When to Plant Peppers


Growing peppers in the home garden provides a fresh supply of juicy fruits brimming with flavor. Fresh peppers are the perfect addition to garden salads and add robust flavor to tomato dishes.

When to Plant Peppers image by "Slicing the pepper" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: René Ehrhardt (Rene Ehrhardt) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.


Start peppers inside 12 weeks before the last expected frost or buy nursery-grown seedlings. Peppers require a long growing season and may not reach maturity if directly seeded in soil.


Peppers do not tolerate even a light frost. Plant after the danger of frost has passed in your area.


Plant peppers when nighttime temperatures are above 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit. If temperatures drop, pepper plants are stunted and may take weeks to recover and resume vigorous growth.


Sweet peppers grow best when planted in groups of two or three spaced 6 inches apart. Leaves should touch when the plants mature.


Three to four hot pepper plants and eight to 10 sweet pepper plants provide enough fruit for the average family of four.


  • University of Illinois Extension
  • West Virginia University Extension
  • AgriLIFE Extension

Who Can Help

  • How to Start Pepper Plants Inside
Keywords: pepper plants, plant peppers, sweet peppers

About this Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with more than four years' experience in online writing. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in teaching 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.