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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 = Plant in the garden.

  • 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

22 Apr 17, Helena (Australia - temperate climate)
as I cut and deseeded my red capsicum, there was 2 little balls with a green stem, would that be plantable?
23 Apr 17, Giovanni (Australia - temperate climate)
It is likely to be just a superficial growth in the seed cavity.
25 Mar 17, adam (Canada - Zone 5b Temperate Warm Summer climate)
hello just had a question for the pepper plant. it says to plant this plant in the garden in May then to transplant in June. would you be able to explain this to me cause im a little confused to what this means. i thought you would finish by planting it in the ground. thank you very much.
26 Mar 17, Liz (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Hi Adam, the planting instructions overlap a bit. We suggest that seeds are started in boxes in March and April, so those seedlings should start to be ready to plant out in May and June - but also seeds can be started in the ground in May.
23 Mar 17, Monique Bentham (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
I have had the same issue with a few of my capsicums, after research I think the brown streaks are due to a mineral deficiency.
09 Feb 17, Tony Mnisi (South Africa - Humid sub-tropical climate)
I'm based in Pretoria. I want to know as to where can I buy bell peppers in my area?
09 Feb 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
Capsicum or Bell Pepper seed should be easy to get at Nurseries and Garden Centres in Pretoria. If not there are 2 or 3 Online (Internet) Seed Companies in South Africa. Trust this helps.
25 Jan 17, Wendy (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi, I planted capsicum seedlings last October however they haven't seemed to have grown at all. I have fertilized them and watered them, used mulch but nothing :(. This is also happening to my eggplant seedlings which I planted at the same time. Please help
26 Jan 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
I don't know where you live but I live in South-eastern Australia and we have had hot days followed by cold days and the same inconsistency with rainfall. My eggplants are well manured and composted and have started to flower but are only about 30 or 40 cmss high. Now that we are having some more consistent weather I am looking forward to some better results. Trust this helps.
09 Jan 17, (Australia - temperate climate)
How do you know when to pick capsicum?
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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