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 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. 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

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.
07 Nov 21, Pam (USA - Zone 10a climate)
My bell peppers are still producing from summer. Not nearly as much, but they are still holding their own. Based on the chart I should be planting undercover in seed trays. Should I have pulled out these bell pepper plants at the end of summer? Will they continue to produce until the frost hits them???? curious
10 Nov 21, (USA - Zone 5a climate)
I would keep them if they are still producing good crop.
21 Aug 22, Sandra (USA - Zone 10b climate)
Peppers can live for a couple of years; if your plants are still alive through the winter, they should produce the next year. If it snows out, bring them in where it’s cozy as long as they live they will produce I think a maximum of four years depending on the health and care of the plant.
19 Sep 21, Robin Mendelson (USA - Zone 11a climate)
What bulbs can I plant indoors in south Florida?
31 Jan 16, Robert Cragun (USA - Zone 6a climate)
We live in central utah and have always had trouble getting bell peppers to grow to matuity..what are some good ways to get these finicky guys to mature?
07 Jan 22, Sarah (USA - Zone 8a climate)
I've had better luck growing them against the southern side of the house. That way the heat from the sun is bouncing back off the building onto the plants. You can also make a little wall around them to help heat them.

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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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