Growing Bell Peppers Indoors

Bell peppers are excellent candidates for an indoor garden. They can be finicky when exposed to climate extremes and benefit from controlled conditions. Particularly in northern climates where the growing season is short, plant peppers indoors for a satisfying horticultural adventure. Pepper plants have the potential to become indoor perennial houseplants.


How To Plant Bell Peppers Indoors

Soak bell pepper seeds overnight in a cup of room temperature water for the fastest germination rates. After soaking, transfer seeds to damp paper towels. Fold the seeds between layers of damp paper towels. Put them in a plastic bag and then into a paper bag to block out any light.

Place this paper bag somewhere warm in the house. Ideal germination temperature for bell pepper seeds is 70°F (21°C). On top of the fridge or somewhere in the kitchen is a good place to keep them warm. They should germinate in five to seven days.

Mix a potting soil that is equal parts:

  • Coarse Sand
  • Vermiculite or pearlite
  • Peat moss or coconut coir
  • Compost

Place each germinated seed into a two gallon pot filled with this mixture. The compost should provide all the nutrients needed until plants begin to flower.

Indoor Bell Pepper Care

Maintain temperatures between 65-70°F (18-21°C). Place a fluorescent shop light one to two inches above the top of the plants and adjust it as they grow. Providing them with extra light will thicken the stalks and ensure bushier plants.

Avoid overhead watering if possible. Bottom watering is superior for growing peppers because they are less prone to fungal infections. As plants grow you can choose to prune them or not. Topping plants will encourage more branching and according to many gardeners, more fruit.

When small fruits appear on pepper plants, you can feed them for the second time. Mix up a batch of compost tea according to instructions and water it into the soil. There are organic liquid fertilizers available at garden shops if compost is unavailable. Or, top the soil medium with two inches of finished and screen compost.

Harvest and Storage

Peppers will reach full size in 60-100 days depending on the pepper variety. Peppers will reach full-size green and then as they age turn different colors. Harvest them at any desired size. If picked after the colors have started to change it is likely the fruit will change color on the counter.

Storegreen peppers is plastic in the fridge for up to 10 days. Additional preservation options include blanching and freezing which will preserve them for up to one year. Drying peppers will preserve them indefinitely.