Grow Bell Pepper Plants from Store-Bought Peppers: A Feasible Option?

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Growing Bell Pepper Plants from Store-Bought Peppers - Delicious!

You may wonder whether you can grow bell pepper plants from store-bought peppers if you love bell peppers. 

You can learn how to grow pepper plants and seeds from store-bought peppers!

While it may seem daunting, growing bell peppers is simple and can be a fun and rewarding experience.

When growing bell pepper seeds from grocery store peppers, knowing they are not all created equal is worthwhile.

You’ll want to ensure you’re starting with the right kind of pepper, as some may have been treated with chemicals or may not be suitable for growing. 

Additionally, you’ll need to take specific steps to prepare the pepper for planting, such as removing and storing the seeds.

With the right approach, however, you can grow your bell peppers from store-bought peppers and enjoy the taste of your home-grown efforts in no time.

Selecting the Right Pepper or Pepper Seed

When selecting a pepper to grow from store-bought peppers, there are some things to consider to ensure success. This section will discuss the two main factors to consider: Freshness and Quality and Variety.

Freshness and Quality

The first thing when selecting a pepper to grow is its freshness and quality. Look for peppers that are firm, plump, and free from blemishes. Avoid peppers that are soft, wrinkled, or have spots, as they may not be healthy enough to produce viable seeds.

It’s also essential to choose organic peppers [1] whenever possible. Non-organic peppers may have been treated with pesticides, which can harm the seeds and the plants they produce. Organic peppers are also more likely to be non-hybrid, which is essential for successful seed saving.

Variety

The second factor when selecting a pepper to grow is its variety. Peppers are not all created equal; some are better suited for growing than others. Some hybridized (cross-pollination of two different plants) varieties may not produce viable seeds or may not be true to the parent plant.

When selecting a pepper to grow from store-bought peppers, choose fresh, firm, and organic peppers, and look for open-pollinated( plants that were initially naturally pollinated by humans, birds, wind or insects) or heirloom varieties. 

Choosing the right pepper will increase your chances of success and allow you to enjoy a bountiful harvest of delicious bell peppers. Some popular open-pollinated bell pepper varieties include California Wonder, Chocolate Beauty, and Purple Beauty.

It’s important to note that not all store-bought peppers will produce viable seeds, enabling you to grow peppers from the seeds. Some peppers are hybrid varieties bred for specific traits and may not produce seeds that will grow true to the parent plant. 

We have used bell pepper seeds from Sow Right Seeds in the past. The Sow Right Seeds – Sweet Bell Pepper Seed Collection for Planting a Home Garden is a favorite.

Additionally, peppers treated with chemicals may not germinate or produce weak plants. Choose an organic and untreated pepper for the best chance of success.

Preparing the Pepper Plant Seeds for Planting

Before planting your store-bought pepper, you need to prepare it properly. Here are the steps you should follow:

  1. Choose a healthy pepper: Look for a fresh, firm pepper with no signs of rot or disease. The pepper should also be fully ripe, as unripe peppers may not germinate.
  2. Cut the pepper: Cut the pepper in half lengthwise using a sharp knife. Take care not to damage the seeds inside.
  3. Take out the seeds: Use a spoon to scoop the seeds and any attached flesh out. Place them into fresh water and rinse them thoroughly to remove any remaining flesh.
  4. Dry the seeds: Let them dry by spreading them on paper for a few days. Make sure they have dried completely before planting.
  5. Store the seeds: Until you’re ready to plant them, keep the dry seeds in an airtight container in a cool, dry location.
Cut Bell Peppers showing Seeds

Planting the Bell Pepper Seeds

You have two options when planting bell peppers [2] from store-bought peppers: indoor and outdoor. Here are the key details for each technique.

Indoor Planting

Indoor planting is an excellent option if you have a small outdoor space or want a head start on the growing season. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Cut open the pepper, then remove the seeds.
  2. Wash the seeds in water and pat them dry with a paper towel.
  3. Fill a small pot with some potting soil. In the center of the soil, make an indentation.
  4. Plant 2-3 seeds in the hole and then cover them with soil.
  5. Water the soil, then cover the container with a lid or plastic bag to create a mini greenhouse.
  6. Regularly check the container in a sunny, warm spot to ensure moist soil.
  7. Once the pepper seedlings have sprouted and have a few leaves, you can transplant them to a larger container or outside.

I recommend the GARDENERA Premium Organic Potting Soil for Chilli and Bell Peppers.

Outdoor Planting

Outdoor planting is a good option if you have a garden or outdoor space and want to plant the peppers directly in the ground. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Cut the pepper and then remove the seeds.
  2. Rinse seeds in water and pat them dry with a paper towel.
  3. Select a sunny spot in your garden.
  4. Prepare the soil – Remove as many weeds as possible and add compost or fertilizer.
  5. Make small holes about 1/4 inch deep and 2-3 inches apart in the soil.
  6. Plant your seeds – Place 2-3 seeds in each hole and cover them with soil.
  7. Water the soil regularly, keeping it moist until the seedlings sprout.
  8. Once the seedlings have sprouted and have a few leaves, thin them out so that only one plant remains in each hole.

Remember, growing bell peppers from store-bought peppers is not a guarantee of success. The type of pepper and the conditions in which it was grown can affect the viability of the seeds.

However, with patience and care, you can enjoy fresh, home-grown bell peppers in no time.

Bell Peppers Planted in a Garden

Caring for the Pepper Plant

Growing bell peppers from store-bought peppers is an exciting and rewarding experience. However, caring for your pepper plant is essential for its growth and development.

The following advice will help you take good care of your pepper plant:

Watering

Watering your pepper plant is crucial for its growth. 

Don’t overwater your plant; just be sure you water it frequently. Root rot, which can destroy your plant, can result from overwatering. 

On the other hand, underwatering can result in the leaves wilting and drying out. If your pepper plant’s top inch of soil feels dry, you should water it.

Fertilizing

Your pepper plant’s growth and development depend on fertilization. Utilize a top-notch fertilizer designed especially for vegetables like Big A Pepper Fertilizer.

Throughout the growing season, apply the fertilizer every few weeks. Avoid overfertilizing your plant because this might cause the roots and foliage to burn.

Please see our article on the best pepper fertilizers, where we did an in-depth analysis and guide on the best fertilizers to use for your peppers.

Our Top 3 Pepper Fertilizers

Top Pick

Greenway Biotech Pepper Fertilizer

Greenway Biotech

Quality Ingredients Hydroponics and Soil Use Improves Soil Quality 100% Natural

Tracy’s Choice

Big A Pepper Fertilizer

Big A Peppers

Organic Proprietary Blend Suitable For All Peppers High-solubility Formula ECO Friendly.

Best Value

Miracle Gro Shake n Feed Fertilizer

Miracle-Gro S&F

Natural Ingredients Specially Formulated For Use In the Ground and Containers.

Pruning

Pruning your pepper plant is essential for its growth and development. Pruning helps to promote bushier growth and more fruit production.

Pinch off the top of your plant when it reaches a height of 12-18 inches, encouraging it to branch out and produce more fruit.

Additionally, remove any yellow or diseased leaves to prevent the spread of disease.

Pest Control

Pests can pose a severe threat to pepper plants. Whiteflies, spider mites, and aphids are typical pests that can harm plants. Maintaining clean, clutter-free plants will help to keep pests out.

Use organic pesticides like Garden Safe Multi-Purpose Garden Insect Killer as well to get rid of pests. Additionally, use natural pesticides to control pests. Neem oil effectively helps control pests on pepper plants. 

Caring for your pepper plant is essential for its growth and development. Water your plant regularly, fertilize it every few weeks, prune it to promote bushier growth, and use natural insecticides to control pests.

Using these recommendations, you may cultivate prolific, healthy bell peppers from store-bought peppers.

Healthy, Ripe Red Bell Peppers

Harvesting Bell Peppers from Your Plant

Once your bell pepper plant has matured and produced fruit, it’s time to harvest your peppers.

Here are some pointers to help you choose peppers correctly and at the appropriate time:

  • Timing: Bell peppers are ready to pick once they have reached full size and changed color from green to their mature color (usually red, yellow, or orange). Depending on the variety, this can take 60 to 90 days from planting. It’s essential to wait until the peppers are fully mature before harvesting, as immature peppers will not be as sweet and may not ripen properly off the plant.
  • Method: Use scissors or pruning shears to cut the stem just above the pepper to harvest your bell peppers. Take care to avoid damaging the plant or any other peppers that are still developing. If you have difficulty cutting the stem, the pepper may still need to be fully mature, so wait a few more days before trying again.
  • Storage: After you’ve gathered your bell peppers, keep them cool, dry, and out of the sun. If you wish to use them in the refrigerator during the next few days, place them in the refrigerator. If you are lucky to have a sizable crop and want to store some later, you can freeze, pickle, or can your peppers.
  • Yield: The size of the plant, the growth environment, and the type of pepper you choose will all impact the productivity of your bell pepper plant. On average, one bell pepper plant can produce anywhere from 6 to 12 peppers per season.

You can reap a plentiful crop of delectable, home-grown fresh bell peppers using these straightforward suggestions.

Various Harvested Bell Peppers

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you’ve never grown bell peppers from the peppers you bought at the shop and wonder how to grow bell peppers from scraps, you might have further questions about the procedure.

The following commonly asked questions will assist you in getting started:

Q: Can bell peppers be cultivated using peppers purchased from any grocery store? 

A: While growing store-bought bell peppers is possible, choosing fresh and healthy peppers is best. Avoid peppers that have been refrigerated for a long time, as they may not germinate.

Also, when you can, choose organic or non-GMO peppers to ensure your plants are healthy and free from harmful chemicals.

Q: How do you prepare store-bought peppers for planting?

A: To prepare store-bought peppers for planting, you must extract the seeds from the inside. After halving the pepper, use a spoon or your fingers to scoop the seeds.

After they have been rinsed in water to remove the remaining pepper flesh, dry the seeds on a paper towel. Once dried, you can then plant the seeds in the ground.

Q: What soil do you need to grow bell peppers from store-bought peppers?

A: Bell peppers need well-draining soil that is rich in nutrients. You can buy potting soil or prepare your own by combining peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite in equal amounts.

GARDENERA Premium Organic Potting Soil for Chilli and Bell Peppers is very good.

If you want to give your plants added nutrients, you may add compost or organic fertilizer to the soil. Big A Pepper Fertilizer is a popular choice.

Q: How long does it take for bell peppers to grow from peppers purchased from a store? 

A: It takes about 2-3 weeks for bell pepper seeds to germinate. Once the seeds have sprouted, it takes another 6-8 weeks for the plants to grow large enough to transplant into a larger container or the ground.

From there, it takes another 60-90 days for the peppers to mature and be ready for harvesting.

Q: Is it possible to grow bell peppers using leftover parts? 

A: Yes, it’s possible to grow bell peppers from scraps. You must save the stem and top of the pepper. Place the stem and top in a water bowl, then change the water every few days.

After a week or two, you should observe roots and new growth poking out from the stem. You may plant the stem in the ground and start growing your bell pepper plant after the roots are about an inch long.

Q: Can you save seeds from store-bought peppers?

A: Yes, you can save seeds from store-bought peppers. To do so, gently wash and dry the seeds from a ripe pepper, then store them in a cool, dry place. Hybrid varieties may not produce identical plants, but open-pollinated peppers should grow true to type when saved and planted.

Yellow Bell Peppers on a Tree

Final Thoughts – Should You Grow Peppers From a Store-Bought Pepper?

Growing bell peppers from store-bought peppers is a satisfying and enjoyable experience that can help you save money and produce delicious fresh food.

Remember that not all store-bought peppers will yield usable seeds. Can you grow bell peppers from store bought peppers, even if they do, the resulting plant’s size, shape, or taste may not be identical to the parent plant.

We recommend choosing organic or heirloom peppers to increase your chances of success, as they are more likely to produce viable seeds. I would recommend Sow Right Seeds – Sweet Bell Pepper Seed Collection for Planting a Home Garden.

Follow the proper seed extraction and germination steps outlined in the previous sections.

Once your pepper plants have sprouted, ensure adequate sunlight, water, and nutrients for healthy growth. 

You can also consider using companion planting techniques and natural pest control methods to boost your plants’ health and yield further.

Finally, keep going even if your first attempt at growing peppers from store-bought peppers goes differently than planned. 

Gardening is a learning process; you can become a successful pepper grower with practice and patience. Good luck!

Further Recommendations:

Video: Growing Pepper Plants From Store-Bought Peppers

(References: Oregon State University – OSU Extension Service and University of Minnesota – UMN Extension)

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5 responses to “Grow Bell Pepper Plants from Store-Bought Peppers: A Feasible Option?”

  1. Chilli_Head Avatar
    Chilli_Head

    The section on caring for the pepper plant was invaluable. It’s amazing how much difference proper watering and fertilizing can make. Thanks for the fertilizer recommendations!

  2. PestoLover Avatar
    PestoLover

    Always wanted to grow my own peppers for my recipes. This article came at the perfect time. Love the idea of using store-bought peppers!

  3. BettyBoots Avatar
    BettyBoots

    I must commend Tracy for highlighting the importance of selecting the right pepper seeds. It truly makes all the difference in a successful harvest. Quality seeds are key!

  4. SunnyRay93 Avatar
    SunnyRay93

    Pretty solid tips on growing bell peppers, Tracy Langell! I tried the indoor planting method last season and it worked out great. Gonna try those fertilizers you mentioned. Anyone else have luck with the Miracle-Gro?

    1. GTGerry Avatar
      GTGerry

      Miracle-Gro is my go-to, SunnyRay93! You won’t be disappointed. The plants love it, and the yields have been impressive.

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