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Small Pepper Plants Driving You Crazy? Unlock Their Full Potential With These Tricks

Small Pepper Plants Driving You Crazy? Unlock Their Full Potential With These Tricks

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Pepper plants aren’t picky when it comes to where they grow. You can grow them in a container, a raised bed, or right in the ground of your garden—they can thrive anywhere.

The catch? They’re high-maintenance plants that don’t respond well to change. Any minor inconvenience like a faulty watering schedule or fewer hours of sunlight can cause them to stop growing.

You’ll be asking, why are my pepper plants so small? And the answer will probably be something as simple as cold soil or not enough sunlight.

I’ll tell you here why your pepper plants aren’t growing and how you can reverse the issue:

6 Reasons Your Pepper Plants Aren’t Growing

Your pepper plant may be stressed out due to underwatering, not enough sunlight, irregular temperature, or bad soil. Most causes can be reversed, so you have nothing to worry about.

Reason 1: You’re Underwatering Them

Some people are so cautious of overwatering their plants that they end up underwatering them. It’s a common problem, especially with a sensitive plant like pepper.

It’s true that you should let the soil dry out between watering sessions, but it shouldn’t stay too dry for more than a couple of days, especially if the weather is hot.

During the summer, your plant may need water every day. Other than that, you may be okay watering it every three to four days.

Keep an eye out for wilted leaves or dried-out soil—these are signs that your pepper needs water.

Reason 2: Insufficient Sunlight

Pepper plants are needy when it comes to sunlight because most of them originate from warm areas. If they don’t get their 6–10 hours of daily sunlight, they’ll start showing attitude.

It’s harder in younger plants because they may need up to 15 hours of sunlight per day, which isn’t that easy to provide unless you live in a warm climate.

If you notice your pepper plant not sprouting fruits or not growing longer, the first thing you should check is how much sunlight it’s getting. It may be in a shaded area that’s not receiving enough sun rays.

Consider moving it to a more sunny place or installing artificial lights if it calls for it.

Reason 3: Cold Soil

If your pepper plant seeds are refusing to germinate or taking too long to do it, the soil may be the culprit. These plants need a warm medium to grow, and cold soil may cause them to grow very slowly or not at all.

Besides, even if they grow, they’ll be weak and prone to diseases.

If you fall into this trap, don’t worry about it. It’s a common mistake when growing peppers from their seeds.

To reverse the issue, you can get soil heating mats. They’ll keep the temperature of the soil warm and consistent for the sake of the growing seeds. You can make great use of them if you live in a cold area.

Reason 4: The Weather Is Too Hot

It’s not uncommon to get fooled by peppers’ love for heat. When the weather gets too hot, you’ll probably get excited that your pepper is about to thrive—I’ll stop you right there!

It’s true that peppers love the heat, but extremely hot temperatures cause the plant to stop growing fruits and focus its energy on getting enough nutrients from the soil.

This is only common in temperatures exceeding 85 F, and when the hot draft passes, the plant will regain its energy and start growing again.

If you live somewhere with the temperature is high most of the time, you can provide some shade for the plant during the hottest hours of the day.

Reason 5: Bad Soil

Even if you’ve been growing plants your whole life, managing the soil can still be tricky.

You’re dealing with a delicate growth medium that gets affected by the weather easily, so you’re prone to encountering some issues.

For example, a common problem with pepper plants is a bad soil pH, which can cause stunted growth.

If the pH of the soil falls beyond 6.5 or exceeds 7, the plant will start struggling to grow because some nutrients will become unavailable.

If your plant isn’t getting enough nitrogen or calcium, it’ll be susceptible to a number of diseases. That’s why it’s important to monitor the soil’s pH and make sure it’s within the recommended range.

Reason 6: Wrong Container Size

Your pepper’s problem could be as simple as the wrong container. Some pepper varieties grow tall, so they eventually outgrow their container.

When that happens, the roots will become compacted and unable to expand, which, in turn, will cause the plant to stop growing peppers.

It may also cause the leaves the curl and look unhealthy because they’re competing for nutrients from the soil. You should see the symptoms right away.

To solve this, make sure to transplant your pepper when it outgrows its pot. Go for a 5-gallon pot to give the roots ample space.

Final Thoughts

Why are my pepper plants so small?

Chances are, it’s because you’re overwatering them, not giving them enough sunlight, or keeping them in the wrong pot. Or, the problem could be harder to manage, like bad soil or cold weather.

Luckily, there’s a solution for every problem, even if it takes some time. What’s important is that you identify the issue, and the rest is easy.

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