Do you have a love for peppers? They’re a top choice for home gardeners, offering a range of flavors from sweet to hot, perfect for spicing up your dishes, sauces, and salads.
Even if you’re situated in a colder climate, don’t fret. Peppers are fairly hardy and can adjust to less than tropical conditions.
In this article, we’ll explore just how much cold your pepper plants can tolerate and provide you with useful tips to safeguard them from the chill.”
Let’s dive right into it.
Table of Contents
How Cold Can Pepper Plants Tolerate?
Pepper plants can tolerate temperatures down to 32°F (0°C), the freezing point. However, they prefer warmer conditions, thriving best above 55°F (13°C). Prolonged exposure to cold can stunt growth and prevent germination. So, for healthy peppers, aim to keep them in warmer conditions.
The Right Temperatures for Your Pepper Plants
The lowest temperature pepper plants can tolerate varies with different stages in their life cycle.
Therefore, the following specific limits will help you grow your pepper plants at the right temperatures.
- The lowest temperature for indoor germination of pepper seeds is between 65° to 75° Fahrenheit. They will grow poorly if the temperatures are below 70° Fahrenheit.
- The lowest temperature to transplant your pepper seedling should be 65° to° 70 Fahrenheit during the day and 55° Fahrenheit at night. Your transplanted pepper seedlings will die if you transplant them with temperatures below 60 °Fahrenheit. You can warm the soil by placing black plastic on the ground and cutting openings for the pepper plants to grow.
- The lowest temperature for pepper seedlings outdoors should average 75° Fahrenheit. The peppers will not mature well if the day temperature is above 70° Fahrenheit and the night temperature below 50° Fahrenheit.
- When you have the peppers, you need to store them properly to avoid water loss, discoloration, and rotting. If your peppers are ready before the frost, it is better to have a stem and store it in a cool place to ripen. The lowest temperature for pepper storage is 41° Fahrenheit, while the highest is 45° Fahrenheit.
Best Temperature for Pepper Plants
|Stage||Optimal Temp. Range||Additional Tips|
|Indoor Germination||65° - 75° Fahrenheit||Growth is poor below 70° Fahrenheit|
|Transplant Pepper Seedling||Day: 65° - 70° Fahrenheit; Night: 55° Fahrenheit||Do not transplant below 60° Fahrenheit|
|Outdoor Pepper Seedlings||Average 75° Fahrenheit||Peppers won't mature well with day temperatures above 70° and night temperatures below 50° Fahrenheit|
|Pepper Storage||41° - 45° Fahrenheit||Avoid water loss, discoloration, and rotting by storing properly|
How To Protect Your Pepper Plants From Frost
It’s important to keep your pepper plants worn at all times to harvest healthy and more peppers.
Therefore, be observant and take various measures to protect your pepper plants.
Choose a Cold Tolerant or Fast Maturing Pepper Plant Variety
The first step to ensure your peppers don’t suffer from cold is to choose a cold-tolerant variety.
Then, consider the pepper variety before considering where to germinate seeds, transplant them, and the garden location.
The USDA has created the plant hardiness zone map to help you know if the plants you want to grow will thrive in the zone you live in.
For example, it is harder to grow peppers in a lower zone because they have short-growing Seasons.
Consider cold tolerant and fast-growing examples of cold tolerance pepper varieties, including Ace pepper, Bulgarian carrots, Chile pepper, intruder pepper, Manzano pepper, and Yankee Bell pepper.
Some fast-growing peppers to consider are Early Jalapeno pepper, Bell Sweet chocolate Pepper, Fushimi sweet pepper, Sweet Banana Pepper, Shishito Japanese Sweet Pepper, and Yellow Jalapeno pepper.
Set An Appropriate Pepper Planting Schedule
After you consider the variety, consider the planting schedule on each pepper variety. You can know the time to maturity of a pepper variety by checking the seed website or package.
For example, yellow Jalapeno pepper, a fast-maturing variety, takes 65 days to mature. It is also important to learn the frost dates in your area to know which variety fixes that schedule.
For example, if you anticipate Frost on October 1st, it is important to harvest your peppers at the end of September.
Consider the growth to maturity period to determine when you will plant. For example, for the Yellow Jalapeno pepper, consider the 65 days, which means you need to plant it at the end of June.
Also, push back the planting date to create a harvest window. You can check the first dates in your area on a tool on the Farmer’s Almanac.
Start the Growth of Pepper Seeds Indoors
Green pepper seeds indoors because the temperature is about 65° to 75 °Fahrenheit (18 to 24 °Celsius). The States usually germinate in about 14 days, 7 days the least.
If your soil does not get home until later, you can grow the seeds indoors or by established plants. It takes about eight weeks to grow pepper plants indoors.
Therefore, plant the seeds for weeks before the last frost and transplant the seedlings outside four weeks after Frost.
If your pepper seedlings are close to a window, protect them from cold drought to enable them to grow.
Apply Cold Treatment to the Plants
Cold treatment helps to toughen up your pepper plants to survive cold weather. Cold treatment is where you expose your pepper plants to a little cold but not freezing temperatures.
An ideal place to use would be one with temperatures between 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit and a lot of light for about four weeks. After that, the pepper plants will focus more energy on developing stems, roots, and branches due to the cold treatment.
Cold treatment slows the pepper plants’ growth in the short term. But, long-term wise, you’ll get more peppers and flowers.
Pepper plants will be more resistant to cold due to the cold treatment.
Protect established plants from the cold. There are ways to shield the established plants from the cold, not just the seedlings.
For example, use a cloche for smaller and younger pepper plants. A row cover helps to protect taller and more established plants.
You can use a cold frame for the smaller and younger pepper plants, as well as seedlings. Finally, a greenhouse will help you keep your pepper plants warm all season.
Frequently Asked Questions About How Much Cold Can Pepper Plants Tolerate
Can My Pepper Plants Recover From Frost Damage?
A pepper plant can recover from frost damage that has lasted a few hours. However, it depends on whether your plant is a seedling or fully mature. It is impossible to recover a pepper plant from frost damage if the foliage turns black.
What Are Examples of Pepper Varieties that are Cold Tolerant?
Ace pepper, Bulgarian carrot pepper, Manzano pepper, Yankee Bell pepper, intruder pepper, and more.
Peppers do well in warm weather with 60-90 degrees Fahrenheit temperature. However, the plants will die if the temperature goes below the 32-degree Fahrenheit mark.
It is important to consider factors like the variety, the place plant schedule, and other measures to protect your pepper plants from the cold.
Daniel has been a plant enthusiast for over 20 years. He owns hundreds of houseplants and prepares for the chili growing seasons yearly with great anticipation. His favorite plants are plant species in the Araceae family, such as Monstera, Philodendron, and Anthurium. He also loves gardening and is growing hot peppers, tomatoes, and many more vegetables.