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Growing Capsicum, also Bell peppers, Sweet peppers

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
              S S T T T

(Best months for growing 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
    'Banana' capsicum
  • A yellow 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

22 Aug 15, Beryl (Australia - temperate climate)
Do capsicum plants last only for one season or can they be kept for a number of years?
25 Aug 15, Michael (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Yes they can last over winter if you look after them. Google "over wintering "...
15 Feb 15, Bob (Australia - temperate climate)
The long yellow peppers are banana peppers. They can be sweet or hot, most likely sweet. They are great pickled on sandwiches and or used in stir fries. Do a quick search for banana peppers and you should find all the information you need.
11 Feb 15, Philip Lumley (Australia - temperate climate)
Do capsicum plants need to be staked for support when growing
07 Feb 15, Charlotte (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Capsicum rotting from inside out. Look like they are wilting and soft. Can we redig the rotten ones into the patch? We have had very hot summer in QLD, would that be a factor. We currently have chillis growing without much problem in the same patch. Some chillis are a bit soft and wilted looking,but we have had a great success with the chillis. Cooking chillis does that make them less hot? As we are finding they aren't that hot. Also how do we dry chilli? Thanks
26 Jun 15, Matt MCGrath (Australia - temperate climate)
Charlotte, lack of calcium is basically the only cause of the capsicum blossom end rot. That is the brown soft spot that grows on the bottom of Capsicums and tomatoes. Two reasons are that to much fertiliser in the preparation of the bed causes the available calcium to go to the leaves instead of the fruit. The second and main reason is that the bed should err on the alkaline side of the scale. When preparing beds for such plants put a handful of lime of dolomite lime for every square metre in the bed a month either side of any enriching of the bed, as manure will deactivate the calcium. Now is be preparation time in temperate areas.
14 Jun 15, Rex (Australia - temperate climate)
Your probably cross pollinating if you are growing chilli's and capsicum in the same spot. The chilli's will become less hot with each new crop and the capsicum will get hotter.
16 May 15, Peter Melbourne VIC. (Australia - temperate climate)
Charlotte, Sometimes my capsicum would rot at the bottom, so I looked it up and it was stated that TOO MUCH fertilizing can cause the problem. I put any suspect ones back in the compost so not all is lost. As for the chillies, there are hundreds of varieties all with different heat levels, Cooking does not temper them the only thing you can do is remove the seeds before using it. I dry my chillies by threading them onto a length of fishing line and hanging it in a sunny window in the kitchen. They look quite decorative. It will take a few weeks to properly dry them. Store them in jars and use as needed. Hope this helps.
01 Feb 15, Shanni (Australia - temperate climate)
My capsicum plant started growing the long narrow chilli shaped capsicums but now on the same bush it's growing a traditional shaped one that's green? How and why does this happen, can someone explain please? Thanks!!
16 May 15, Peter Melbourne VIC. (Australia - temperate climate)
Shanni, Last summer I had the same thing happen to me. When I looked into it I had planted a variety called Sweet Mix (capsicum annuum), the long ones are yellow or red and the "normal ones" are mainly green but if left some turn red. They all taste good too! Hope this helps.
Showing 1 - 10 of 262 comments

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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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