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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 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
    '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

25 May 18, Sean (Australia - temperate climate)
Can capsicum be frozen for future use?
29 May 18, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Yes, capsicum freezes quite well. Cut it into strips, ready to use and freeze on a tray before bagging up. It loses a bit of flavour but the colour stays well.
29 May 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Try the internet - probably not.
23 Apr 18, Erika kluge (Australia - temperate climate)
How do i know to take out the capsicum plant after a rather successful season..
18 May 18, David (Australia - temperate climate)
I read on this site years ago about a person who had 3 seasons off his/her plant. It thought that I might try the same. Next season will be my fourth. The fruit isn't as large as what you buy at the grocers but are quite acceptable and sweet. The plant will look ratty during the cooler months. Around September I start cutting off the ratty leaves that are close to new growth, being careful to leave enough large leaves to keep the plant growing. This might take 4-6 weeks of removing the old leaves. I also have to support the plant due to the quantity of fruit. Perhaps if I thinned out the fruit I would have larger capsicums. Just tried this for fun but the results have been pleasing.
24 Apr 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
When the yield drops off and fruit are becoming small, time to pull them out. A plant only has a limited cycle. A crop may take 12 weeks until it bears and then produce for 4-6 weeks and then that is the end of the cycle.
26 Mar 18, Steph (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Ive planted my capsicum in Feb this year and they have grown nicely however they are pretty much the same size (the plant itself) and have been for about 3 weeks. Still quite small. They are healthy just really small still (approx 15cm high) is there anything I need to do to keep them growing. With a harvest est. In May, I just do see them being big enough to grow the harvest.
21 Mar 18, (Australia - temperate climate)
what weather conditions do capsicum plants grow in. do they grow better in the sun or the shade?
23 Mar 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
They need sun and I believe in the warmer weather to pollinate.
12 Feb 18, Paiseelee Hape (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Will the plant keep growing after picking
Showing 1 - 10 of 376 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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