Trying to grow your own pepper plants so you can supplement the weekly shop? It’s so much fun to watch you own produce grow – and even more fun to eat it. And it is also relatively easy.
However, if you notice your pepper plants are not growing as fast or as healthy as you like, there are a couple of things you can do to speed things up.
Let’s find out how to perk them up together in this guide.
Why is my pepper plant not growing?
Pepper plants need a lot of light in order to grow – up to or over eight hours. Make sure they are located in a sunny window and not overshadowed by other plants. Water regularly but not excessively to avoid root rot, and ensure the soil is well-draining and loose.
Small pepper plants may benefit from a grow light or a heat mat and you should always look out for signs of disease and infection.
Top reasons why your pepper plant isn’t growing
1. Not enough light
Pepper plants need a lot light in order to thrive. Adequate sunlight is essential in order for the plant to create enough energy to grow.
8 hours a day of sunlight is optimal! You can supplement natural light levels with grow lights if your climate requires it.
Place your plant on a sunny window and ensure that it is not overshadowed by other plants or ornaments.
If you are starting the plants off from seedlings, a grow light is probably the best chance you can give your little plants at starting off.
If you fail to provide the right light settings, the plant will slow its growth rate, and when it does grow it will likely be “leggy” as it searches for the sun.
2. Low temperatures
It is no surprise that peppers feature heavily in the cuisines of tropical climates. Asian and South American foods usually contain a pepper or two. But the reason they are common in the local cuisines of Mexico or Thailand is because of the temperature.
The pepper plant requires warm soil in which to grow, so you will need to replicate these conditions.
A heat mat can be useful or seedlings, and older plants will benefit from being placed in a warm environment.
3. Transplant shock
If you have grown your pepper plants from seedlings you may be excited to see them beginning to take off. The next step is transplanting them to their own pots. You will for sure be looking forward to them growing enough so that you can harvest the first fruits.
But sometimes you may be disappointed to find that the growth rate slows or stops altogether just right after you switch pots. This can be due to a phenomenon known as transplant shock.
Transplant shock is generally defined as a slower growth rate than usual just after you move the plant to a larger pot.
This is generally normal and needs no corrective action. Leave the seedlings a little while to get their bearings – the growth rate will usually return after around a week.
4. Too much water
You may be tempted to water your pepper plants a lot in the hope that this will help them grow faster. But be careful!
Pepper plants don’t need that much water. In fact, it can actually be very dangerous to them if they are overwatered.
If the root system becomes saturated it becomes difficult for the plant to absorb nutrients from the soil. The roots become susceptible to root rot, which is a type of fungal infection.
Whilst the symptoms of the actual rot can only be seen below the surface, there are other tell-tale signs. Firstly, growth will slow. Pepper Leaves may begin to crisp, curl and yellow.
You will almost certainly notice that any fruits that do develop are much smaller than standard. Avoid this by watering only when the top of the soil is dried out – and water no more than once a week.
5. Incorrect soil
The pepper plant requires soil that is well-draining and allows the roots to breathe in order to absorb nutrients. So, if you have a tightly packed soil or one that doesn’t promote drainage you may notice reduced growth.
When potting your plant do not pat the soil down too tightly, and go for soil that has a sandy mix so that it drains well.
6. Pests and disease
Pests and disease may also be causing your pepper plant to grow slowly or not produce the best fruits.
Aphids are a common visitor and can cause slow growth and also other signs of damage on the leaves.
Diseases too can strike your plant and affect your crop, and some are spread by insects. Keep a watch on your plants and hose off any unwelcome visitors at the first sign.
Frequently Asked Questions about pepper plants that are not growing
How much light do pepper plants need in order to grow?
Make sure your pepper plants are getting over 8 hours sunlight a day. If keeping them indoors, make sure they are positioned on a sunny window that maximizes the amount of light they get.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.