Everything I read about planting peppers says that peppers will be stunted and not produce well if planted before the soil is consistently above 55 degrees. The local temperatures are in the low 40's at night. All the garden centers around have potted peppers sitting outside. Are all of these peppers doomed to not produce well?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Yes, it can cause them to grow slower and there is no benefit to planting them out early. There are some anecdotal stories that it will hurt production, but there has never been a formal study done on it. As for the place that had them out in the cold, that batch will likely die, as lower forties will often hurt pepper plants. I would be willing to bet that it was a big box store. They go through so many plants (either because inept workers kill them or the plants get bought) that their stock is always in turnover and normally fresh. If you wait until the weather is proper in your area for planting peppers, the plants you buy from these stores will most likely have just been taken from the greenhouse within the past 1-2 weeks.