Growing Capsicum, also Bell peppers, Sweet peppers

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

(Best months for growing Capsicum in USA - Zone 5a regions)

S = Plant undercover in seed trays P = Sow seed

  • 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 64°F and 95°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 8 - 20 inches apart
  • Harvest in 10-12 weeks. Cut fruit off with sharp knife.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): 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

25 Jul 20, Jack (Australia - temperate climate)
My capsicums have been stripped bare just the stem left about 14 to 16 cm high mind you it hasn't happened to the bigger one's. any advice especially on pesticides?
27 Jul 20, colleen (USA - Zone 10b climate)
If this happened suddenly, it was probably hornworm caterpillars--they can strip a plant almost overnight. I placed a bird feeder near my peppers and tomatoes, and birds are kindly taking care of the problem for me...but in the short run you might want to dust with Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis). It's organic, considered highly safe, and will stop the caterpillars from feeding.
27 Jul 20, Anon (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Probably some grub/caterpillar, look for killers of these at gardening centers or look up organic sprays on the internet.
11 May 20, Andrew (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Hi ,when is the best time to plant peppers,as it is already nearing the winter season.
12 May 20, Anon (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
the top of the page tells you.
28 Apr 20, Egmo (Australia - temperate climate)
Why do the young fruit fall off the capsicum bush ?
26 Apr 20, Kath (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I have a green and yellow bell pepper plant that are still producing, although the yellow ones are black and I’m not sure if they will turn yellow. Shouldn’t they have finished producing by now? We are still getting some sunny days but the days are shorter and cooler, I’m just wondering if these peppers will reach maturity now we are in Autumn?
28 Apr 20, Anon (New Zealand - temperate climate)
If you have had a good/great crop I would be happy with that. They may produce but what is the quality like?
31 Mar 20, David harris (Australia - temperate climate)
My capsicums have just been harvested, should I prune them back (can I prune them) and hope for another crop next season or pull them out and wait to plant seedlings next season.
05 Apr 20, Wayne (Australia - temperate climate)
Ive had the same plants in for 3 years and they reproduce every year. This is the best year yet.
Showing 1 - 10 of 489 comments

I would suggest you stake and support the plants. You probably could do both, leave all flowers on some and trim others. Good watering and fertilising will produce good size fruit.

- Anonymous

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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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