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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 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

09 Dec 18, Robert (Australia - temperate climate)
Will a single Capsicum plant bear fruit or do I need to plant multiple plants ?
10 Dec 18, Mike (Australia - temperate climate)
Can plant single but 2-3 might be better. Might be better to plant at end of summer than now in the hot and wet season.
11 Nov 18, Scott (Australia - temperate climate)
Do you need to stake them or can they grow up a frame work?
12 Nov 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Stake or use a frame - but tie them to it.
18 Oct 18, Helen (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Just bought an orange lunchbox capsicum. Should I pinch out the top leaves to promote a more bushy plant?
23 Oct 18, Mike (Australia - temperate climate)
I don't know. If you had several plants you could try it on one. Fertilise and watering well should produce a good bushy plant.
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..
Showing 1 - 10 of 383 comments

"Do I need bees for pollination? No, bees are not important for pollination. Although you may see plenty of bees in the patch, capsicumĀ is self-pollinated. Bush movement due to wind is sufficient for pollination". You probably have no wind inside the house. Also I have read caps need the temp above a certain temperature to pollinate. I wouldn't recommend growing anything inside - plants need sun - some more than others. Plants like caps and tomatoes need wind to pollinate. Others need bees.

- Mike

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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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