6 days ago, I repotted some chilli seedlings after they started showing their 3rd pair of leaves. They were the biggest seedlings at the time. Since then they seemed to have stopped growing. These are the ones in the green planters in the picture.

I left some of the slightly smaller seedlings in their original planter. These are the 4 seedlings in the black planter in the bottom left of the picture. You can see that they are doing much better than the ones in the green planters.

I found a question about stunted seedlings, but mine don't look malnourished:

Why have my lemon seedlings stopped growing and turned yellow?

What can I do to get the green planter seedlings growing again?


It took a while, but my chilli seedlings have started growing again. I have been lightly fertilising as suggested, I can't say that it definitely helped, but it certainly didn't hurt the seedlings.

Stunted chilli plants

  • How did you water them? What is the temperature? What kind of soil did you use to plant the seedlings?
    – Patrick B.
    Oct 31, 2014 at 12:28
  • I am using organic potting mix. Watering them once in the morning and once in the evening with tap water. And the temperature at the moment is between 13-30 degrees Celcius.
    – Megasaur
    Oct 31, 2014 at 15:00
  • I'd say 13 degrees is too low for them. Did the not replanted seedling have the exact same conditions?
    – Patrick B.
    Oct 31, 2014 at 15:20
  • Yep. The ones I didn't replant are in the same conditions. They all live in my balcony. It only drops to 13C here during the evening. It's actually quite hot for most of the day.
    – Megasaur
    Oct 31, 2014 at 15:26

3 Answers 3


I'd say the stress of replanting is causing this non-growth. Small damages to roots and new type of soil. The seedlings need to recover.

I'd be patient.

  • 1
    Yes, this is transplanting shock, and is completely normal and to be expected. They will pick it up again once the root system has established in the new environment.
    – J. Musser
    Oct 31, 2014 at 20:17
  • How long will it take for the seedling to recover?
    – Megasaur
    Oct 31, 2014 at 22:46
  • @Megasaur That partially depends on conditions, but it's normal for seedlings to start showing new growth within 2 weeks of a stressful transplant, in good conditions.
    – J. Musser
    Oct 31, 2014 at 23:00

Without knowing where you are, and basing my answer on where I am (eastern Long Island, NY), I'd guess they got cold. Cold sensitivities vary, but growth will slow dramatically if they've been exposed to temps in the low 40's for a night or two.

  • I'm in Sydney. It's summer now. If that was the case, why would the seedlings I didn't repot continue to thrive?
    – Megasaur
    Oct 31, 2014 at 11:51
  • Well there goes my theory. Perhaps repotting damaged some of the roots. It takes some time to recover from repotting even when everything goes perfectly. If there were root damage it would stall them significantly. 13C wouldn't be too low for established peppers, but perhaps the combination of low-ish temps and repotting combined to stall things. I will be interested to hear how they do as the season progresses.
    – That Idiot
    Oct 31, 2014 at 17:34

Transplanting peppers can stunt them for a while (potentially much longer than six days). However, if you give them some extra potassium sulfate and put them in very bright fluorescent light (very close to it), they should overcome that pretty fast. You may also need to add calcium (such as from rock dust or gypsum) if you use very much potassium. Bright light alone should help, though. Since it's already been six days, you don't need to worry about giving them too much light due to the transplant.

In my experience, potassium helps plants to overcome or avoid transplant shock better. In my experience, extra light (after a couple days without bright light, to avoid wilting) also helps considerably.

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