When growing pepper plants, it is not common to sow the seeds in final pots. Instead, we germinate pepper seeds in a seed tray and increase the pot size as the plants grow. This is also called “transplanting” or “repotting. Although simple, the art of transplanting seedlings is essential with many plants. Below we show you how to transplant pepper seedlings into larger pots and more mature pepper plants into final outdoor pots.
What is transplanting?
Transplanting is the process of placing a plant in a larger pot to ensure more growth. For example, you should always transplant pepper seedlings from their seedling pots to larger pots. Transplanting is often done twice: once inside and once outside. If you don’t transplant at the right time, the roots can become entangled in the soil. In this case the roots become too big for their surroundings, which hinders their growth and is often difficult to reverse. Therefore, it is best to try to avoid this! Although repotting is not particularly difficult, you should do it with the right care and timing to avoid problems such as shock. Are you also planning to move your pepper plants outside? Then you should also harden them off, so they can acclimatize. Seedling Geotextile (183) View
When should you transplant pepper seedlings?
Knowing the best time to transplant helps you avoid the risk of shock and ensures a healthy transition. Fortunately, there are some signs you can tell if it’s time to transplant young pepper plants.
Are you growing your pepper plants indoors? Then you should look at the plants themselves to see if it’s time to transplant them. The reason you should transplant seedlings is that it gives the roots more room so they can continue to grow. This ensures that the above-ground part of the plant will also bloom optimally. But how do you know when to transplant a pepper seedling? The easiest way is to count the leaves. Once a seedling has four or more sets of true leaves, it’s time to move it into a larger pot. Generally, a plant is then about 10cm tall and germinated 3-4 weeks before. Since healthy plants all show similar growth, these signals are a good way to determine when to transplant pepper seedlings. However, some varieties deviate from this. Another way to determine if it is time to repot is to see if there are any roots protruding from the bottom of the pot. If so, the plant is almost outgrowing its current pot and would like a larger one! Note: at this stage you also start feeding.
Knowing when to transplant plants outside is a little different. Often pepper plants need to get a little stronger before you can put them outside, since they naturally grow in hot regions. After about 2-3 months of growth, you can consider moving your pepper plants outside. Still, this is not so easy because you are dependent on the weather. Freezing temperatures can slow down pepper plants’ growth or even kill them. Therefore, you need to make sure that the frost is over. Usually this is around the end of May. To be sure, it is wise to wait three weeks after the last frost, so that you are not surprised by a cold wave again. When they are big enough and the weather is good, your pepper plants are ready to be moved outside.
How do you transplant pepper plants to larger pots?
Transplanting pepper seedlings is not particularly difficult, but you must be careful. Very young plants are especially fragile. Damage or shock can cause permanent problems or even be fatal. So proceed with care!
- Potting soil
- Larger pots: these can be one size larger or your final pots, depending on how you grow
- Gloves (optional)
- Pruning shears
This is how you transplant pepper seedlings: Step 1: label the pots (optional) Are you growing multiple varieties of pepper plants? Then it’s smart to label the new pots so you don’t get them mixed up. Step 2: prepare the space As with anything, a good start is half the battle. Clear out space and, if you’re growing indoors, it’s wise to lay down something on which to work and collect any waste water and soil. When you remove your pepper seedlings from their old pots, it’s important to place them in their new home immediately to reduce shock. Step 3: Moisten the soil before Use a small amount of water to moisten the soil. It should not be wet and muddy. A little damp and sticky is perfect! Step 4: fill the pots with a little soil Next, put 2-3cm of soil at the bottom of your new pots. This doesn’t have to be compact, as the plant’s roots will spread out in it. Step 5: Remove the seedlings To do this, first gently squeeze the seedling pot to loosen the soil. Next, hold the pot upside down while holding the plant between your middle finger and index finger or index finger and ring finger, covering the soil with your palm. Next, the whole thing should just slide out. Be careful when doing this, though, because you don’t want to damage the stem! Step 6: Loosen the roots This is only necessary if the root ball is very compact or tangled. In that case you can gently roll the root ball between your hands to loosen it a little. This way the roots can easily expand into their new home. Step 7: transplanting Place the seedling with root ball and all in the new pot and fill it with soil. Do not press the soil too much, but just let it fall naturally around the plant. Fill to about 1cm below the edge of the pot. Do not let the leaves of the seedlings touch the soil. This can lead to bacterial or fungal infections. If necessary, remove a little soil to keep the leaves clear. Step 8: Pushing and refilling When you have filled the pots with soil, you can gently push the soil. But again, be careful. It is not the intention that you get a compact block of soil: the soil has to provide good drainage and soil moderation. Then top up the soil with a loose top layer, but be careful not to let the soil touch the leaves! Step 9: Watering Give a little water to help the soil fall into place and hydrate your plant. Step 10: prune away excess seedlings Sometimes multiple seedlings appear in one seedling pot. As they grow, the roots of the two plants begin to compete for limited space. This is unfavorable to both. Sacrifice the smallest and weakest seedling with your pruning shears so that the larger seedling can grow optimally!
How do you transplant pepper plants to your garden?
Transplanting pepper plants to your garden is a slightly different process, but just as simple. Before you start this, it’s important to see what kind of weather it will be and harden off your plants first.
Hardening off plants before repotting
Hardening off is the process of acclimatizing plants. It is done when you move plants from a pleasant artificial environment to an outdoor location where it is colder and windier. To harden off pepper plants, gradually put them in their new environment a little longer each day for one or two weeks. When they look healthy after being outside all day and night, they are ready for their new life outside!
- Potting soil
- Large pot
- Compost (optional)
Basically, this is the same as repotting seedlings to larger pots. However, there are some differences. Here’s what you need to do to transplant 2-3 month old pepper plants outside: Step 1: Harden your plants Follow our special guide on hardening off pepper plants to make sure you do it right. Step 2: prepare the new pots Fill the new pots with soil. As with the first method, make the soil moist, but not soggy. At the top, up to the rim, leave about 5cm free. Step 3: Fertilize the soil Since your plants are now large and ready to start blooming, it is important that they get enough nutrition. Follow the steps on the packaging of your nutrient product to enrich the soil. Step 4: Add compost (optional) Make a hole for the new plant, and add a little compost to give it a nutrient-rich start outside. While not necessary, it can help plants produce healthy and abundant fruit. Step 5: Place your pepper plant in its new home Carefully remove your plants with roots and all (including soil) from their old pot. If you hold them upside down, they will come out easily. Place them in the hole you made in the new pots. Each hole should be the same size as the one in the old pot. After transplanting, fill in any holes with potting soil and even everything out. Step 6: Watering and placing in the sun Now you need to water, so that the soil and roots can ‘ground’ and the plants are sufficiently hydrated, while they get used to their new environment. Next, put your pepper plants in the shade for a day to let them recover, before placing them somewhere where they will get at least eight hours of direct sunlight a day. After that, you’re done. Next, take good care of your plants and prepare for a bountiful harvest of fresh peppers.
Can you transplant flowering pepper plants?
If it is not really essential, it is better to leave it at that. Transplanting always causes plants some stress. They have to expend energy to compensate for this. Outside of flowering, this is usually not a problem, but once plants are using their energy to develop fruit, they can be damaged when you transplant them. While it’s not fatal, you should expect delayed and stunted growth.
Repotting peppers: necessary and simple
As you can see, repotting pepper plants is not particularly difficult or expensive. Already with a little love and patience, it goes quickly and easily. The most important thing to pay attention to is the timing. After all, transplanting is all about giving a plant a new home at the right time. So pay attention to the signals of your pepper plant and the weather, then you’re actually always on the right track. And once you’ve done it, you can be sure that your plant will grow beautiful, healthy and lush!