How To Grow Pepper Plants in Colorado

Peppers are likely one of the most popular plants to add to gardens across the country. They can be used in a wide range of recipes from sweet to spicy to savory, and their wide range of flavor profiles leads many gardeners to plant several varieties in their gardens to enjoy all that peppers have to offer. Growing pepper plants in Colorado can have its challenges though. Our harsh and arid environment can make it difficult, but if proper adjustments are made, there is no reason why anyone shouldn’t be able to have a flourishing selection of pepper plants right in their very own backyard. To help you find success in growing pepper plants, we’ve outlined some specific growing instructions below.

How To Grow Pepper Plants in Colorado

Growing Pepper Plants in Colorado

Planting in Colorado can be difficult due to the fact that pepper plants are not tolerant of early or late season frost. And depending on the variety, peppers can take anywhere from 60-150 days to reach maturity. The typical growing season in Colorado starts in mid-May and ends mid-October, though the temperatures on either end of the growing season are typically still not warm enough for pepper plants to thrive. This cuts the growing season short for peppers. To make sure that you allow your pepper plants enough time to reach maturity, starting them indoors or buying plant starts is highly recommended. If you choose to start your pepper plant from seed, do so eight weeks before you plan to transplant them to your garden. Generally, outdoor temperatures are conducive to pepper plants at the beginning of June, making the beginning of April the perfect time to start growing your plants from seed indoors. If you would like a guide on when to plant a large variety of garden fruits and vegetables, check out our Garden Planner!


Starting Your Pepper Plants from Seed

The first step in getting your pepper plants going is to pick up some seed starting materials. A planting tray, heat mat, humidome, grow light, and seed starting soil are key to starting strong and healthy plants. Plant your seeds a half-inch deep and keep the soil warm by using a heat mat. Do this until you begin to see the seedlings start to pop up through the soil. Keeping the soil warm is important as it helps to encourage the seeds to germinate. If the soil is too cold, the seeds will not begin to grow. Keeping the soil moist is important as well. Using a spray bottle to mist the surface of the soil is recommended, as pouring water over the seeds can disturb them and cause them not to grow. Using a humidome can also be very helpful, as it holds in moisture and helps create an environment that is more conducive to your baby pepper plants.


How To Grow Pepper Plants in Colorado

As soon as your pepper plants emerge from the soil, position a grow light above them and provide them with 13 hours of light daily. Keeping their environment at around 70 degrees will also be important, as they still need warm conditions to grow strong and healthy. As your pepper plants continue to grow, they will need to be transplanted to their own containers when they get large enough that their original container becomes crowded. If you save any of your grow pots from previous seasons, you can use these. You can also use any recycled plastic containers (be sure to poke drainage holes), terracotta pots, and the like.


Important note: since pepper plants produce such large fruit on such a small and dainty plant, it is important to have the best growing conditions possible so that your mature plants will be strong and sturdy enough to support the fruit as it grows and matures!


If you do not have adequate growing conditions, or don’t want to invest in the necessary seed starting supplies, buying garden starts from your