How to Grow Tabasco Peppers (Ultimate Guide)

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Today I’m going to go step by step on how to grow tabasco peppers – Tabasco pepper plants (Capsicum Frutescens), with a Scoville rating between 30,000-50,000 units. thrive in sunlit areas with well-drained, moist soil. They can be grown year-round in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant resistant zones 8 through 11. They thrive in warm environments.

Temperature levels can affect the success of their seed germination or fruit germination. Tabasco pepper plants take 10-12 weeks to mature enough to be transplantable after being grown from seeds.

Step-By-Step Guide on How to Growing Tabasco Peppers Outside

While we’ve covered the basics of growing Tabasco peppers indoors and outdoors, what about outside? This section will cover the steps involved in growing Tabasco peppers, from seed to harvest.

1. In a seed starter tray, you can start peppers indoors

Eight weeks before the last frost of the season, place your Tabasco pepper seedlings in a starter tray. The tray should be filled with a well-draining starter dirt. Sow seeds approximately 1/4 inch (0.64cm) deep. Water the starter tray thoroughly. To get the best results, heat the soil with a heat mat to approximately 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit (27-29% Celsius). After the seeds sprout, you can remove the heating mat.

2. Place the seeds under a Full Spectrum Grow light

After the seeds have sprouted place them under full spectrum grow lights. These lights will give your plants the best start. If you don’t have full-spectrum lights, place your plant in a sunny window with south-facing view, or in a warm part of your home.

3. Keep soil moist, but not wet

Every day, check the soil. As the seedlings begin to grow and establish themselves, they will need more water. You may not have to water your seedlings daily at first. Only water them if the soil feels dry. To avoid drowning pepper plants, you can skip watering.

4. Be on the lookout for “Legginess.”

As seedlings grow, sometimes they get taller and more skinny. This causes them to fall over. This phenomenon is caused by a lack of sufficient light. Seedlings can grow very tall to reach the light and this causes a “leggy” stem.

If your seedlings seem leggy, you can support them with small stakes or clip-on lighting.

5. Place plants outside to harden them

You can place your seedlings outside to harden off when the daytime temperatures exceed 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 Celsius). They will grow in the sun and will be strengthened by any wind. Keep them away from the cold, especially when it drops below 70°F (21°C).

6. Preparation for Transplant

The plants can be transplanted once the last frost has passed and the soil temperature has reached or exceeded 50°F (10°C). The best time to transplant is the day after watering. It makes it easier to remove the plant from the pot.

Dig a hole twice the size of your pot and at least twice as deep in a sunny area. Take the plant out of its pot. Use your fingers to loosen the soil and roots. Before you transfer the plant to the ground, gently tip it into your hand.

You may have to transfer your Tabasco plant to a larger pot if you are unable to transplant it outdoors because of prolonged cold temperatures.

7. Transplant Your Peppers

Place the Tabasco pepper root ball in the ground at about the same depth as the pot. Fill the hole with a rich, nutrient-rich potting mixture. To keep the plant upright, pack the soil around it. But don’t pack too tightly. Otherwise, it will restrict airflow. Use your fingertips to gently press the soil around the base.

Place pepper plants 12-24 inches (30-61 cm) apart. Each pepper should be given a good watering. Fill the areas that have been drained with more soil.

8. Take Care of Your Plants

Don’t forget to water your Tabasco pepper plants once they are established. Every day, check on your plants to see how they are doing. To check if the soil is dry, touch it to make sure they are getting enough sun, and inspect the plants for signs of pests or environmental problems. The sooner you spot any problem, the better.

9. Harvest your Tabasco Peppers

You’ll begin to see fruits and flowers on your Tabasco pepper plants after about 80 days. Use shears to remove the fruit once they are fully ripe (a deep, vibrant shade of red). Plucking peppers may cause damage. You can either eat the peppers or dry them out to make seasoning.

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Tabasco Pepper Growing and Harvesting Tips

  • Sometimes, soil temperatures in cooler areas can take longer to reach 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degree Celsius). A layer of black mulch can be applied to the garden a week prior to transplanting. The black mulch will absorb more sunlight and heat the soil faster, while also helping to maintain constant moisture levels.
  • If your plants begin producing Tabasco peppers you might need to stake them. If the plant produces large quantities of fruit, it is possible for the fruit-bearing stems to begin to lean.
  • Although you can enjoy Tabasco peppers in their creamy yellow or orange stages, they are best when fully ripened. To encourage more pepper growth and increase yield, you can pick off a few young peppers from your plant.



Hardening plants

Tabasco seedlings grown at home and transplants purchased from a store must be hardened. This means that they need to adapt to outdoor conditions before being placed in an outdoor garden. Place tabasco seedlings in their pots outside, away from wind, for at least two weeks before planting them or transplanting them to your garden. You can leave tabasco peppers outside for two to three days before you plan on transplanting them outdoors.

  • Place the pots in a sunny window sill, or in a plant propagator at 80 F. Seeds usually appear within 10 to 14 days.
  • Tabasco pepper seedlings can be planted in an open-air garden once they reach 4 to 5 inches high.

Outdoor planting

Tabasco pepper seedlings should be planted and transplanted when the soil temperature is between 4 and 6 inches below 60 F at noon. Tabasco peppers should be planted in areas with at least six hours of sunshine each day, and in soil that has a pH of 5.5 to 7.0. It is important that the soil be rich in organic matter and not flooded.

Place the seeds in the holes that are the same width as the root balls. Then plant them and transplant them to the original depth of their growth. To moisten the soil, water the plants.

Take care of your Tabasco plants

Tabasco peppers produce the best fruits when they are fertilized and tended to regularly. Tabasco peppers will flower and fruit best when fertilized with a balanced fertilizer. Apply 9-18-9 fertilizer evenly, or dry 9-18-9 fertilizer with slow-release at a rate of 1 tablespoon per square meter.

Apply fertilizer only to the stems of plants. The fertilized soil should be watered well. The fertilizer should be applied every three months if tabasco plants are growing as perennials, or until they reach the end of their lives as annuals.

When the soil is dry, water the plants to a depth of 1 1/2 to 2 inches. You should water the soil enough to reach the roots of the plants.

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Is my Tabasco Pepper Going to Grow?

Tabasco pepper plants can tolerate some shade but they are most productive when they are in full sunlight. It can grow on loamy and sandy soils as well as soils rich in clay. Mulch is a good way to retain moisture and discourage weed growth. You can either start tabasco peppers from seeds or from a nursery. The best time to start seedlings in most areas is between April and May.

Tabasco pepper plants can grow up to 4 feet tall depending on the outside temperature, availability of water, and degree of sun exposure. Insects pollinate yellowish-white or greenish-white flowers. They begin as light green before becoming yellowish-white, orange, and then red as they mature. You can either harvest peppers when they are ripe, or you can leave them to ripen indoors. You can use vegetable fertilizer in place of balanced fertilizer.

Although balanced fertilizer won’t make your plant taller but it can increase leaf growth which could lead to lower paprika production. This plant is perennial but it only lasts about two years. These plants require at least six hours of direct sunlight to grow to these size.

  • When the soil is dry, water the plants to a depth of 1 or 2 inches.
  • The best time to plant seedslings in most areas is between April and May.
  • Tabasco pepper plants can grow up to 4 feet tall depending on the outside temperature, water availability and level of sunlight exposure.

The root of the tabasco pepper may grow to 2 to 3 feet wide and 1 to 2 inches deep.

Tabasco peppers are seriously damaged by excessive watering.

How Much Sunlight Tabasco Peppers Need?

Tabasco peppers need at least six hours of sunlight each day. The yield could be significantly lower if they are not given enough sunlight. If possible, plant them in a sunny area. If the heat is too high (above 100°F or 38°C), the leaves can become scorched. It may be worth providing afternoon shade.

The pepper plants thrive in warm temperatures. They prefer temperatures above 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 Celsius). They can still thrive in cooler temperatures provided they are well cared for. However, they might not reach their maximum height and produce as many fruit.

They don’t thrive in cold temperatures. The frost can cause damage to plants if temperatures drop below freezing. If you have Tabasco pepper plants that are potted, bring them inside or cover them with a mini greenhouse when the temperature drops.

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How Much Water do Tabasco Peppers Need?

These pepper plants that love heat are not drought-tolerant. They require regular, consistent watering because they are tropical plants. It is important to drain the soil well, as standing water can cause root rot and pests such as fruit flies or gnats.

Tabasco peppers require consistent moisture levels. The peppers should be watered when the soil’s top inch (2.5-5 cm) feels dry. To prevent roots from becoming saturated, water the peppers if the soil is dry. In cooler months, watering may be reduced to once per two to three days.

What size are Tabasco Pepper Plants?

Tabasco peppers can reach up to 5 feet (11.5 m) in height, but smaller plants are more common.

These pepper plants can be quite bushy so you will need to trim them to avoid shading other plants. They measure approximately 1/2 inch (1.27cms) wide by 2 inches (5cms) long.

Factors such as:

  • Outdoor conditions
  • Temperature
  • Water
  • Sun exposure
  • Soil quality

How many Tabasco Pepper Plants Can Produce?

The Tabasco pepper is a productive plant that produces high yields. It can store dozens of peppers at once.

A Tabasco pepper plant will produce approximately 30 peppers per year. After flowering, fruit is produced continuously for between 4 and 16 weeks.

Picking a few peppers when they are still young can encourage the pepper plants to produce more fruit. The harvesting of peppers can take place around 80 days after germination.

Tabasco peppers that are still young often have a beautiful yellow or creamy hue. They turn bright, fire engine red once fully ripe. Although the young peppers will continue to ripen once they are picked, most gardeners agree that it tastes better when they are ripened naturally on their plants.

Do you want to increase your Tabasco pepper production? A study by the American Society for Horticultural Science concluded that peppers are more productive when they are spaced farther apart.

How to Grow Tabasco Peppers Indoors?

People who live in areas that are below zone 5 in the USDA plant hardiness zones have a harder time growing Tabasco peppers. These frost-tender plants won’t thrive in temperatures below freezing. There are many ways to grow Tabasco peppers and enjoy the spicy flavor no matter where you live.

Indoor Tabasco pepper plants can be grown. It may actually be easier to grow Tabasco pepper plants indoors, as they have control over the environment. You should keep the temperatures between 75 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit (24 to 38 degrees Celsius) and ensure that the plants get enough water.

Potting Indoor Tabasco Peppers

Start Tabasco pepper seeds indoors in starter trays. Transfer the seeds to a larger pot as they grow. Keep going until your Tabasco pepper plants reach 12 inches (30.5 cm) in diameter. To catch water runoff, place a saucer under the pot.

Make sure that your pots are filled with enough soil. Without it, they will experience slow growth and a lower yield. These plants need at least 3 to 5 gallons (11 – 19 liters), of well-draining, rich in nutrients soil.

Lighting for Indoor Tabasco Peppers

Even the best-lit house doesn’t have enough light to grow pepper plants. Despite the fact that artificial light can be used to grow pepper plants, the plant will not reach its maximum size and may produce smaller peppers.

A full-spectrum LED grow lamp is the best option. It is similar to natural sunlight. This light is ideal for all stages of plant growth. Clip-on LEDs can be used to provide additional lighting for plants that are in the fruiting stage.

Although bright sunlight from the east is better than none, it’s not ideal. Window lighting is often blocked by curtains and glass, so very little heat can be reflected. These peppers are fond of full sun and heat. You could end up with weak, leggy pepper seedlings.

A grow light is the best option because you can control the light cycle to imitate the sun.

Indoor Temperatures for Tabasco Peppers

Tabasco peppers and chili peppers prefer warm daytime temperatures, while Tabasco peppers like cooler nights. For proper growth, it is important to keep the indoor temperature at least 75° Fahrenheit (24° Celsius) during the day. When the sun sets, it should drop to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21° Celsius).


I hope this article on how to grow tabasco peppers was useful to you. Tabasco peppers can be a tasty, easy-to-grow vegetable that adds a kick to almost any savory dish. You can easily grow a Tabasco pepper plant outdoors or indoors by following the tips and guidelines in this article. You might even be able to make your own Tabasco hot-sauce if you are feeling adventurous. Happy gardening from garden24h!

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