Growing Poblano Peppers From Seed (How Long Does it Take)

Feeling ambitious? Growing your poblano peppers from seed is a great way to make sure they’re grown correctly from the get-go and can avoid the hassle of buying a stunted transplant. Germinating your own plants can be tricky, but we have tips!

To grow poblano peppers from seed, start them in an environment between 70 and 80°F using a heat mat. Plant your seeds ¼ inch deep in nutrient-rich soil, thin them when true leaves appear, and slowly introduce them to their final environment. Poblano peppers take about 3-4 months to mature from seed.

Keep reading to learn about growing poblano peppers from seed!

Can I grow poblano peppers from seed?

So why would you grow poblano peppers from seed when you can just buy a transplant instead?

You can grow poblano peppers from seed in temperatures between 70 and 80°F. You can use a heat mat to help encourage these temperatures. Growing your poblanos from seed ensures that they get the proper treatment from the very beginning and won’t be stunted as adults.

You can grow poblano peppers from seed. Poblano pepper seeds germinate best between 70-80°F. A heat mat can help you with this!

Growing poblano peppers from seed gives you complete control over their environment from the very beginning. When you buy transplants from the nursery, you don’t know what conditions they were grown under as seedlings.

The wrong temperatures as seedlings can permanently stunt poblano growth, and growing from seed can prevent the risk of buying a faulty poblano!

How do seeds work?

Seeds are a bit of a mystery, but we’re about to clear that up!

Seeds contain an embryo and food reserve protected by a seed coat. The right environment tells your seeds to “wake up” and they will begin to grow!

Seeds are alive and “contain living, healthy embryonic tissue.” They also contain a reserve of food.

For poblanos, anything above or below 70-80°F can cause the seeds to go dormant. But at the right temperatures, germination is a quick process!

Aeration in the soil is also necessary because seeds need to respire, and will suffocate without room for their exerted CO2 to escape.

How fast do peppers grow from seed?

What kind of timeline are we looking at? What are the stages of poblano pepper growth?

Poblano peppers take about 3-4 months to mature when you grow them from seed. This number can increase or decrease depending on if you’re harvesting immature or mature poblanos.

Poblano peppers take roughly between 100 and 120 days to mature when grown from seed or about 3-4 months.

Remember that poblano peppers can be harvested while they’re still “immature.” At this stage, they will be dark green aboutand half as spicy as fully mature poblanos, which are dark red and a few inches longer.

Related: How tall do poblano pepper plants grow?

Are poblanos hard to grow from seed?

So is this going to be a pain in the butt?

Poblano peppers are hard to grow from seed because they require such a specific environment, but it certainly pays off.

Poblano peppers are finicky to germinate due to their exact temperature needs. 

But don’t fret – read on for all the steps of germination!

How to grow poblano peppers from seed

Peppers require precise temperatures and soil composition to thrive. If you’re going through the effort of growing your own peppers, do yourself a favor and start them from seed so you have complete control over the process.

To grow poblano peppers from seed, you should:

  • Plant ¼ inch deep
  • Use a heating mat
  • Use bright lights
  • Thin when true leaves appear
  • Gradually expose to the outdoors

Now that we’ve planted these seeds of knowledge, it’s time to dive in a little deeper!

Plant ¼ inch deep

Unless you live in a very warm climate or are getting started late, don’t plant your seeds directly in the ground if the overnight temperatures will be lower than 55°F. In cold temperatures, you should be growing poblano peppers indoors, possibly in pots.

Plant your seeds ¼ inch deep in a soilless mix designed for germination.

Starting poblano pepper seeds in a peat pellet or other seed starter tray makes it easier to transplant them once germination is complete.

I like to start mine in a peat pellet tray like this one because it’s easy to transfer the seedling without damaging its fragile root system.

Use a heating mat

Temperature is the most important factor in ensuring your poblano seeds germinate into a healthy plant.

Utilize a heating mat in order to keep temperatures between 70-80°F. A soil temp of 70°F is perfect, and it’s better to be on the warm side than on the cool side.

Be aware that the excess heat will dry out your soil more quickly.

Use bright lights

Bright light will help seedlings grow once they emerge.

Use a grow light to encourage poblano pepper seeds to grow.

Grow lights help kickstart the photosynthesis process, encouraging strong, healthy plants.

There are loads of different options for grow lights, but I like this one because it mounts easily on the bottom of a shelf so it’s not too far away from the plants, and it’s got a broad spectrum so I can also use it for indoor plants throughout the season.

Thin when true leaves appear

One of the most exciting parts of gardening (for me at least) is when the seedlings pop up through the foil and start to sprout their first leaves! Unfortunately, some of those tough little guys have to go.

Seedlings should be thinned to 2-3 inches apart so that roots have enough room to develop properly.

While it may seem counterintuitive, growing all those leaves is actually bad for the overall development of the plant since they are diverting energy from the plant as a whole.

Gradually expose to the outdoors

For a few weeks, bring your seedlings outdoors for part of the day to slowly get them used to the sun and outdoor conditions.

Exposing your seedlings to the outdoor environment will allow them to acclimate to the direct heat of the sun, wind, and other elements they’ve been protected against developing inside. This way, they’ll be more likely to survive when planted and left outside in less ideal circumstances.

The heartier you can make your seedlings before they’re transplanted, the more likely they are to survive and thrive.