How Long Does It Take to Grow Peppers from Seed?

How Long Does It Take to Grow Peppers from Seed?

Growing peppers from seed requires a lot of patience and constant care to ensure your plants grow as healthily as possible. For new growers, this may seem rather daunting trying to get your peppers sprouting directly from your garden’s soil. But as long as you know the type of seeds you plan to grow and take great care of the growing conditions for them, you’ll be rewarded with nice, healthy-looking plants and beautiful pepper pods.

We explain more about how long it takes to grow different peppers from seed, as well as the different factors and considerations to be aware of as a grower before you start burying your seeds in the soil.

How Long Does It Take for Pepper Seeds to Sprout?

Generally, it takes about 6-8 weeks, or 60 to 90 days, for peppers to grow from seed and be ready to harvest off the plant. This is an average range for all peppers of different varieties and heat levels. When you receive your packet of pepper seeds, you’ll notice the “days to harvest” number on the side. This indicates how long it takes for the pepper to grow from seed to maturity.

Different peppers have different timelines for growing, and these timelines are affected by a few different environmental factors such as soil quality, moisture levels, and temperature. For example, if your soil is dryer than normal or has poor drainage, then your pepper plants may take longer to sprout. Likewise, if your soil is too wet, then there’s a possibility that root rot could set in and kill off the plants before they even have a chance to sprout. These factors need to be monitored constantly to grow peppers from seed properly.

Besides the controllable factors listed above, you need to be aware of other inherent factors characteristic of different pepper seeds.

gardeners running her hand through the brown soil

Types of Peppers to Grow from Seed

You can grow any kind of pepper from seed in your very own garden or greenhouse. But you might be asking yourself what kind of pepper should I be growing? That depends on what you’re looking for.

Easiest Peppers to Grow from Seed

If you’re a first-time gardener, then you might be looking for something easy to grow. Luckily, there are a few varieties that grow very easily with little maintenance and simple growing conditions:

Easiest Peppers to Grow from Seed


80+ Days


65+ Days

Ornamental Peppers



65 Days


75+ Days


90+ Days

Any peppers from the Capsicum annuum genetic family are considered the easiest peppers to grow. Many peppers fall under this umbrella, but a few – cayennes, jalapenos, serranos, and Thai peppers - are considered popular “easy” varieties to grow from seed. Ornamental peppers are considered easy to grow since most of these varieties fall under the same pepper family tree.

Fastest Peppers to Grow from Seed

Similarly, peppers in the Capsicum annum family are also some of the fastest peppers to grow from seed. When we say “fastest,” we’re also including the time it takes for seeds to germinate, as well as other early maturing pepper varieties. You’ll notice these types of peppers intertwine between “fastest to grow” and “easiest to grow” categories based on their days to harvest:

Fastest Peppers to Grow from Seed


80 Days

Bell Peppers

80+ Days

Corno di Toro

70-85 Days

Hungarian Hot Wax

70+ Days

Jalapeno – Early

65 Days


60+ Days

How Pepper Heat Level Affects Growing Peppers from Seed

You should also consider the heat level of the peppers you’re planning to grow from seed. As you see above, the fastest and easiest peppers to grow have mild to medium hot heat levels. When it comes to super hot peppers (like ghost peppers), they typically take slightly longer than milder varieties like banana peppers. This is because super hot peppers require more time for their capsaicin levels to develop fully. 

When you compare the different pepper heat levels, you start to see the differences in the time it takes to grow peppers from seed:

Mild Pepper Seeds

Italian Pepperoncini

75+ Days


80+ Days

Chinese 5 Color

85+ Seeds


85+ Days

Sweet Banana

90+ Days

Super Hot Seeds

7 Pot Lava Yellow

140-150 Days

CPR (Chocolate Primo Reaper)

150+ Days

Ghost – Bhut Jolokia

150+ Days

Moruga Trinidad Scorpion

150+ Days

Chocolate Reaper

165+ Days


There are some exceptions to the “pepper heat level” theory:

  • Rare & Exotic Peppers: These unique varieties operate on an entirely different timeline when growing peppers from seed, reaching maturity at different rates contrary to their heat level. For example, Aji Dulce peppers contain sweet to mild heat levels (0-1,000 SHUs), but they take around 90-100 days to reach maturity – slightly longer than most mild varieties to do so. Reasons for this include more time to reach a particular shape or size, growing conditions, and genetics from cross-breeding (if a hybrid pepper).
  • Early Maturing Super Hots: On the flip side, Carolina Reaper peppers – known as the current hottest pepper in the world – and Butch “T” Trinidad Scorpions are super hots that can mature as early as 90 days. That’s sooner than the average super hot pepper, which takes around 120-150 days to mature.
  • Chocolate Strains: Most chocolate versions of different pepper strains tend to have longer maturity periods to reach their prime chocolate hues. For example, Chocolate Habaneros take longer to mature (110+ Days) than original Habanero strains (90-100 Days).

pepper seedlings sprouting from the soil

Other Questions on Growing Peppers from Seed

Lastly, there are a few common questions first-time growers have when they start growing peppers from seed.

Pepper Seed vs. Seedling

Both options – starting from seed versus seedling – are great for your garden. Many growers opt to start with seedlings and transfer them directly into their garden’s soil. However, there are benefits to growing peppers from seed rather than from seedling:

  • Cost-Effective: Growing peppers from seed costs less money than buying seedlings. To compare, the cost of a packet of 10+ seeds ranges from $3-7, while seedlings range from $5-15.
  • More Control: Additionally, you have better control over the variables and factors that affect your peppers and pepper plants if you start from seed. This includes the preferred soil and environment the grower wants for the seed, suitable companion plants, and even certain pesticides or other treatments.

  • More Rewarding: Let’s face it – when you start something from scratch and see it through all the way to the end, you feel more rewarded for the hard work and effort put into growing these plants. While it’s nice to have that extra boost with seedlings, pepper seeds give you the complete journey of growing peppers.

Container vs. Soil

Another question that’s frequently brought up: will growing peppers in containers affect their germination and growth? The short answer: it depends.

The type of pepper you choose to grow from seed will have different plant characteristics than other pepper seeds. Some plants are more compact and grow well in containers, like ornamental pepper plants. Other types, however, may grow too tall for the container to anchor it down, or the plant requires plenty of room for its roots to spread out beneath the soil. Also, the plant itself may be compact, but the peppers they grow might be incredibly large which affects how the container holds the plant.

However, many people choose to start their pepper seeds and seedlings in containers and then move them outdoors.

Starting Indoors vs. Outdoors

A big debate is whether to start growing pepper seeds indoors or startthem directly outdoors, and again, the short answer: it depends.

Two major factors must be considered before starting to plant pepper seeds: the number of days it takes for your pepper to mature, and your plant hardiness zone. Your pepper seed’s days to harvest determines the typical length needed for the plant to grow peppers. Your plant hardiness zone informs growers of anticipated frost dates and the length of their growing seasons for whichever region they live in. For those who live more north, they deal with shorter growing seasons, and vice versa for those living in the south.

If you live in regions with shorter seasons, but grow peppers that span beyond this timeframe, starting indoors is a great idea. For warmer regions with longer timeframes, growers are more likely to start their seeds outdoors. Keep these considerations in mind when planning to start growing peppers from seed.

Start Growing Peppers from Seed with Pepper Joe's!

Whether you're an experienced pepper gardener or just starting out, knowing how long it takes for peppers to grow from seed can help guide your planting decisions and ensure success in your garden this season! For more information on gardening, check out our Gardening Tips and Gardening FAQs for any concerns you have with growing peppers from seed. Be sure you have the right pepper growing supplies and set yourself up for a successful growing season. With the right knowledge and preparation, anyone can become an excellent pepper gardener!

Tune into our Grow With Joe video series and learn more about tips and tricks to growing peppers!


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