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Growing Capsicum, also Bell peppers, Sweet peppers

(Capsicum annuum)

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
              S S T T T

(Best months for planting Capsicum in Australia - temperate regions)

S = Plant undercover in seed trays. T = Plant out (transplant) seedlings.

August: Sow in pots

  • Grow in seed trays, and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 18°C and 35°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 20 - 50 cm apart
  • Harvest in 10-12 weeks. Cut fruit off with sharp knife.
  • Compatible with (can grow in same bed): Egg plant (Aubergine), Nasturtiums, Basil, Parsley, Amaranth
  • 'Banana' capsicum
  • A yellow capsicum

Small bushy plant about 40cm high The seeds are reluctant to start germinating if temperatures drop at night. These are best sown in small trays in a warm, sheltered place: a small greenhouse if possible. Then plant out when about 10 -12cm (4-5in) tall.

They are from the same family as chilli but are not hot and spicy. The seeds are bitter.

Capsicums are frost tender and need warmth to ripen the fruit to the brilliant reds and yellows of commercial ones. They can be used green but are not as sweet.

There are a number of colours available, chocolate, black, yellow, orange as well as red. They all start off green and change as they ripen.

In cool, wet weather cover with a cloche or frost fleece.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Capsicum

Can be sliced and seeded and used raw in salads.
Will freeze successfully without blanching if seeded and sliced.

Or brush with olive oil, roast at a high temperature until the skin changes colour
then put in a covered dish until cool and rub off the skin and remove seeds.

Your comments and tips

24 Oct 14, anne (Australia - temperate climate)
I have grown plants from store-bought capsicums very successfully & they are now about 12 inches tall but would like to know if they need to be staked & do I just feed then liquid seaweed fertiliser. Also how long before the fruit appears
16 Oct 14, ken (Australia - temperate climate)
Do capsicum need to be staked
26 Oct 14, (Australia - temperate climate)
Yes, stake your your plants. They are akin to tomatoes and grow the same way outdoors. the plant can grow 2.0m high. You can use a liquid potash solution or liquid fish solution for best results.
04 Oct 14, helen creeley (Australia - temperate climate)
Why is my capsicum plant getting yellow tips on the leaves and what remedy do you recommend
15 Aug 14, Steve (Australia - temperate climate)
Live in Melbourne and have dried out some seeds of a supermarket capsicum. Should I plant the seeds now or wait a little while longer??
29 Aug 14, John (Australia - temperate climate)
Sow them now inside in trays, plant them out in 4-6 weeks time.
20 Jul 14, peter (Australia - temperate climate)
deterrent from wasps laying there eggs in them,i have to pick them early due to the wasps destroying them.
10 May 14, craig (Australia - temperate climate)
Your capsicum and chilli plants of all varieties will sit dormant like a dead stick for the winter months. Prune as you would a Hibiscus or rose and keep up the fortnightly seaweed/liquid fertilizer as the roots are still strong. Each year the yield will be larger and more prolific. My second year banana capsicum tree which is 2 metres tall produced 3 times from October till march. Stay loyal!
25 Oct 14, trish.j (Australia - temperate climate)
great tip Craig - thank you. I'll try leaving next year instead of pulling up. Though they do look terrible in the slightly cooler, but north facing Dandenong Ranges over Winter.
11 May 14, Rae (Australia - temperate climate)
Is this why when i planted a seedling it had tiny little capsicums on it?
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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.

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