Growing peppers in pots is a great way to get fresh green peppers within walking distance of the kitchen. Here we have a container garden that’s getting bigger and bigger. Every year the potted sweet pepper plants turn our porch into a mini pepper forest.

Learning how to grow your own pepper is fascinating. I remember realising that I could save the seeds of the pepper plant and grow them in my garden to make whole plants. It’s exciting, fun and affordable.

In this article we have described the whole process of growing peppers in pots. This guide can also be used for other types of peppers such as bananas, chillies, serrano and others. However, if you’re thinking of growing super spicy species, start here.

Beautiful sweet pepper

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Growing pepper in pots against the ground

To start with, I would like to illustrate the advantages and disadvantages of growing pot peppers. We still grow pepper in pots, but we also have an earthy garden.


The advantages of pot cultivation are improved mobility, weed control and aesthetic appeal. If you have a balcony with good sunlight, you can probably grow peppers in a pot!

There is also a wide range of attractive pots that give potted plants a certain class. Finally, thanks to its small size, there will be little or no weeding throughout the season!


Disadvantages of growing peppers in pots are a potentially larger base area, more frequent irrigation and lower yields. Although the mobility of a pot plant is high, less soil generally leads to more irrigation and a lower pepper yield. We also have the problem of underestimating the size of adult paprika plants.

Because the entry-level price is relatively low, we always recommend trying one or two peppers in a pot for the first time. Get an idea of how much space you can afford to allocate to plants and avoid the potential overcrowding of a small balcony.


To start growing peppers in pots, you need to check some supplies. We have listed below all the important points you need to get started.

Take a look at our recommended paprika growing stock here…


Assuming that you grow pepper from seed, you should start by selecting varieties. There are many different kinds of peppers.

Bring some paprika seeds.

If you plan to purchase plants from your local nursery, you can carry out the fertilisation below.

Ships (size and type)

It’s a big question. How big should your pepperculbs be? We recommend that you use a container of at least 3 litres. With peppers, the more the better.

If you have room for a larger pot, you get a much better yield with 5-10 gallons. Choose a container that is suitable for your planting location. However, pots smaller than 3 gallons do not deliver as much pepper in full size.

Every year we use our colourful Saturn flower boxes. Bring it here.

Tip: If you’re reusing an old pot, clean it thoroughly. If they contain plants with diseases or bacteria, they can spread to new soils and new plants. Learn how to safely disinfect with bleach.

Besides the large pot you need several hoppers to start the seeds. You can find them in any kindergarten or household chemical shop. They are usually delivered in blocks of 6 cells and are cheap.

We use these sturdy containers to irrigate the inner soil of young plants.

Grow light

Bulgarian pepper seedlings need strong light for a good start. If you grow from seed, you should consider investing in indoor cultivation.

This is our light (see on Amazon).

We’ve also written an article on how best to grow bright peppers here. There are several excellent options that can last for many years.


If you plant from seed, you can start using the seed starter soil. These soil mixtures do not contain any nutrients. If you decide to plant seeds in the original soil, you should start with a simple application plan as soon as the seedlings have germinated.

If you plant directly outside (starters, etc.), choose a well rounded soil in your local nursery. Anything with a good nutritional balance is sufficient.

Don’t exaggerate with this step. MiracleGro, FoxFarm or Espoma are perfect for potted peppers. We will regularly apply fertilizer during the season, so that the Bulgarian pepper growers have everything they need to thrive.


The last essential element is fertilizer. We got a lot of questions about the best fertilizers for paprika plants, so we wrote an article.

Our short recommendation is the FoxFarm fertilizer trio on the Amazon.

These products work well, come with simple instructions and keep the fertilization process painless.


When all your supplies are available, the first step is to plant pepper seeds. Before you can just put a few seeds in the ground, you have to get to the bottom of it.

When planting pepper seeds in room

The first step is to know when to plant the pepper seeds. It depends on your hardness zone. Consult the USDA Factory Cure Zone Map here to determine your zone.

In other words, plant the pepper seeds at home 6 to 8 weeks before the last chance to freeze. For us, in zone 6b, we plant pepper seeds around mid-March, the last frost is at the end of May.

You can also use the handy Almanac tool to determine the date of the last freeze. For places where there is winter, you need to determine when the last chance of frost is. It will determine when to plant the seeds inside.

How to plant pepper seeds

As soon as the planting date arrives, you can prepare the planting boxes. There are several basic steps to increase the chances of successful germination.

Here are the steps:

Pre-water the bottom. Prepare the base for the choke by moistening and stirring it well. When compressing, the soil must be wet enough to adhere to each other, but no water must drain away. This allows the soil to better absorb water during the growth of the seedlings.

Fill the sperm with earth. As soon as the soil is moist, fill each sperm cell with soil and compact it. Do not squeeze too tight or the roots will have difficulty growing.

Seeds 1/4 inch deep. Plant your pepper seeds about 1/4 inch deep in each cell. Normally we plant 2 or 3 seeds in each cell if some do not germinate. Once the seedlings have germinated, you can cut the weakest plants, leaving one in each cell.

Lightly water the ground surface. After planting, lightly water the seeds with a bottle or a fresh water tank. Try not to disturb the position of the seeds in the ground.

Keep the heat and fan warm every day. When planting the seeds, only a relatively warm temperature (ideally 75 to 85°F) and high humidity remain. The seed tray we use has a moisture dome. Keep it open daily to aerate it until the seedlings have grown (3-7 days).

How to germinate pepper seeds

If you do not have a moisture dome, watering the soil surface will keep the plant moist, but not wet. If the air is very dry, you may need to water lightly from below.

Care of pepper seeds

How you care for your Bulgarian pepper plants when they are young will influence their long-term success. This means that there must be sufficient light, nutrients and water.

Lighting for sowing

When the seeds have germinated, remove the moisture dome and turn on the light so that they can grow. If you do not have light for growth, give the seedlings as much natural light as possible. The window of the sun is not perfect (your plants can be high and bright), but it will be sufficient.

If you have growing light, give the plants 12 to 15 hours of light and 9 to 12 hours of darkness a day. If you use an LED indicator, keep it 12 to 15 inches away from the blades to prevent the blades from twisting.

Seeding fertilizer

Once the seeds have germinated, start fertilizing at half the recommended strength. Although the plants are small, they do not need that much nutrient. At the moment we use half of FoxFarm’s Grow Big software.

Irrigated seedlings

Pour when the first 1/2 inch of soil becomes dry. Don’t let the sperm dry out completely. If you use a sperm cup, you can water from underneath by pouring water under the sperm. Holes in the ground absorb water until the surface is wet.

When watering the floor, wait until the surface is wet and then drain the excess water from the bowl to avoid overspraying.

Pepper tree

Once your seedlings have reached a size of about 3 to 4 inches, they are ready to be transplanted into larger pots. It usually takes two or three weeks. We use these 3.5 inch pots as transition pots before boarding the last container.

If you want, you can fill it up to your last big pots. However, we always advise you to proceed to the next level. However, the plants seem to grow faster and stronger.

In order to perform a transplant, the following steps have to be followed:

Prepare the ground for the pots. Moisten the soil in the pots with enough water to moisten the soil. Mix well. We also like to correct the soil with bone meal and Epsom salts before transplanting (especially if you plant directly into a large pot).

Fill the new pots with earth. After preparing the soil, fill each jar and wrap it carefully. If you plant many different species, make sure you label the new pots now to keep them in order.

Dig a small hole in each jar. Use your fingers or a spoon to dig a hole big enough to fit in the root ball of the plant.

Plant a seedling. Carefully remove the plant, the soil and the rest of the germ cell. Move the whole plant into the cavity of the new pot. Cover it with earth and wrap it up. Immediately water the plants and light them.

Transplanting peppers

Immediately after transplanting your plants can start a period of slow growth. This is perfectly normal, and growth should resume in about a week. Bulgarian pepper grows quickly and the plants should flower quickly.

At this stage you should switch to a fully functional fertilizer at the recommended frequency. Shattered plants should be returned to grow under the light until they are ready to be taken outside.

To find out more about transplanting sweet pepper plants, read our article here.

Outdoor overflow pepper

As soon as the end of winter approaches, you should start removing your pepper plants. This process is called plant hardening.

The aim is to prevent plants from being exposed to direct sunlight and/or heat stress. Sunlight is much more intense than light sources, so plants have to adapt gradually.

Below is an approximate timeline for the transition:

  • First week: 20 minutes of sun or 1 hour of shade.
  • Second week: 1 hour of sun or 3-4 hours of shade.
  • Third week: 1.5 to 2 hours of sun or all day in the shade.
  • Week four: Transplant forever outdoors

Temper Pepperplant Temper Pepperplant.

If you switch to a balcony that only receives sunlight in the morning, you can probably switch to a balcony in less time. However, care should be taken when moving the inside of the room to the full sun.

Pay attention to the plants and look for signs of sunburn or leaf burning. This is another advantage of growing peppers in pots – you can bring them back into the room at any time if necessary.

Bulgarian pepper is perfect at night temperatures above 50°F. The ideal daytime temperature is around 75°F, although plants can tolerate much higher temperatures.

If the temperature falls below 40°F at night, cover the plants or put the pots in the room at night to prevent them from dying off.

You can use a leaf or blanket to cover the plants in cold weather. Don’t forget to use poles or other supports so that the lid doesn’t crush the leaves.

Maintenance of paprika plants in pot

Once your Bulgarian pepper has been successfully brought out, it’s time to take care of it and be patient while the plants grow. This includes a number of basic tactics.

Early buds

The buds should be picked within the first 2-3 weeks after the final emergence. The energy is thus focused on the development of roots and leaves and not on the production of fruit. At the end of this period you can develop flowers and turn them into peppers.

To learn more about picking early buds, click here.


Bulgarian pepper is usually at the top of the ladder, so support can be useful. Place a sturdy stake in your last pot, right next to the base of the main stem. Then you can attach the plant loosely to the post with Velcro. Here you can learn more about adjusting the pepper.


All paprika plants grow best in full sun. This means about 12 hours of direct sunshine per day.

Peppers are particularly sensitive to the hot sun of the day. To avoid possible problems, you can provide shade at 3pm to 4pm. If possible, you can place the pots next to an object that is currently casting a shadow.

If you don’t have a sunny room, don’t worry! Bulgarian pepper can still only be produced in the morning or in the sun. In this situation the paprika plants grow in such a way that the leaves are always facing the sun.


The fertilizer in the pot mix is not enough to get the most out of the potted plants of the sweet pepper. We recommend using the FoxFarm Fertilizer Trio and adhering to the recommended schedule.

Grow Big is used in the early growth phase to support strong roots and a large number of healthy leaves. Then switch to Big Bloom or Tiger Bloom to promote healthy flower development.

In fact, your first fertilizer should contain more nitrogen to support leaf growth. Fertilisation of the later stages must contain less nitrogen and more phosphorus for fruiting.


One of the most common problems with pepper plants is overfertilization. Beginners can often take care of their plants.

It’s important: Peppers prefer dry conditions to wet conditions.

To avoid many problems caused by too much moisture, you should allow the soil to dry out between watering sessions. You can do a test with your finger under the floor to make sure that the first centimetre or so is dry.

Problems with the pepper plant

Unfortunately, things don’t always go as planned. Here are some of the most common problems you may encounter when growing peppers in pots.

Curl sheets

Until now, the most common problem is the twisting of the blades. There may be several reasons for it, but there’s probably nothing to worry about.

Read our article about curling peppercorns if you encounter this problem.

Yellow leaf

Another common problem is the yellowing of the pepper leaves. Different factors can also play a role here. Nutrient deficiency is most common, so fertilization is absolutely necessary.

Read all about yellow pepper leaves here.

Diseases and pests

Common diseases of sweet peppers include the bacterial leaf spot, the mosaic virus and the bacterial wilt disease. As far as vermin are concerned, you should keep a close eye on aphids, spider mites and thrips.

To find out everything about the different diseases, see our article about problems with pepper plants here.

Falling flowers/unpeppered

If your Bulgarian pepper drops its flowers or does not produce pepper, there are several possible reasons.

High temperatures can cause flowers to fall. Excessive irrigation can also lead to lower yields.

Another possible cause is poor pollination. Make sure that pollinators (bees, insects) have access to the flowers of your plant. If you suspect poor pollination, you can do this manually by gently walking your finger across all the colours and distributing the pollen between them.

When cleaning peppers

So you took care of your pepper, and now it’s floating all over the plant! But when exactly are you supposed to pick your peppers?

For most peppers it takes about 75 days from planting in the open air to the development of ripe fruit. If you want red pepper, paint it while it’s still on the plant.

Pepper in a factory

All types of peppers will eventually change colour when they are fully ripe, but it is not necessary to let them ripen fully. Green peppers can be harvested as soon as they are ripe.

Green pepper turns red after collection?

If the sweet pepper has not yet started to discolour the plant, it will not turn red when removed from the plant. To obtain a rich red colour, the pepper must continue to ripen on the plant.

What to do with fresh peppers

Once you start harvesting pepper, you’ll want to use it! In the end we often get more pepper than expected. Here are some ideas for the use of fresh paprika powder.

Preservation of sweet peppers

Preservation is an easy way to store peppers for year-round use. Vegetable peppers are usually simply frozen later in cooking bags.

You can also dry out red peppers to make homemade peppers.

Cooking with peppers

Bulgarian pepper – a common food in various kitchens. Try using it in one of these dishes:

  • Fresh potatoes
  • Salsa
  • Guacamole
  • Stuffed pepper
  • Suze
  • fried pepper

I’m sure you have many other ideas for using fresh peppers, so don’t forget to share them with us!


I hope this guide to growing peppers in pots has been a success for you! If you have any questions, you will find more useful information about the cultivation of peppers on our website.

Kelvin's sketch


One of the original s! When Calvin is not gardening or studying pepper and botany, he can travel to new places or make music.

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