May 12, 2020 5 min read

How to transplant your delicate seedlings to grow into strong, nourished pepper plants

Congratulations! You completed the germination stage and saw those little seeds sprout to little seedlings, and now it’s time to start transitioning your beautiful pepper plants to the outdoors.  You’ve nursed those seeds through the fragile seedling stage, and now you need to prepare them for transplanting. 

Whether this is your first time or you want to make sure you are following the correct steps, we provided some tips on how to create a successful growing process.  We prepared a video below that explains the steps of transplanting pepper plants.

Source: Pepper Joe's

Follow these 6 Easy Steps to Transplant your Pepper Plants: 

  1. Make a hole in the soil about twice the size of the root ball
  2. Place the plant into the soil and completely cover the root ball moving a fair amount of the new soil over the old
  3. Water the plants and be sure to get the water onto the base of the stem so that the rockwool and root balls do not dry out in the new soil
  4. Start the hardening off process a couple of weeks before you plan to plant your seedlings out into the garden
  5. Place your seedlings outside for an hour
  6. Move your plants back indoors. Lengthen the hardening off time for 1-3 weeks.  Make sure you continuously do this!

Read on for more detail on each step and information on some of the terms and techniques used in the video.

Disclaimer: we started transplantation first, and then proceeded to harden the pepper plants off while they remained in the same container.  You can either follow this process like how we demonstrated in our video or start the hardening off process first and then transplant them into a pot or in the ground. 

What is Pepper Plant Transplantation?

learn more on our blog post about when to transplant pepper plants

You may ask “what is transplantation?” Transplanting pepper plants is the process of moving a fully germinated seedling and replanting it in a permanent location for the growing season. 

How do I Begin Transplanting Peppers?

Following the 6 steps outlined above and in the video, start by grabbing your pot or container and add in some new potting soil.  Make a hole in the soil about twice the size of the root ball.  With your plant near you, place the plant into the soil and completely cover the root ball.  You should be moving a fair amount of the new soil over the old.  

Then, you have to water your plants so they don’t die!  Be sure to get the water onto the base of the stem so that the rockwool and root balls do not dry out in the new soil, like how we demonstrated in the video. 

After you completed these steps, it’s now time to begin the hardening off process. You’ll want to start the hardening off process a couple of weeks before you plan to plant your seedlings out into the garden.

When transferring your plants into the ground, keep in mind that peppers do not tolerate well in cold weather.  You should create a favorable soil environment, transplant the right depth, and do NOT disturb the roots.  Begin transplanting pepper plants when soil temperatures have reached at least 60 degrees and ALL awareness of frost is past.

If you are curious on what nutrients to nourish your plants, we have a  selection of fertilizers that will boost the root growth to help the plants establish a strong base for transplanting. In other words, the fertilizers are like protein shakes for plants! 

Wait, what does it mean to harden off plants?  

close up shot of harden off pepper plants

Hardening off is a critical stage that you need to pay attention to the transplanting stage.  In a simple definition, it is the process of gradually exposing your plants to sunlight, uneven temperatures, and wind.  

Think about it this way.  Your plants have been in a controlled indoor climate with temperatures of 65-70 degrees with no wind, and probably received some sort of sunlight but only through a window.  Your plants will not face the same situation outside, instead they will be exposed to windy conditions, direct sunlight, and unbalanced temperatures.  Don’t worry though, just let them gradually adapt to different weather conditions!

We recommend that you proceed with hardening off plants for a couple of weeks.  This will allow an easier growing process that will prepare your seedlings for faster growth.

Ok, what is the easy way to harden off plants?

how to transplant pepper plants

We understand it can be stressful or intimidating to start transitioning your tender seedlings to the outdoors.  Before you start transitioning your seedlings outdoors, there are a couple of things you should keep in mind.

  1. Be aware of warming weather
  2. You should be approaching your last frost date
  3. Your plants have been growing inside for 4-6 weeks

Even with these in mind, you can’t just leave them outside for hours immediately because remember, they are fragile seedlings used to a controlled environment!  We included a method below you can follow along for a smooth hardening off process. 

We recommend that you leave them outdoors for the first day for about 1 hour on an overcast day or an area out of direct sunlight.  After 1 hour, you bring it back inside under your grow lights, and you completed day 1!  On day 2, you are going to place them in an area where they can receive sunlight for 1 hour, and then move them to a shady area where they will again stay out for 1 hour before being place inside under the grow lights.

Over the next few weeks, you’re going to gradually increase the number of hours in the sun until they can be outside for 24 hours.  If frost, thunderstorms, or high winds are expected, bring them indoors to avoid damaging the plants.  Make sure to water your plants before they go outside so there is less risk of them drying out!

So, I Want to Up My Gardening Game. 

Looking into an indoor grow tent kit?  An indoor grow tent from Gorilla Grow is what you need, and we carry many sizes for you to take your operation to the next level.  Don’t forget to check our growing supplies to take your gardening game to the next level.

Do you want to expand your growing list?  Itching for a sweet flavored pepper or just looking for the fire-melting peppers of super-hot peppers?  We got a huge variety of pepper seeds for you to start growing.  Look into our live hot pepper plants if you prefer to grow some seedlings!

We are here to help you grow peppers. if you have ANY QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS THAT YOU MAY HAVE, YOU CAN SHOOT US AN EMAIL AT CUSTOMERSERVICE@PEPPERJOE.COM OR SEND US A MESSAGE ON FACEBOOK. WE LOVE HEARING YOUR STORIES OF GROWING peppers FROM SCRATCH AND ANSWERING ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT GROWING ANY KIND OF peppers

 

 

Pepper Joes
Pepper Joes


1 Response

William Harned
William Harned

May 12, 2020

Pepper Joes shipped Pepper Plants arrived in pitiful shape and were not as advertised in the photos. Not one of 6 plants/2 survived even produced flowers, compared to the replacement plants I bought (Bonnies) at half the cost at a local hardware store.

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