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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

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.
10 Dec 19, Jenny Cathcart (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Should laterals be picked off capsicums? Thank you.
07 Dec 19, Jo (Australia - temperate climate)
I’ve noticed my capsicum is very small this year same as last year. Has been in for about 6 wks and is only about 6-7 inches tall. Been regularly watered and fertilised?
10 Dec 19, Anon (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Check the NPK of the fertiliser - seasol and similar things are not fertilisers. You would have to consider what the soil was like before you planted. Did you have another crop in before planting the caps. It would have used most of the nutrients up. What is the ph of the soil, the soil temp etc. Where I live we are having temps of 3+ degree above average and no rain. Too hot to grow most things I feel.
Showing 1 - 10 of 478 comments

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.

- Anonymous

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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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