It's been 2 weeks since I transplanted my chilli seedlings:

Why have my chilli seedlings stopped growing?

They don't seem to have gotten over their transplant shock yet.

Googling seems to mostly mention methods of avoiding transplant shock. With the exception of watering your plant with a sugar solution[1] and providing extra nutrients.

Are there any other methods to speed up recovery?

[1] 1 tablespoon of sugar to 1 cup of water.


My chilli plants appear to be starting to do better now. I am not sure if doing nothing would have achieved the same result, but light fertilisation certainly did not have an adverse effect.

  • I have to say, at that age, light fertilizing will be better than using sugar-water...
    – J. Musser
    Nov 8, 2014 at 17:08

2 Answers 2


Some say vitamin B1 (thiamin) is supposed to help for transplant shock. Thiamin contains sulfur; so, maybe that has something to do with it. If sulfur has anything to do with it, Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) may help. Peppers are supposed to appreciate a certain amount of Epsom salt (diluted a lot, of course). After googling it, I see a recommendation for Epsom salt with transplant shock (after transplanting).

I have a suspicion that water with a little food grade hydrogen peroxide in it may help (the non-food-grade kind may contain harmful stabilizers, such as organophosphates and heavy metals). Hydrogen peroxide is supposed to help sick plants and roots (and even leaves, if you spray it). So, it may help with transplant shock, too.

One thing I've found is that some plants when they're first transplanted, don't like direct sun. Don't ask me why. They wilt in it, but are fine in the shade. I don't know if this is true for all plants. After one to three days this probably won't matter as much. Your peppers have been planted a while now. So, sun might be a good idea.

Make sure they're warm enough (especially the soil) and have enough sunlight (I'm sure a grow light would help enormously if they're indoors). Make sure you don't overwater them.

  • 2
    +1, but be careful with hydrogen peroxide, it's easy to kill seedlings with. Moving them into sun is a good idea, and as they're an age where they've probably used all the stores from the old seed, fertilizing lightly will be beneficial.
    – J. Musser
    Nov 8, 2014 at 17:04
  • Searching says that hydrogen peroxide acts as an oxygen supplement for plants. And the epsom salts seem to just act as a fertilizer. Do they do anything else? Could I fertilize and use hydrogen peroxide at the same time?
    – Megasaur
    Nov 10, 2014 at 0:38
  • 1
    @Megasaur Epsom salts are simply a source of magnesium. Magnesium forms the central atom of chlorophyll, so it's quite necessary for good photosynthesis. Hydrogen peroxide is an unstable molecule, and when it breaks down, you get one water molecule and one oxygen atom. That's how it helps plant growth, as plant roots require oxygen, and H2O2 provides this, while also killing anaerobic infections such as what causes root rot during overwatering. You can use fertilizer (light n-p-k) at the same time as H2O2.
    – J. Musser
    Nov 10, 2014 at 16:43
  • See the edit I just made about food grade hydrogen peroxide and regular hydrogen peroxide (technical grade). Anyway, use the food grade. You'll have to dilute it more, though. Dec 5, 2014 at 3:03

What I do to avoid transplant shock, is to plant my seeds into toilet roll inners filled with potting mix and raise them in a protected environment away from birds, slugs, etc. When it's time for transplanting, the entire tube gets planted into the soil and there is no transplant shock whatsoever. The cardboard tube rots very quickly and the plant happily grows in its new environment. I've never had a problem using this method.

P.S. I get my friends and family to save their toilet roll inners for me, which gives me a plentiful supply.

  • This reminds me of those organic seedling pots that look like they should decompose, except the toilet rolls are deeper, which is probably advantageous, and they have an entirely open bottom. Do you group them together? Nov 10, 2014 at 20:27
  • That's a good idea. But I'm an amateur and never realised transplant shock existed until it happened to my plants. I am really after ways to fix it after the fact.
    – Megasaur
    Nov 11, 2014 at 1:29

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