Peppers are a delicious and fresh vegetable option that many people love to grow in their gardens. In most areas, peppers are grown as an annual plant and many gardeners will save seeds from successful and tasty pepper plants to grow again next season. However, some peppers do not grow well from seed, and leaves some gardeners wondering; do pepper plants grow roots from the stem?
Yes, pepper plants can grow roots from the stem. This process is called propagation and involves cutting the stem, dipping in a rooting hormone, and then repotting the plant in fresh soil.
Because many hybrid pepper plants do not grow well from seeds next season, or they continue to mutate into an entirely new pepper. Seed saving can also be tedious, messy, and time-consuming. Thankfully, cutting the stems is an option for regrowth.
Read on to learn how to cut, propagate, and repot a pepper plant properly! You will never have to worry about seed saving again.
Forget Saving the Seeds
You finally did it! Your pepper plants grew an abundance of delicious, perfectly flavorful peppers this season. You enjoyed the peppers so much, you want to grow the exact same ones again next year. The only problem is, in your enjoyment, you forgot to save the seeds from the peppers; it was the season’s last harvest!
No need to fret; you can have those same peppers again next season by propagating the pepper plant. We tend to think of pepper plants as annuals, and in most regions, they are.
However, in warmer regions, peppers are perennials, and they begin to grow woody stems that produce delicious and juicy peppers year after year.
Since peppers can survive and thrive for multiple generations, it is safe and effective to cut a piece from the mother plant at the end of the growing season (before the first frost) and grow an entirely new plant!
How to Cut the Mother Plant
You will need clean garden shears or sharp garden scissors for this step. The sharper, the better. You want a clean and disinfected blade for each cut, so if you are cutting more than one stem (which I recommend), bring alcohol to wipe the sheers between cuts.
Look for little bumps on the stem. These little bumps are called nodes, where new roots can emerge if adequately treated. You will want to make a cut between two nodes.
After removing the cutting from the mother plant, take off almost all the leaves. Be sure to leave a few to help keep the cutting alive, but we want almost all the plant’s energy to go into creating new roots.
We recommend taking a few cuttings. Never put all your eggs in one basket, or in this case, all your peppers in one cutting. There are many reasons why a cutting may not root, so you do not want to lose the entire pepper plant generation due to taking only one cutting.
Be sure to take the cutting off of a healthy mother plant. Check the area over for any signs of distress, discoloration, or disease. Always take the cutting before the first freeze.
Rooting Hormones and More
Dip the end of the cutting in rooting hormone before sticking it in a container of soil mixed heavily with sand and perlite. It is essential to keep the soil moist to encourage root production. If it is freezing outside, keep your cuttings in a greenhouse or indoors until the weather is appropriate again.
After about two weeks of keeping the soil moist, the cutting should have produced small roots. Keep caring for the plant by allowing it to have adequate sunlight and soil moisture until the roots are a bit more established.
Once the roots are ready, you can move your pepper plant propagation into a container of fresh soil. Allow the plant to establish itself in the container a few weeks before fertilizing it. There is no need to fertilize a plant over the winter. However, when spring rolls back around, you may find your pepper plant does well with a boost of nutrients.
Replanting the Propagated Pepper Plant
Now that the weather is warm again and summer is approaching, you may wonder how and when you can take your pepper plants outdoors. Once the weather is consistently over freezing and there are no chances of a sudden freeze, you can begin hardening your plants.
This is the process of bringing the plants outdoors to experience what life would be like in the garden. Start small, a few hours in indirect light each day, gradually increasing until your plants are sunbathing and moon bathing all hours of the day and night.
Once your plants are accustomed to being outdoors, you can replant them in your garden. You will want to do this before the thick heat of summer comes into play. Extremely hot weather is hard on your pepper plant, and you will want to give it a few weeks to establish before it has to endure that stress.
Plant your pepper plant with adequate clean soil and water regularly until established. Once established, fertilize every month with a pepper-specific fertilizer. You can find these fertilizers online or at your local big-box store. Always read the proper mixing and execution instructions to avoid over-fertilizing your plants. Putting too much fertilizer down can choke the plant’s roots and cause it to go into shock or die.
Enjoy Your Peppers
Now that the peppers are ready for harvest, all the hard work you put into propagating and replanting the pepper bush has paid off. You will get to enjoy the same peppers as the mother plant had grown without having to worry about mutations as you would with seeds of the next generation.
You can propagate from this plant as well when the season ends. This cycle allows you to avoid starting pepper plants from seeds. Plus, you know how to propagate and care for the fresh pepper plants, making the next season a breeze.
There is nothing quite like fresh peppers from a garden. Whether you want to grow hot, sweet bell, jalapeño, or chili peppers, you can look forward to season after season of delicious and bountiful peppers.
Hi there, my name is Allie and welcome to my blog; GareningWithAllie!
Much of what you see written here is just our personal experiences with gardening. Along with the content I write here, there is also a unique collection of gardening topics covered by some of our close friends. I hope you find everything you read here to be helpful, informative, and something that can make your gardening journey the most lovely experience ever! With that said, Happy Gardening!