Growing Capsicum, also Bell peppers, Sweet peppers

Capsicum annuum : Solanaceae / the nightshade family

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

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

  • S = Plant undercover in seed trays
  • T = Plant out (transplant) seedlings
  • 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 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 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. 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 and white flesh 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.

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

28 Apr 23, (USA - Zone 10b climate)
What is the difference between planting it in trays and sowing it
08 May 23, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
A tray probably means a seedling tray. To sow is straight into the soil.
30 May 24, Jacq (USA - Zone 9b climate)
Thanks! I had same question.
27 Nov 22, John Ingham (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
How to bag capsicums to prevent fruit fly infestation. eg individual bagging or by the branch,
09 Aug 22, clara (Australia - temperate climate)
I know this is old but answering for future reference. Being stripped of all leaves is usually locusts. Pesticides won't help but encouraging local bird life does. Sparrows of all birds feed on their young voraciously and if you have sparrows you won't have locusts for long. Butcher birds like the adults.
30 Jun 22, Paul Rose (USA - Zone 7b climate)
How late can transplant bell peppers in zone 7b?
05 Jul 22, Anonymous (USA - Zone 7b climate)
Go to the top of the capsicum page and it will tell you. Set to climate zone 7b.
23 Mar 22, Brenda (USA - Zone 10b climate)
New to growing capsicum I am zone 10 what soil should I prepare to transplant seedlings too and what do I feed them with please Many thanks
29 Mar 22, Anonymous (USA - Zone 4a climate)
If you start with good friable soil that has had some compost/composted manures in it that should be all that is required.
23 Feb 22, Joan Markby (Australia - temperate climate)
Do green capsicums turn red.or are they different varieties
Showing 1 - 10 of 517 comments

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