Cayenne Pepper Growth Stages

Understanding the life cycle of the cayenne pepper plant will help you be a better gardener. What are its growth stages?

If you want to add some spice, the cayenne pepper plant is a good choice. In this article, we’ll explore this pepper’s lifecycle so that you’ll know how to maximize its growth in your garden.


Germination is the first stage in a cayenne pepper’s lifecycle. Most seeds germinate and sprout within 5 – 7 days when temperatures are 70 – 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

cayenne seedling undergoing germination

Vegetative Growth

The cayenne pepper plant grows two sets of leaves: its first true leaves and its third true leaves. Once its third true leaves emerge, the plant is ready to be transferred from to a larger container or to your outside garden. 

Six weeks after germination, its root system will be robust and large enough that a larger container will be necessary. A container with a diameter of at least four inches should be sufficient. 

After eight weeks, the plant will have more leaves and can be moved to the garden. Gradually fortify the plant’s roots by placing it near a window to get more sunlight.

A young cayenne plant


This plant produces white or yellow flowers, which need to be pollinated before peppers appear. 

white cayenne pepper flowers


Cayenne plants self-pollinate; they do not require any other plants to complete the pollination and fruiting process.

The pollen of some flowers will drop to the stigma by itself to complete the pollination process, while others rely on insects, butterflies, and small birds to help with pollination. 


Cayenne peppers are initially green when they develop but turn red as they ripen. Green cayenne peppers have a more acidic, grassy flavor, whereas red cayenne peppers have a stronger, more delectable flavor.

ripe red cayenne ready for harvest


Cayenne peppers can be harvested 70 – 100 days after they are planted. Seeds from fully ripe peppers can be stored and planted later to grow another crop of peppers. 

Leila Haynes
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