, planting hot peppers

About this Author

Lydia Stephens began writing professionally in 2009. She has written online for Nile Guides, and various other Web sites and has been published in "Stringing Magazine" and "Xiamen Wave." Stephens played competitive soccer for 19 years, has been weight lifting since 2007 and enjoys running, biking and sailing. She has a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from the University of Texas.