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5 Germination Steps on How to Grow Peppers

by Christine Halvorsen November 26, 2019 3 min read

5 Germination Steps on How to Grow Peppers

How to Germinate Pepper Seeds Indoors in 5 Simple Steps 

Whether you are looking to grow sweet peppers, ornamental peppers, or the hottest pepper in the world, growing the pepper plant from seed can be very rewarding.  Basically, you plant the seed, and then it takes off!  As fun as it is to grow peppers from seeds, don't underestimate the effort needed to transform a tiny seed into a prolific plant full of fresh peppers. 

Successfully growing pepper plants take attention and patience, and it all starts with germination.  Luckily, pepper germination all happens indoors in a controllable environment and it can be done in just 5 steps.  See our video and steps below for how to germinate any kind of pepper seed. Read on below the five stages of germination for any kind of pepper.

What is Germination?

The germination process is when a seed grows into a plant.  Starting the pepper germination can be fun, but keep in mind that it's best to start when the climate gets warmer.  A warmer climate helps the pepper plant perform its best and once you start the process of germination, you won't be able to wait around for warmer weather.  Another thing to remember is that the seeds will germinate under the right conditions, so it's crucial that you remain consistent when maintaining temperature levels and moisture levels in the soil. Mix that with a heavy dose of patience, and you will experience the joy of seeing seedlings sprout.  

When to Start Plants Indoors

The best time to start germinating plants indoors is about four weeks before the last frost date.  Of course, the time frame is all dependent on which planting zone you are in, so make sure to track the last frost date in your area.  

plant germination at a germination station

What are the Steps of Germination? 


Before you start germinating your choice of seed mix, read this checklist to make sure you have everything you need:

  • Gloves (this is optional if you are dealing with super-hot peppers because you don't want the oil to irritate your eyes or skin)
  • Water
  • Seed Starting Mix of Choice
  • Heat Mat
  • Seed Germination Tray with Humidity Dome
  • Light Source

When you have everything together, it's now time to start the germination process!

  1. Place your germination tray on the surface and fill in about six cups of water. After filling in the water, place your seed starting tray on top of the germination tray. Check to see if you have 1/4 of an inch of standing water in the tray.
  2. Fill the seed starting tray with potting soil.  Fill in all the way to the top.
  3. Make a centered hole in 1/4 inch deep in each seed starting cell.  For best practices, use a #2 pencil eraser to create your holes. 
  4. Place the seed into the 1/4 inch hole and cover gently. 
  5. Apply the seedling heat source to the bottom of the tray, and cover the top of the seed starting tray with a humidity trapping dome.  

Before germinating the pepper seeds, we recommend doing the paper towel method for successful growing.  

Want to use the same pepper germination and growing equipment that we use? Check out our selection of pepper growing supplies including temperature controllers, seed trays and heat mats, and grow lights. You can purchase them individually or save by getting our complete indoor grow kit.  We also have a selection of quality pepper seed fertilizers.  

indoor grow kit or an indoor garden heat that comes with a heat pad, light source, thermometer, and more

Interested in growing some of the most unique pepper seeds on the planet?  Check out our variety of pepper seeds, and new pepper seeds for 2020 that we launched recently!   

We would absolutely love to hear about your growing experience. To share your story with us, send us an email, or join our Facebook page!


growing the hottest pepper in the world


Christine Halvorsen
Christine Halvorsen

2 Responses


March 04, 2020

Hello :) Thank you for the easy tips on this germination process. This year, I am trying to grow some of my own peppers from last year and I’m really excited. I am trying this method and wanted to ask if it is common that humidity gathers on the plastic cover? Is that okay…or should I be worried about mold? Thank you, Pepper Joe!


February 21, 2020

I have just recently started growing hot peppers in the last 3 years and love it. I order all my seeds from pepper Joe’s they are a great company. I have tried the paper towel method and failed miserably. Had to reorder seeds no big deal. I have found that just planting the in potting soil on a heat mat in a warm room yields me 99% germination on seeds. I’m good with that. Thanks pepper Joe for the great customer service you provide and to all chilli heads eat a reaper a day to keep the doctor away.

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