How to Grow Red Bell Peppers Indoors


Red bell peppers are a sweet pepper. Red is the color that sweet bells become when they reach full maturity. A tender plant, they require plenty of sunshine and warmth in order to reach maturity--the average is 70 days. In areas with a short summer, growing red bell peppers indoors then transplanting out allows them to reach this stage even if there aren't enough summer days available. Starting them indoors also protects the pepper plants from many of the insects and diseases that affect young seedlings.

Step 1

Fill individual seed pots with sterilized potting soil. Moisten the soil evenly throughout before planting.

Step 2

Sow two to three seeds per pot on the soil surface. Cover with one quarter inch of soil and mist with water to moisten.

Step 3

Cover the pots in plastic wrap. Place in a 70 to 75 degrees F room to germinate. Place on top of seedling heat mats to maintain this temperature at all times. Germination takes between 14 and 21 days for most varieties.

Step 4

Remove the plastic wrap once sprouts appear. Place pepper plants under grow lights, setting them so they are three inches above the top of the pepper seedlings. Keep the soil moist at all times.

Step 5

Thin out the pepper plants to one per pot once they develop their second set of leaves. Cut off the weaker plants at soil level with a small pair of scissors, leaving the strongest plant in the pot.

Step 6

Transplant outside once soil temperatures reach 70 degrees F and night time temperatures are above 50 degrees F. Space plants 18 inches apart on all sides.

Tips and Warnings

  • Peppers require long days of warmth and sunlight. While you may try to grow them only under grow lights, they will produce few fruits. If the leaves begin to yellow and drop off temperatures are too low.

Things You'll Need

  • Pots
  • Soil
  • Plastic wrap
  • Seedling heat mat
  • Grow lights
  • Scissors


  • University of Illinois Extension
Keywords: red bell peppers, grow peppers indoors, seed starting

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.