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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

05 Dec 14, Sue Coleman (Australia - temperate climate)
What could be eating small holes in my banana capsicums and what can I do about it?
02 Dec 14, John hrynko (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
My fruit on my capsicum goes rotten before they can ripen, are they being stung or is there a disease in the ground? The bushes seem to be healthy, I have very little success in gating good or any fruit for that matter.
08 Dec 14, Chris (Australia - temperate climate)
Is it fruit fly? I live in Southern Qld. A friend put me onto an easy fix for fruit fly a couple years age & it really works. I was sceptical & tested it a couple years ago on my tomatoes & no stung fruit. Put strips of fabric (about 1" wide & however long you want), dotted with Vicks Vapour Rub...has to be generics.... (about every 3 or 4 inches) & thread a couple through each plant. Refresh with the Vicks if it rains. I replenished every week through the summer as I was paranoid. Ended up with beautiful fruitfly free tomatoes & made tons of tom sauce, chutney etc.
19 Nov 14, prue (Australia - temperate climate)
Do I need to pinch out capsicums for a more bushy plant?kp
16 Nov 14, george (Australia - temperate climate)
Do you need more than one Capsicum plant to produce fruit.
05 Nov 14, solomon wambugu (Australia - temperate climate)
Am planning to start the growth of capsicum plant yet i don.t know the conditions it requires:temperatures,altitude, soil type, soil PH and the season.also where can I get the seeds as they are not locally available from my area as I have come from the remotest area in the sub saharan country by the name Kenya, a place called Laikipia north which is uninhabited and most referred to as the driest part and I want to make it productive.
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.
08 Dec 14, Chris (Australia - temperate climate)
Do mini capsicums need to be staked? I bought some Bello Rosso seeds & have planted tonight.
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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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