How to Germinate Pepper Seeds Indoors


Peppers come in both sweet and hot varieties. A hot-weather-loving plant that tolerates no frost, peppers need to be started from transplants in most parts of the country. Nursery transplants are expensive and limit you to just a few pepper varieties. Seeds offer more variety and are much less expensive, making experimentation with new types possible. Germinate your pepper seeds indoors and grow them into healthy transplants that are ready for the garden in spring.

Step 1

Fill individual seed pots with a sterilized potting medium or soilless mixture. Create your own soilless mixture by combining 1 part peat moss and 1 part vermiculite.

Step 2

Sow two pepper seeds per pot to a depth of ¾ inch. Set the pot in a tray of water and let the soil absorb the water through the bottom drainage holes until the top of the soil is just moist.

Step 3

Cover the pot with a layer of plastic wrap. Place the pots in an 80- to 85-degree-F room to germinate. Alternately, place the pots on a seedling heat mat--available at garden stores---to maintain the 80 to 85 degree F temperature.

Step 4

Remove the plastic wrap once seedlings germinate, approximately 7 to 14 days after planting. Place the pots in a room where the temperature is 70 to 75 degrees F in bright sunlight or place under grow lights.

Step 5

Keep soil moist at all times but not soggy. Transplant to the garden once night-time temperatures outside are consistently above 55 degrees F.

Tips and Warnings

  • If germination rates are poor, temperature is most likely the cause. Peppers will not germinate successfully at temperatures under 80 degrees F.

Things You'll Need

  • Pots
  • Peat moss
  • Vermiculite
  • Tray
  • Plastic wrap
  • Heat mat
  • Grow lights


  • University of Illinois Extension: Peppers
  • University of Missouri: Growing Sweet Peppers
Keywords: germinating peppers, sweet pepper plants, growing hot peppers

About this Author

Jenny Harrington is a freelance writer of more than five years' experience. Her work has appeared in "Dollar Stretcher" and various blogs. Previously, she owned her own business for four years, selling handmade items online, wholesale and via the crafts fair circuit. Her specialties are small business, crafting, decorating and gardening.