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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 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

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.
01 Apr 20, Anon (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Capsicums will produce over several weeks months. Generally you pull them out when finished.
29 Jan 20, Fran Scott (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi, Our capsicum plants are loaded with fruit and are flowering profusely. To increase the size of the fruit do we thin the fruit or just let them keep growing. Thank you any advice will be appreciated.
30 Jan 20, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
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.
27 Jan 20, Mark Andersen (Canada - Zone 3a Temperate Short Summer climate)
I live in Calgary, AB and was wondering when I should start my hot pepper plants indoors ... Thanks.
21 Dec 19, Bj (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi, I have 4 Capsicum plants and i use worm fertiliser and water on the days I can and i will all so use bath water and I have had flowers and that's it .
22 Dec 19, anon (Australia - temperate climate)
Depends whether you are using worm leachate or worm casting as fertiliser. I don't believe they have much NPK in them especially the leachate and I think you would have to use a lot to grow things. Although it says you can grow caps in summer I think it is far too hot to do so. Better a crop in autumn and early spring.
20 Dec 19, Elie (Australia - temperate climate)
Hey guys, My capsicum plant is giving me a lot og capsicum but they are small and changing colors while they are still small... any advise on what might be the issue
22 Dec 19, anon (Australia - temperate climate)
Probably not enough fertiliser and also I feel it is too hot this time of year to grow caps.
Showing 1 - 10 of 481 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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