Germinating & Growing Bell Peppers in Colder Weather?

I’d like to know how to be able to continue to germinate & grow yellow sweet (bell) peppers during the colder weather months in my two Smart Garden 9s when I drop my indoor temperature to 68° F until next April.

The peppers’ page suggests raising the temp to 78° to speed germination which is impractical thermostat-wise in the colder months, hence my purchase of a 2nd SG9 to take advantage of my present indoor temp of 77°. I’d also like to be able to use my additional bell pepper pod packs before next April.

PLUS they have a longer ripening time than many plants in the selection—it’s July 23rd and those I started on April 2nd are now just beginning to turn yellow at 16 weeks total time, all 3 of them but the latter could be my inexperience.



The Chili/Sweet pepper likes warm weather indeed. But I guess, it will do just fine in 68° F.
77° F is of course perfect.
You have to look at your plants. If they feel cold, maybe put an additional heat producing lamp next to them. But I don’t think it is really necessary.
4 months growing time is really okay for a pepper. How does the foliage of your plant look?

Click and Grow bell peppers can germinate at 68° F, but it will take much longer, even upto a month. And, of course the growth of the plants may be a bit slower too. I live in a colder climate too and I have learned that everything with peppers just takes much longer. If it is too cold- moist seed may go bad. If you think you have waited too long you can check if the seed is still hard. If it has gone soft- it is rotting. But, you can transplant extra seedling from another pod if some pods failure due to low temperature.

It is normal for dwarf bell peppers to take 4 months to produce- it is actually much faster than average greenhouse sweet pepper cultivars. Though, they truly have one of the longest ripening time in Click and Grow selection.

Their foliage is steadily yellowing and pretty sparse now from removing the yellowing ones to give more nutrients, etc to the peppers. They were actually doing well until I started removing those leaves, so I think I shocked them. I’ll know better with the plants in the pod packs that are just starting to grow. Thank you for your input!

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Then a 2nd SG9 was wise because I do have fairly quick germination in my current 77° ambient room temp. I was prepared for a longer growing and ripening time but thank you for that add’l info.

I’ve successfully transplanted basil seedlings into a pod w/few seedlings but did not have much success presently with a red kale seedling—the root it put down was vigorous and deep. It’s still alive but not growing upright as it was before I moved it.

I have 6 new pods of the yellow bell pepper seedlings. Four of the six have 2 vigorous seedlings each and 2 have one much less-vigorously growing seedling. Will their roots take more kindly to being moved?

What was the reason to transplant Kale seedlings? I only ask out of curiosity :slight_smile:

If you have more than one seedlings in pepper pods, it would be smart to remove (or transplant) excess plants and leave the largest and healthiest seedlings to grow. Pepper roots are fragile and sensitive, but if handled with great care it is possible to transplant with success.

The seeds often do not stay in the pods very well after they’re packaged, and so those like red kale that are the same color as the peat, or light like the white plastic packaging, are inadvertently overlooked and thrown away. Hence in my SG9 #2 I transplanted a red kale seedling from a pod in which 3 germinated—due to diligent searching in the loose peat at starting/planting time—to a pod with just a single seedling. )

(It was actually loose bell pepper seeds lying on top of the peat in the newly-opened bell pepper package when I did a 2nd planting in both of my SG9s that alerted me to the problem.)

My first SG9 shown below illustrates the problem well since the plants started on April 2nd were very mature at the time of this photo. Although the thyme seeds stayed put in the plastic packaging just one seedling per pod sprouted in the bell peppers. As you can see by the stalks one lucky red kale sprouted a 2nd seedling.


Mirjam M.

My kale transplant recovered and is growing well but it’s the smallest of all of my kale plants due to transplanting shock.

The yellow pepper (from thinning) that I intended to transplant to a poorly-growing kale’s pod, had already put out roots too deep to reach from the top. So I removed the pod from its pot and opened it from the side.

It did suffer some shock—wilting—but it seems to be aggravated by the little heat from the lights, as transplants do outdoors, because it always recovers overnight.

So I’ve been tenting it w/paper when I notice wilting and it recovers well when protected that way. It may be able to go a full day without it tomorrow or the next day for sure.

Thank you for sharing your experience!
We are aware that some seeds are loose in the package- this is something that we have found in our quality validations and we have been working on a solution.

Thankfully, some seeds are larger and visible on the soil surface and can be easily replanted on the soil surface. Yes, most of them are the same color as the soil and can be tricky to find :slight_smile:

Have you checked out ‘plant care tips’ on our homepage (under products)?

Yes, I have and I refer to them often since I have a variety of plant pods.


Here are some photos of the larger fruits—nearly a dozen—from my 7 new pepper plants started on July 9 in two SG9s. They’re on the ledge of the half wall between the kitchen and living room. So, unlike those first 3 plants that grew w/a wall behind them and whose leaves yellowed more quickly, these new plants get some indirect natural light from the LR windows 10 to 12 feet away, the best I can do for them exposure-wise.

I’ve removed very few leaves this time, and ONLY yellow ones for which my plants are probably very grateful. The vigorously-growing thinned plant I transplanted to a poorly-growing red kale’s empty pod recovered well and has 2 nice size peppers on it w/some blossoms still. I’m thrilled w/the plant that has 3 growing ACROSS its top though, instead of hanging down.

As you can see, my peppers are long and narrow, more like the “poppers” in the grocery stores here than the beautifully-rounded bell pepper that Leafy posted. The plant w/2 peppers and blossoms, next to the red kale, is the transplanted one.

But considering what a fiasco my first attempt at growing bell peppers was, I’m very happy and esp because my desk w/laptop is on the other side of that ledge, enabling me to enjoy just looking at the plants, an unexpected pleasure.


Thank you for the update! :green_heart:
I’m really glad this is turning out nicely and there is more flower to open soon on your sweet pepper plants
The fruits will grow a bit larger (in my experience) before changing the color.

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Your peppers are nice!

I would start something else for the kale though. Maybe some Lamiaceae. Especially as it is September and I assume you live somewhere in the Northern hemisphere.

Thank you for your input. Quite a few blossoms have simply died but there are quite a few very small peppers trying for their share of nutrients. There are 11 much larger peppers though on my total of 7 plants and 2 of them are on the one I thinned from another pod and transplanted to the pod of the red kale I removed that wasn’t thriving. So this is much better than my first attempt to grow sweet peppers.

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Thank you for your suggestions. I’ve removed the kale and am going to experiment to see how a NEW yellow sweet pepper pod fares once the temperature drops. So now I have room for a little thyme and dill and red leaf beet for the rest since the other fruiting plants aren’t an option for me.

Can you see any reason that those plants should not be together in my SG9s? And tell me if I should temporarily remove the 10 plants still in my SG9s to clean the water tank before I put start the new pods?


Yes, not every flower forms a fruit, unfortunately. But getting 3-4 fruits per plant is the most I’ve seen.

Now that the temperature drops, sweet pepper seeds will take much more time to germinate, even longer than 3 weeks. If it is much under ca 20 degrees they may not sprout at all and rot due the moisture.

You can grow whatever plants you like in one garden. Just make sure that every pod gets the much needed light from the lamp.

If there is not actual need to clean the tank then you don’t have to. If it is clean (it probably is, since your garden is quite new) there is no need to clean it every time you want to start new pods. Just add water if needed.

Thank you; since no cleaning is necessary I’ve started 8 new pods of herbs and red leaf beet where the red kale was growing.

The one sweet pepper pod is more an experiment than an expectation of fruit. (It should germinate though because right now my apartment is at least 77°-78° F like it was when I germinated my first 3 sweet pepper plants in the spring.) The peppers growing now will fill out more, won’t they? I’d like to speed up their turning yellow w/a ripe banana in a paper bag as Priit suggested but they need to grow more before I can do that.

My cat is more of a problem because he likes greens and he’s been getting to the leaves during the night, while I’m sleeping.

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Mirjam M.


All my seedlings of red leaf beet, dill, thyme, and sweet pepper that are replacing 8 red kale pods are doing well. Two seeds germinated in my sweet pepper test pod in exactly one week, just as they did in the spring. Only one seed was visible which I could see swelling by day 5, so I was surprised to see 2 plants that evening, in the front yellow-labeled pod.

I was very careful to avoid missing any loose red leaf beet seeds, but despite that only 2 seeds germinated in one of the 3 pods which all germinated w/vigor by day 3. So I resorted to my ‘cut the pod down its side, then tent w/paper’ technique to thin the other two pods; so there are now no fewer than four plants growing per red leaf beet pod.

I did the thinning, transplanting, and tenting late at night and there was no transplanting shock at all this time, but that could also be due to the vigor of the seed itself—there was substantial rooting by day 5.

I do have one question about my July 9th planted sweet pepper crop. How do I know when they’re mature enough to use a ripe banana in a bag to ripen the individual fruits sooner?

October 9th will be 3 months and some of them are more than 2 inches long now. I know they’re using most of the nutrients & water because the very small peppers aren’t growing and the leaves are slowly dying.


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