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Why Are My Pepper Plants So Small? (Top 5 Reasons You Should Know)

Have you been searching for “Why are my Pepper Plants So Small“? But, no getting any clear result to ease your mind? I know, it’s really confusing at some point.

Not to worry anymore…as you have landed in the right place.

Let me tell you, here I’ve gathered some great information on your query backed with bits of advice from real experiences so you can find the real answer to your question that is- “Why are my Pepper Plants So Small?”

Peppers are a great addition to your little plant family. They can spice up your mealtimes as well. But the pepper plants could stop growing suddenly. The growth of pepper plants could be stunted for multiple reasons. You must know what they are so you can have a healthy, flourishing pepper plant in your backyard too.

So, stop searching for “why are my pepper plants so small?” as we have got all the answers right here. Let’s dig in.

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“My pepper plants are still small” via Reddit

Why Are My Pepper Plants So Small?

If you have been worried sick lately and wondering why my pepper plants are so small when the neighbors have their plants growing tall and flourishing, keep reading to know all the reasons and what you can do about them.

1. Water Requirements for Pepper Plants

The right amount of watering is necessary for the proper growth of the pepper plants. Overwatering and under watering can stop them in the roots and cause them to die.

Overwatering is more dangerous than the other. Pepper plants need about 1 inch of water per week. Excessive water will block the roots and prevent them from getting the required oxygen. This will cause them to become yellow, wilt, and die.

The soil should be moist and not filled with water all the time. It is better if you let the soil dry between watering sessions.

If you notice that your soil is draining quickly, which is the case for loamy soil, or the plants are in scorching weather, you might need to water more often. Make sure to water the roots only and not the leaves.

2. Temperature Requirements for Pepper Plants

Pepper plants are warm-weather crops. They need tropical temperatures for optimum growth. So, if you have noticed stunted growth or wilting in the leaves of pepper plants, it could be due to the cold temperatures.

The optimum temperature for the plant is between 70 – 80 degrees F. You need to keep the soil warm as well. It is recommended that you plant them after the last frost in your area has passed. If you sow them before that, frost can destroy your young peppers.

Pepper plants need at least 120 days to grow properly. This time should ideally fall between spring and summer to meet temperature requirements.

If the weather is cold when you plant, consider investing in heating mats to put below the plants. You can also use grass clippings, straw, or black plastic to keep the soil warm.

Don’t keep any devices or materials permanently under or over the plants. Remove them as soon as the temperature becomes warm so the plants can breathe too.

Growing pepper plants could be complicated if you live in an area where the warmer climate stays for less time. In this case, consider indoor plantation for optimum growth.

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“Why are my peppers growing so slowly?” via Reddit

3. Transplanting and Space

Keep sufficient space between the pepper plants. They need ample area to grow properly, or else their growth will be stunted, and they won’t be able to yield large peppers.

Make sure to have at least 18 inches between individual plants and a minimum of 24 inches between rows of pepper plants.

You will also need to transplant them for the seed to grow after a while. After you replant them into a larger pot, they may develop a bit slowly for a few days. Don’t fret over this, as slow growth for a few days after transplanting is natural.

Be careful when repotting not to leave the plant roots exposed to cold weather and chilly winds for too long. Sudden change in temperature from warm soil to colder outer surroundings can cause shock.

Some signs of transplanting shock include dropping leaves, sun scalding, and curling or abnormally shaped leaves.

One solution, in this case, is to use transplanting fertilizer to stimulate the growth of new roots after changing the soil. Apply 2 to 3 pounds of 5-10-5 fertilizer.

Be patient and give the plants some time to recover. But this shouldn’t stop you from transplanting because a larger pot is essential for optimum growth.

4. Applying Fertilizer

Applying fertilizer, especially after you transplant your pepper plants, is necessary. Dissolve 2 tablespoons of 10-10-10 fertilizer in one gallon of water and feed 1 to 2 cups of this solution to your pepper plants.

They might not need as much fertilizer when the plants are still seedlings, but you need to use fertilizer for optimum growth once they sprout. You could also use nutrient-rich potting soil instead of fertilizer.

Give a nitrogen-rich fertilizer to the younger pepper plants. For the adult plants, use a phosphorus-rich fertilizer with reduced nitrogen content. Yellow leaves and dropping of the flowers are a symptom of nutrient deficiency, and you are not giving the plant enough fertilizer.

Apply the fertilizer around the stem over the soil to maintain the soil’s moisture and keep the weeds from taking away all the good nutrients from the fertilizer.

5. Plenty of Light

Keeping young pepper plants in ample light is a prerequisite for full growth. You need to ensure at least 6-8 hours of sunlight in one day.

If the outdoors doesn’t have enough sunlight, buy a light source for plant growth, and keep the seedlings near it for 12-16 hours a day. You can grow them inside with the artificial light source when they are young if sunlight is not in the proper amount.

But make sure to keep them near a window where the plants can catch at least some natural light when it is available.


These were some of top reasons behind your question “Why are my Pepper Plants So Small? To conclude with the topic, I will say that, take proper care and invest in getting to know your plants, and they will be just fine.

Plants grow when you nurture them with love and attention to detail. Don’t miss the details as proper growth lies in being precise.

I hope you must have found this article helpful. If you’ve some different experiences to share regarding the question- Why are my Pepper Plants So Small? Please comment below and let me know your views; I’ll be happy to have your views.