Bell Peppers

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Botanical name: Capsicum annuum

Plant type: Vegetable

USDA Hardiness Zones: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

Sun exposure: Full Sun

Soil type: Loamy

Soil pH: Neutral


Peppers are a tender, warm-season crop. They resist most pests and offer something for everyone: spicy, sweet or hot, and a variety of colors, shapes and sizes. For this page, we will focus on sweet bell peppers.

Planting

  • Start seeds indoors 8-10 weeks before last spring frost date.
  • The temperature must be at least 70 degrees F for seed germination, so keep them in a warm area for the best and fastest results.
  • Start pepper seeds three to a pot, and thin out the weakest seedling. Let the remaining two pepper plants spend their entire lives together as one plant. The leaves of two plants help protect peppers against sunscald, and the yield is often twice as good as two segregated plants.
  • Begin to harden off plants about 10 days before transplanting.
  • A week before transplanting, introduce fertilizer or aged compost in your garden soil.
  • After the danger of frost has passed, transplant seedlings outdoors, 18 to 24 inches apart (but keep paired plants close to touching.)
  • Soil should be at least 65 degrees F, peppers will not survive transplanting at temps any colder. Northern gardeners can warm up the soil by covering it with black plastic.
  • Put two or three match sticks in the hole with each plant, along with about a teaspoon of fertilizer. They give the plants a bit of sulfur, which they like.

Care

  • Soil should be well-drained, but maintain adequate moisture either with mulch or plastic covering.
  • Water one to two inches per week, but remember peppers are extremely heat sensitive. If you live in a warm or desert climate, watering everyday may be necessary.
  • Fertilize after the first fruit set.
  • Weed carefully around plants.
  • If necessary, support plants with cages or stakes to prevent bending. Try commercially available cone-shaped wire tomato cages. They may not be ideal for tomatoes, but they are just the thing for peppers.
  • For larger fruit, spray the plants with a solution of one tablespoon of Epsom salts in a gallon of water, once when it begins to bloom, and once ten days later.

Pests

  • Aphids
  • Flea Beetles
  • Cucumber Mosaic Virus
  • Blossom End Rot appears as a soft, sunken area which turns darker in color.
  • Pollination can be reduced in temperatures below 60F and above 90F.
  • Too much nitrogen will reduce fruit from setting.

Harvest/Storage

  • Harvest as soon as peppers reach desired size.
  • The longer bell peppers stay on the plant, the more sweet they become and the greater their Vitamin C content.
  • Use a sharp knife or scissors to cut peppers clean off the plant for the least damage.
  • Peppers can be refrigerated in plastic bags for up to 10 days after harvesting.
  • Bell peppers can be dried, and we would recommend a conventional oven for the task. Wash, core, and seed the peppers. Cut into one-half-inch strips. Steam for about ten minutes, then spread on a baking sheet. Dry in the oven at 140 degrees F (or the lowest possible temperature) until brittle, stirring occasionally and switching tray positions. When the peppers are cool, put them in bags or storage containers.

Recommended Varieties

Look for varieties that ripen to their full color quickly; fully mature peppers are the most nutritious—and tastier, too!

  • Green to Red: ‘Lady Bell’, 'Gypsy,' ‘Bell Boy,’ 'Lipstick'
  • Yellow: 'Golden California Wonder'

 

Recipes

Wit & Wisdom

The popular green and red bell peppers that we see in supermarkets are actually the same thing; the red peppers have just been allowed to mature on the plant longer, changing color and also gaining a higher content of Vitamin C.

Comments

I planted bell peppers in

By Sam delapena on April 23

I planted bell peppers in small pots early in march, they got about an inch tall and seem to have stopped growing does any one know why this could be happening? I live in the central valley of California so the weather is plenty warm at this time of year.

Hello, I’m new at this so

By Anonymous on April 23

Hello,
I’m new at this so help would be much appreciated. I live in Florida and I have green peppers growing on my porch. I have 4-5 big peppers growing and a lot of smaller ones coming in; it’s toward the end of April at this point. I had to throw 3 of my smaller pepper out because they had holes in them… it looked like a bug had eaten through but I don’t see any when I check the plants! I don’t want to throw all of them out if they are getting eaten! Please help! And thank you.

I live in Alabama and I built

By Bama Girl 68 on April 20

I live in Alabama and I built a raised bed this year for just my pepper plants. I have a wide range of different varieties. When I built my bed, I laid a weed barrier down, added several inches of sand, than filled my bed with potting soil, top soil, compost, than tilled together. Planted my plants, and added crushed egg shells around each plant, and finished with a layer of mulch. In the south, during the month of April, we get alot of rain, and this year we have had temperatures to dip down into the 30's and 40's. I have had to cover my bed a couple of times. I've noticed on some of my plants, they are starting to turn a little yellowish. Is this due to too much rain, and cooler temperatures? Should I just give them time, or is there something that I need to do?

I have a container garden on

By Marc33 on April 16

I have a container garden on my porch and I grew a bunch of different peppers (hot and sweet), eggplants, and some squash in about a 25 foot by 7 foot space. Nothing seemed to have any cross pollination issues, but I kept seeds from most of the peppers, and I recently heard that if I grow these seeds, I might have cross pollination issues. What kinds of issues might arise if I use these seeds? Thanks!

Correct. You won't have

By Almanac Staff on April 22

Correct. You won't have issues with the crops this season, but if you save these seeds and replant, you will get attributes of both parents. For example, you may find a sweet pepper has spicy notes. Or, a fruit won't taste very good.  The plants lose their unique characteristics.

Start seeds early and they

By Richard babcock on April 15

Start seeds early and they germinate well. But then when placed under grow lights the tops look like they just fall off. What am I doing wrong?

See our indoor planting tips

By Almanac Staff on April 15

See our indoor planting tips on this page. Are your seedling too crowded? Peppers need warmth. Make sure the temp. doesn't drop below 65 degrees. Sometimes a small fan that circulates the air will help.

Do not water the peppers from

By Mia Torres on April 13

Do not water the peppers from up top when they are seedlings. Because the water will push the seeds down. So water from the bottom if you are planting them indoors with pots.

Hi! I didn't see this

By Val Durfee on April 5

Hi! I didn't see this question addressed, so I hope I'm not repeating!

How concerned should I be about my pepper plants and cross-pollination? If I plant my poblanos and jalapenos near my bells, will they interfere with each other?

TIA!

Hi Val, No worries. Pepper

By Almanac Staff on April 6

Hi Val, No worries. Pepper flowers self pollinate for the most part. Once pepper will not change the fruit characteristics of the other pepper.
Now, if you're saving the seeds from the fruit to plant next year, there could be cross-pollination issues. However, it won't affect this year's crops.

HI I STARTED BURPEE BELL

By ray crannell on April 5

HI
I STARTED BURPEE BELL PEPPERS AND THEY HAVE JUST CAME UP. HOW DO I KEEP THEM FROM GETTING SPINDLEY? OR WILL THEY GROW SLOW I HAVE THEM NEXT TO A SOUTHWEST WINDOW FOR LIGHT.NOT A LOT OF SUN ON THE PLANTS

A fan blowing enough to

By WV Cycling on April 13

A fan blowing enough to lightly rustle the leaves will also leave early plants growing stockier.

As you see the pepper seeds

By Almanac Staff on April 6

As you see the pepper seeds come up, immediately get them in bright light: a south-facing window or, if this is not bright enough, under grow lights. Rigging up a couple of Cool White bulbs might do it.
Also, spindly growth can come from poor air circulation so don't crowd your plants and make sure that they can get light from all possible angles.
Finally, do not start seeds too early. See our planting dates chart for your zip code: www.almanac.com/plantingtable

Hi there! I love your site

By MallySunshine on March 29

Hi there!
I love your site and the information you provide.

I recently started some orange bell pepper seeds in a 'greenhouse'. A week after, the seeds are strong so I transplanted them to bigger pots for their roots to grow longer. Many of the seedlings are still small but are strong.
I live in southern Texas, and I'm wondering, how long could I keep the baby plants in direct sunlight? I tried bell peppers last year, I lost them (wilted and whithered) because I kept them in the greenhouse pot too long. I realize they had too much moisture after that very last day. I want to keep this year's plants strong and healthy! Thank you very, very much.

Warm wishes,
Sunny Gal

Usually you can transplant

By Almanac Staff on March 31

Usually you can transplant your seedlings into the garden after about 8 weeks indoors. Peppers love sunlight, just be careful that it doesn't get too hot on the windowsill. Before you transplant the seedlings you may want to harden them off by putting them outside during the day and bringing them inside during the night.

I live in phx az. started

By wayne3

I live in phx az. started mine indoors in dec. they've grown great, but now the leaves look a little wilty? there was some flowers on them last month, whats going on here & how can i save my plants?

We're not clear. Are they

By Almanac Staff

We're not clear. Are they still in pots or are peppers now in the ground? Peppers will suffer slow growth and not thrive if it's too cool. Our best guess is that the temps are too cool.
You can start them indoors 6 to 8 weeks ahead, and transplant them outdoors when soil has been thoroughly warmed in the spring.

I planted various pepper

By Stephanie Cook

I planted various pepper seeds in a Burpee self-watering container with peat pellets. They have been in there for a week and we are noticing mildew growing in almost every cup. There are 72 cups with 2 seeds to each cup. Can you tell me how to get rid of the mildew or is this typical of this kind of seed starting container?

I also had this problem once,

By Shane Stinespring

I also had this problem once, don't recall what it is called, but try placing a fan near your trays to circulate the air. I was informed the mold is caused by the soil being too wet and no/not enough air circulation. I didn't want to waste the time to try and save the plants so I just started over. Good luck.

Our research indicates no

By Almanac Staff

Our research indicates no good or easy answer to this one. Mold is usually caused by too much moisture or water. Some sources suggest that you should start over again, but before you do that, scrape the mold off if you can and try to dry out the containers. Some sources suggest trying to replant the seeds/seedlings in new material and nurture them the old-fashioned way (not in this type of container). You have quite a potential crop and we wish you the best with it.

A friend gave a hot pepper

By Verane

A friend gave a hot pepper plant, about 5" in height. It had a what looked like one or two peppers beginning to form. I put the pepper in my box garden (1/3 compost, 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 vermiculite). The plant looks great, but the two the beginning peppers are gone. What did I do wrong I live in the Caribbean, so it gets lots of sun, and I water it everyday. thanks for your help.

Pepper root are very

By amy27

Pepper root are very sensitive you may have disturb the roots it self or may still be in shock which is typically 7 to 14 days i believe good luck oh and i envy that your in Caribbean. as i am in canada and expecting a foot of snow tonight

I was wondering what ratio

By Jeremiah Tamez

I was wondering what ratio fertilizer to put in the holes with the match sticks? Should it be nitrogen free?

It should have some nitrogen.

By Almanac Staff

It should have some nitrogen. A 5-10-10 fertilizer works well for bell peppers.

I plan to grow bell peppers

By Suzanne Lingold

I plan to grow bell peppers commercially through an outdoor hydroponic drip irrigation system. i live in North San Diego County and our night time temperatures average in the 40's through April. Because peppers can be damaged in below 65, do i need to wait to move my plants outdoors until April/May?

Yes, peppers go dormant when

By Almanac Staff

Yes, peppers go dormant when temperatures reach 50 degrees.

I live in the San Francisco

By Elaine Horsley

I live in the San Francisco bay area and I have two pepper plants that are still looking beautiful with lots of peppers on them (red bell) that haven't turned yet. It is nearly mid November and things still look great. How late can I leave them and what is the lowest temp they can withstand?

Peppers can withstand light

By Almanac Staff

Peppers can withstand light frost, however, they will start to go dormant when the temperatures get down to 50 F.

Dumb question, but each

By plane1286

Dumb question, but each season do you start from seeds again or if I keep my plant indoors during the winter months and bring it back outside during the spring/summer months will it produce more fruit?

Thanks!

No dumb questions in

By Almanac Staff

No dumb questions in gardening! Peppers grow anew each season; they generally take 35 to 45 days to mature from flowering to full color. People do try to keep growing peppers over the winter but in most climates they would need a lot of grow lamps and heat to keep going; usually, the declining amount of sunlight slows them down.

I have pepper plants growing

By Ken Sheahan

I have pepper plants growing on my Tower Garden (www.nashville.towergarden.com). They seem to be doing good even though it's late in the season. I live in an apartment with a lot of shade on my balcony. I'm using a grow light to make up for the low sunlight that I get. There are about 5 growing now in differing sizes. None look like they are at full size yet. I'm still getting some that are budding and flowering every day. All in all I'd say that there are close to 30. I'm just curious how long they might go since it's already November 1st.

You should expect to be

By Almanac Staff

You should expect to be harvesting your delicious peppers about 65–85 days after transplanting.
You can harvest those peppers before they reach full maturity if you wish; sometimes the flavor is even better.

I have been growing peppers

By Sharn

I have been growing peppers this year and they have been rather small and deformed. I live in Maryland and we had a very wet summer, but is there a nutrient that is missing or what could be causing this deformation?

There are a variety of

By Almanac Staff

There are a variety of possible reasons why the peppers are small and deformed. The most common reason is temperature. Peppers are very sensitive to temperatures that are too cold or hot. If the temperatures dip below 60 degrees during fruit set, they can be small and misshapen.

Hi! I had to pick the last

By Bonnie Carlin

Hi!

I had to pick the last of my red peppers just yesterday but many of them have not turned red or are partially red. Is there a way that I can hasten the process? Do I put them in a sunny window or in the dark?
Thank you for your answer in advance!!!

Your peppers will continue to

By Almanac Staff

Your peppers will continue to ripen after being picked. Just keep them at room temperature; if they are in cool conditions, they won't ripen very well.

I live in Kenya, I have grown

By koechmark

I live in Kenya, I have grown bell pepper seeds, what should I do to get the best produce.I need to grow for business

We just tried planting a

By Jenna Amundson

We just tried planting a variety of bell pepper plants this year. All our plants produced a fair amount of peppers, but before they were mature, they all turned black around the stem. When we cut into them they appeared rotten. What is causing this and how can we prevent this next season?

Hi, Jenna, It sounds as if

By Almanac Staff

Hi, Jenna, It sounds as if your peppers had blossom end rot. You probably don't have enough calcium in the soil and when it rains a lot or is too dry (moisture fluctuation), this becomes apparent. And/or you had too much nitrogen in the soil during early fruiting. There's not much you can do now. For next year:  Test your soil. Your cooperative extension should have free or low-fee soil tests. Get it to a pH of 6.5 to 6.8. If too low, you may need to amend the soil with lime. Or, if your pH is OK, you may need to add gypsum. Crumbled egg shells are good, too. Also: Avoiding adding fertilizer with nitrogen made from ammonia which ties up calcium. Finally: Water VERY consistently. Veggies need 1 to 1 1/2 inches of water a week while fruiting. Water at the soil level and don't use a sprinkler to avoid water on the fruit or leaves. Consider a timer or drip irrigation to keep the moisture levels even.

I've read where pepper plants

By Russell-OKC

I've read where pepper plants can produce for several years. In Oklahoma the winters are very cold so am I out of luck or can I mulch around the base and/cover with plastic? Should I cut it way down above the ground or leave alone? Thanks for such an informative website.

If your winters are cold the

By Almanac Staff

If your winters are cold the best bet is to dig up the pepper plant and plant it in a container that you can keep indoors. Peppers need as much light as possible so keep it close to a window or sometimes articicial light may be needed.
 

I planted my peppers too late

By annie m

I planted my peppers too late so none have changed color which is not a big problem -- I've just enjoyed them green. One or two of my plants had smaller fruit that are covered with small brownish-red bumps. Any idea what they are? Can I still eat these peppers? Thanks for your help!

Cut one open. See any

By Almanac Staff

Cut one open. See any problems or pests inside the bumps? Some peppers just have bumps. Are the bumps soft? If so, it's a form of rot and you could just cut it out. Take a sample to a local nursery for a diagnosis!

My Bell Peppers are not

By Frank Petro

My Bell Peppers are not producing any peppers, and most of the stems have the tips cut off. What could be the problem?

Thanks.

Have you had any flowers on

By Almanac Staff

Have you had any flowers on the plants? It sounds like you have an insect pests or a critter that has nibbled on the stems. Look for signs of insect pests. Depending on where you live it is getting late to grow peppers successfully. They love hot weather and lots of sun.

Hello, I want to plant bell

By Federico

Hello, I want to plant bell peppers and tomatoes, but I live in a verify hot island in the Caribbean, with average temperatures in the 80s... Can I be successful, or Is it useless? What kind of vegetable can I plant? Thanks!

I think you definitely could

By verena

I think you definitely could be successful. I live on the NC coast and the temps here are in the 80's and UP. I have 2 containers of red bell peppers and have been getting lots of peppers from both. Even now, in September, though the temps here are still in the 80's.

I have just moved to central

By Caroline Joan Constable

I have just moved to central france and for the 1st time planted 3 bell pepper plants in grow bags and took a gamble. They are great, huge fruit and sweet to taste, will the green ones go red as its now early sept and I
dont want to leave them on and they die off

The green peppers will turn

By Almanac Staff

The green peppers will turn red if you leave them on the plants long enough. You may need to harvest them green as your growing seasons is ending. You can move the grow bags to a more protected area with direct sun to extend the season.

I'm growing red bell

By Doug H

I'm growing red bell peppers.plants are about14" tall and blooming.All of a sudden leaves have been shedding and some blossoms and the tiny fruit.any ideas

Small or aborted fruit

By Almanac Staff

Small or aborted fruit usually happens at this stage because of periods of extreme heat or hot, dry winds, and/or warm nights (above 70°F). Try to cool the peppers down with moist soil, mulch, and shade covers.

First time pepper grower

By scampb

First time pepper grower 'red' in Southern Ontario, Canada. My green peppers are starting to turn red now but the red area is soft and not firm like the green portion. Should I harvest and eat them green rather than risk losing my peppers? Whey is the red portion going soft.

Yes, harvest them. When they

By Almanac Staff

Yes, harvest them. When they get too ripe, they get overly soft.

I have a very healthy green

By Plumman

I have a very healthy green pepper potted plant that has mega green peppers (25 to 30) that are turning red. They are about the size of a mandarin Xmas orange. How do I tell if they are ripe enough to pick? Or how do I tell if they have seeds inside? Very much appreciate any suggestions you may have. I live near Calgary, Alberta. Thanks much

They're ready! Green peppers

By Almanac Staff

They're ready! Green peppers can be harvested when they are 3 to 4 inches long, very firm, but still green.  OR, let them ripen and they will turn red or another color depending on the cultivar. The less green you see, the sweeter they get. So it depends on your taste. When you harvest, don't pull on the pepper. Cut it off. Congrats on such a wonderful pepper harvest!

My green peppers are growing

By jayne stott

My green peppers are growing very well...but wen they are cut open..theres no seeds inside..why is this?

Bell peppers need to grow to

By Almanac Staff

Bell peppers need to grow to a mature stage until they produce seeds. Maybe it's just a tad early.

I have a question. I am new

By Kristine Maldonado

I have a question. I am new at growing plants I bought hot pepper not sure exactly what kind, but I have peppers growing. They are maybe half an inch at the moment and there is a lot but I also have white flowers coming out and they do not look like they are growing any bigger. Should I cut off the flowers? Thanks

The flowers are the way that

By Almanac Staff

The flowers are the way that the pepper plants develops fruit! While your peppers are this small, do not pick them! Let the plant put energy into fruit development.

My peppers are growing great

By Sherry Ray

My peppers are growing great BUT they are developing a black coloring to them. This is not mushy and does not affect the taste. What is it?? Thank you.

Sometimes blackish streaks

By Almanac Staff

Sometimes blackish streaks are just normal. Fruit may develop a black pigment when immature in response to cool or cold temperature. However, if you see rotting or any bigger issues, you may have a disease or other problem.

my bell pepper plants have

By glenda fortune

my bell pepper plants have developed alot of leaves and is not blooming. it is safe to remove some of the leaves? please help.

Has it been too hot to fruit

By Almanac Staff

Has it been too hot to fruit set (above 90 degrees)? Do not remove the leaves; this is how the pepper pulls in the sunlight for growth. Are they getting pollinated with bees? You might try hand pollinating the blooms.

Hello, I have three bell

By Kris Whisenhunt

Hello,
I have three bell pepper plants that are all growing pretty well. I have a few good looking peppers growing but I also have a couple of peppers that seem to be dying from the inside out. They get brown mushy areas that get bigger. I'm a pretty novice gardener still and am still learning. Does anyone know why is this happening?

Mushy peppers often means

By Almanac Staff

Mushy peppers often means blossom end rot which is due to calcium deficiency and shows up when there are moisture variations due to drought/heavy rain or inconsistent irrigation.At this point, the mushy peppers need to be removed. In the future, avoid blossom end rot by adding eggshells, small amounts of lime, gypsum or bone meal to the soil. See more: http://www.almanac.com/content/blossom-end-rot

First time I'm growing red

By Caroline fraser

First time I'm growing red and yellow peppers thy look great. They are presently all green do you leave hm on plant until they turn red and yellow or pick them?

Great! Check your packet for

By Almanac Staff

Great! Check your packet for the "days to maturity" as a guide to know when they'll be ready to harvest. Harvest when the fruit walls are firm, and the peppers are still in the green or yellow state. If you keep those green peppers on the vine, they'll turn red! It's your preference. 

Our pepper plants are healthy

By teakey1

Our pepper plants are healthy and growing and flowering, but no fruit. What does it need?

If your peppers are not

By Almanac Staff

If your peppers are not bearing fruit, the most common reason is due to temperature. Daytime temps can't get above 90 degrees F. and nighttime temps can't get above 75 degrees F. They prefer temps between 70 degrees and 80 degrees F.

Has anybody ever had a pepper

By Palomino4me

Has anybody ever had a pepper plant make white bell peppers? They are in a row of green peppers and they grow upside down... I started all the plants from seed as well.

Yes, there are white bell

By Almanac Staff

Yes, there are white bell pepper varieties. Here is an example: http://www.reimerseeds.com/white-sweet-peppers_1256.aspx

this is my first time at

By ed mcwhorter

this is my first time at trying to grow bell peppers. my plant is big and healthy looking, but i understand that normal is 5or 6 peppers per plant. my plant has 15 or 20 little round peppers on it about the size of the last joint of your thumb,and aren't. t growing any larger . they look like little lanterns,and the plant is still putting on moor blooms.HELP!!

The number of fruit really

By Almanac Staff

The number of fruit really depends on the variety of plant, your location, and your conditions.
For example, a 'Vidi' variety might produce 4 to 8 peppers.
A 'Gourmet" may produce 6 to 12 fruit.
There are also varieties that produce smaller-size fruit--and 20 fruit would be normal.
Of course, hot pepper plants produce even more!

I am confused. One answer

By Just Little Ole Me

I am confused. One answer said that pepper plants produce twice in 1 season. Yet another answer stated that if you harvest regularly encourages more blooming? As I am growing several plants to dehydrate them for cooking, should I be conservetive about giving them away? As my first round of peppers are coming in nicely, but I do not have any more blooms. You also said they can live 3-5 years, so I should not till that area, correct?
Thanks for helping.

Let's just back up: Peppers

By Almanac Staff

Let's just back up: Peppers generally grow slowly. On one pepper plant, you may get 1 or 2 peppers to form or you may 6 to 8. It depends on the pepper variety and your garden/weather conditions. If you pick the pepper before it's fully mature, you will spark your plant into producing more peppers because the plant wants its "babies" to succeed, though many gardeners say the pepper tastes better if it's fully mature. One idea is to harvest early on some plants and let others mature. Try this experiment and see what works for you!

hi, i live in hambiurg a

By faty

hi,
i live in hambiurg a colder climate.i planted my peppers in last november2012.because here is very cold my peppers are growing very slowly.
first they were indoor and they looked nice but when i moved them to garden the leaves are going to be yellow and they fall down what shall i do?

Peppers need warm soil to

By Almanac Staff

Peppers need warm soil to thrive. Make sure they get a lot of sun and keep the soil moist. Add some mulch around the plants.

I live in Arizona. I palanted

By Pamela Leach

I live in Arizona. I palanted seeds in part of my yard in dirt and miracle grow about 2 weeks ago. Their sprouting and I was curious if You can tell me what they look like

I have a green bell pepper

By Koala

I have a green bell pepper plant that is growing nicely but is being overshadowed by the leaves of zucchini.......is it ok to transplant this to a container this late in the season - it is almost the middle of July.

Dig up the plant carefully so

By Almanac Staff

Dig up the plant carefully so that you don't damage the roots. Get as much soil with the rootball as possible. Plant in a big container and keep the soil moist.

I live in Montana in a colder

By maggi

I live in Montana in a colder climate. My pepper plants are not growing. They are about 8 inches tall and won't get bigger. It isn't super warm out. Is there something I can put around them to help retain heat? Thanks

Hi, Maggi, Peppers like a

By Almanac Staff

Hi, Maggi, Peppers like a daytime temperature of 73 to 79 degrees and nighttime temps of at least 70 degrees. Otherwise, they'll grow slowly. Note that peppers do grow quite slowly as a rule so be patient. Make sure they're protected from any wind.
Other tips: pick varieties meant for cold climates, seed REALLY early or use transplants outside, and warm the soil with red or silver plastic mulch. As the peppers develop, add a fertilizer higher in Phosphorous and Potassium (not too much Nitrogen which inhibits fruit).

What varieties grow well in

By zan

What varieties grow well in colder climates? i live in indiana and i would like to grow some hot peppers. any suggestions?

I'm in SW GA. At first, our

By Melissa Whiddon

I'm in SW GA. At first, our peppers looked like they were growing great. Now, they are turning brown on the bottom as if they are rotting. Can you help?

This sounds like blossom-end

By Almanac Staff

This sounds like blossom-end rot--which is due to a lack of calcium in the soil or cold and wet weather. To help: Maintain the soil pH around 6.5. Adding lime will increase the calcium in soil. Water consistently; only water if they don't get the required one inch of rain per week. Use "nitrate nitrogen" as the fertilizer nitrogen source. Avoid over-fertilization as side dressings during early fruiting.

I am a novice gardner. my

By sharon woodruff

I am a novice gardner. my plants are large,but blooms are falling off? HELP!

According to Aggie

By Almanac Staff

According to Aggie Horticulture, "Temperature may be the reason for blossom drop. The temperature range for fruit set is quite narrow. When nighttime temperatures fall below 60 degrees F. or above 75 degrees F., blossoms are likely to drop and fruit will not set. Daytime temperatures above 90 degrees F. will also inhibit fruit set, but fruits will again begin to form when cooler daytime temperatures appear."

this is first time planting

By michael waldrop

this is first time planting bell pepper and i thought it was going great, the plant shot up big ang and tall. the first pepper has started nicely it is now about 3 inches around. my problem is now when the other buds, i had 5 more that flowered well and the little peppers started growing, but today 2 of them fell off the plant. is that normal? it seems like a healthy plant and like i said the first pepper is growing really well

Pepper plants are very

By Almanac Staff

Pepper plants are very sensitive to temperature and will drop buds if there is a sudden change in temperature. Poor pollination is another cause for flower drop. Plant some colorful flowers in the garden to attract more pollinators. Also make sure to water regularly.

The new, developing leaves on

By FredEric

The new, developing leaves on my pepper plants are misshapen, brittle, and crinkly--for lack of a better term. They are remaining green all the while, however, the margins of the older leaves are beginning to brown. Any thoughts? I am in the U.S. Midwest.

what soil does the peppers

By Anonymous

what soil does the peppers need to be planted in.

what kind of soil do I use to plant red peppers

By Anonymous

I am a beginner planter and I want to plant some red pepper. What should I put in the soil. I know they like sulfur. Can I plant red peppers in container planters.

thanks vjsmith

Peppers grow well in

By Almanac Staff

Peppers grow well in containers. Mix some compost into the potting soil and make sure the soil is not too heavy. Peppers grow best in light well-drained soil. Sprinkle sulfur or Epsom salts into the hole before planting the seedlings. Good luck!

What state

By Anonymous

I want to build a farm but I don't know what the best state would be. Can you tell me what the best state would be?

Please

By Almanac Staff

Please see
www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/state-fact-sheets.aspx#.UaS5Ruup3Eo
for some state agricultural information.

Tall young peppers

By Anonymous

Wandering if I can sink the stems of the peppers to make a sturdy plant.I know this world well with tomatoes,not sure about peppers?

I just read earlier on

By Anonymous

I just read earlier on another gardening site that unlike the tomato plant, the pepper plant will not grow an extended root if transplanted too deeply. I am interspersing pepper plants amongst my tomatoes this year, my first time cultivating peppers. Hopefully they will get along with each other.

Pinching blooms?

By Anonymous

I live in Canada. We have had phenomenal success with a sweet cherry pepper variety. They make little spherical peppers, good for salads and cooking. This will be the 5th year for planting them. But .... they produce 2 crops per plant: once in July (about 6 peppers per plant) and then again in September (about 30-40 peppers per plant! much bigger plants by then). The problem is: the 2nd crop is the BIG crop, but they dont have time to ripen in September and I usually must pick them green to save them from frost. What can I do to get the 2nd crop to come earlier? Should I pinch off the July blooms to speed it along? Is it driven by rhythm of climate or by the rest pperiod between crops? I buy the plants as seedlings, so I cant really control how early they get sprouted. I'd like to see the big crop come in August, when there's time for them to ripen.

i heard that if you hold back

By tx guy

i heard that if you hold back from watering you can induce the fruit to start blushing. once a pepper begins to chang color you can pick it and it will finish turning color off the plant.

Feed the Seed

By Anonymous

I bought concentrated seed starting mix to germinate my seeds. Will this be enough or do I need to add plant food/soil as well?

You can use the starting mix

By Almanac Staff

You can use the starting mix as is or you can mix it into soil or other soil mixes.

Fruit

By Anonymous

Hi - I just wanted to let you know that a bell pepper is a fruit, not a vegetable.

Yes, though a pepper, like a

By Almanac Staff

Yes, though a pepper, like a tomato, is botanically a fruit, it is commonly considered a vegetable and eaten as a vegetable, thus categorized that way for growing.

Starting seeds & planting

By Anonymous

In instructions on ur page it says to put 3 seeds in pot then thin out to 2 ok then when u plant them in garden do u separate them or plant as is in pot because in ( ) it says keep paired plants close to touching , it sounds like u have to separate? Please explain further. Thank u

Curious too for clarification

By Anonymous

I didn't see another post that addresses this question. I too and curious about transplanting seedlings outdoors 18"-24" a pair but keeping paired plants close to touching. How close is too close?

Ideally you should plant

By Almanac Staff

Ideally you should plant peppers at least 18" apart. If you have 2 seedlings in a starter pot separate them carefully before planting. Some readers have suggested that you can plant 2 peppers close together (the way they are in the pot) and you'll get a bigger "plant" that will do better in gardens with high winds that will bend small stems.

Yes, you can plant two

By Kim DLR on April 14

Yes, you can plant two peppers close together. This happened to me accidentally, actually, but as you said, they kind of support each other, and they have nice, woody, established bases. They're in their second season now, and I'm getting decent peppers. Some are larger and green, with a normal shape, while others are quite round, small, red, and have no seeds. I'll take whatever it gives me! =)

life time

By Anonymous

how long can they remain productive?

Bell pepper plants can live 3

By Almanac Staff

Bell pepper plants can live 3 to 5 years and produce fruits given right conditions, i.e., mild climates. Harvesting regularly will encourage the plant to keep blossoming and setting fruit, especially early in the growing season.

How many peppers per plant?

By Anonymous

Is there a certian number of peppers that a plant will produce to full maturity?

The number of fruits per

By Almanac Staff

The number of fruits per plant varies with the variety. Bell pepper plants may produce five to eight fruit per plant. However, do not be surprised if you get one or two. Peppers are sensitive to temperature and need consistent moisture, especially during dry periods.

netting

By Anonymous

I live in Southern Africa, and i would like to start a pepper mini-farm on a piece of land i own. do i need to cover it with net because of the heat?

Netting

By Anonymous

If its to hot (over 110 Degrees) yes, more shade the better. I get my best production here in the Mojave desert in the fall and Spring. Summer I just have to get my plants through it or sprout new plants so they are read to fruit in fall.

I agree with keeping 2 plants either in a container togother or close by. This ensures Bio diversity

Most people get to grow through summer, I have to plan for the hot months and grow mellons and Okra.

Not fully grown

By Anonymous

I grow my bell and chilli peppers in my conservatory it's late November and they are all pritty small ?

Even indoors, peppers require

By Catherine Boeckmann

Even indoors, peppers require not only warm but bright conditions. Thought there is sunlight, they need the intensity of light. I'm not sure where you live, but if it's in the north, you may need to investigate a grow light or two.

overwintering vs. starting from seed

By Anonymous

My four peppers (some basic variety of large red peppers) gave good yield in pots in a SW-facing balcony. Now they're finished, and I'm wondering about going to the trouble to overwinter them indoors, vs. starting fresh in a few months with seed. What's the benefit of overwintering? I assume we'd get peppers faster from these plants than we would waiting for seed to become mature plants, but what about the quality of the peppers? Thanks!

Overwintering

By Anonymous

I have space so I would go for the overwinter to get a jump on the spring fruits. Bell pepper plants can live 3 to 5 years and produce fruits given right conditions.

If you do not have the space and want to grow something else then I would just start over from seed.

David

By Anonymous

Hi we live in the middle east, we have nice pepper plants in the window facing south, the plants groe well, we get the white flower but no fruit, please advice

Flowers

By Anonymous

It could be no good bugs are visiting your plants to spread pollen. Take a cotton swab and use it to rub the inside of the flowers 1 by 1.

Usually, lack of fruit is due

By Almanac Staff

Usually, lack of fruit is due to temperature. Optimum temperatures fall between 70 degrees and 80 degrees F. Peppers like it warm (though not too hot)!

i have a sweetpepper plant

By anonymous

I have a sweet pepper plant and it seems healthy. You know how the flowers are supposed to fall off but the pepper stays on the plant? Well, when my flowers fall off, so does the pepper. What should I do? I need help bad. Do you know what may be the reason?

It may be a case of

By Almanac Staff

It may be a case of inconsistent watering and/or temperature fluctuations. Peppers need nighttime temperatures to stay above 65 degrees.

Transplanting

By Anonymous

I have 1 pepper plant that i planted late and since it's getting cold i brought it inside, because someone told me they don't do well in the cold. About a day after i brought it in, it started wilting. The soil is pretty moist, and i put some compost in it. Why is it wilting?

A couple thoughts: Did you

By Catherine Boeckmann

A couple thoughts: Did you rinse the plants off really really well and inspect for pests? Peppers are magnets for mites. Is it too cold? Peppers are very sensitive to cold and do best between 60 and degrees and never colder than 55. They also like very bright light so you might need to supplement. Just water to keep soil from drying out.

Can I grow them in my window?

By Anonymous

Can I grow them in my window?

Growing peppers indoors

By Almanac Staff

Are you overwintering your peppers or are you starting from seed? Peppers aren't the best houseplants. They can be overwintered if they have bright light and warm enough temps.

replanting bell peppers

By Anonymous

I have 8 bell pepper plants that produced very nice bells early in summer. Do I need to replant new plants for fall or can I keep these ones going

Give your pepper plants a

By Almanac Staff

Give your pepper plants a little fertilizer and water and they should do fine. Peppers need warmth and sun. With the days getting shorter you may not get as many peppers as you did in early summer.

Over winter

By Anonymous

I have two plants in containers on my deck (I'm in zone 4)
- I'm ready to harvest them. Should I discard the plants or can they be over wintered indoors for next season?

Over winter

By Almanac Staff

Saving pepper plants over the winter months is tricky. Harvest the peppers and bring the containers indoors. Make sure that you don't bring in any outside insects. You may want to repot the plants in new soil. Place the plants in a cool shady spot (about 55 degrees). Water about once a week and let the plants go dormant. The leaves will fall off. Prune the plants by about 1/3. One month before your last frost date in the spring place the plants in a warm sunny spot indoors. Give the plants more water and you should see some new growth in about a week. Move outside when the temperatures have warmed up.

Hole in the pepper

By Anonymous

I just picked some green peppers, and one of them had a hole in it. The pepper looks and feels perfect (very firm). Can I still eat it?

Hole in pepper

By Almanac Staff

Cut the pepper in half and see if you have an insect or bug inside. If not discard some of the pepper around the hole, wash and use. We suspect that you had a slug chewing on the pepper from the outside.

full bloomed flowers dropping

By Anonymous

Off late, all the full bloomed flowers on my pepper plant have been dropping, only the flowers and not the stems. After the flower drops, there are small little tiny peppers that can be seen on the stems but these don't seem to be growing.
What should I do?

Sometimes blooms drop because

By Almanac Staff

Sometimes blooms drop because it's above 90 F degrees during the day and/or above 75 degrees at night. This is too hot for bell peppers. Optimum temps should fall between 70 degrees and 80 degrees.

Homegrown Red Bell vs. commercial product

By Anonymous

I've been growing Red Bell Peppers for several years without problems; however, my peppers have thinner, less meaty 'walls' than those sold grocery store. They taste great - just wondering what might be missing.

It could be the cultivar(s)

By Almanac Staff

It could be the cultivar(s) that you are growing; some have thicker walls than others. At market, varieties with thick, smooth walls are favored. Thin-walled varieties may have a less attractive shape. For the home garden, look for cultivars that are described as being thick-walled, such as ‘Big Bertha’, ‘Red Knight’, and ‘California Wonder’.

peppers turning red after picking

By Anonymous

I know my peppers will turn red if I leave them on the plant, but, if I pick them when they are green, will they turn red after they have been picked?

Bell peppers change color as

By Almanac Staff

Bell peppers change color as they mature; this happens best and most rapidly on the plant. But if you pick them just as they begin to change colors, they will continue to ripen indoors if stored in a warm place.

Tiny bell peppers

By Anonymous

This was our first year for a garden and we planted 12 tomato plants, 4 bell pepper plants. Tomatoes did great and are still producing but the bell peppers are small and not producing very much. What did we do wrong? We have had very dry summer but we watered every day.

Tiny bell peppers

By Almanac Staff

Pepper plants need constant and even moisture. Add mulch around the plants to keep the soil from drying out. Peppers are also heavy feeders. Soon after the plants set fruit feed with a timed-release fertilizer.
Peppers will grow bigger in late summer when nights are cooler. If you have many small peppers on one plant it may help to thin them leaving just a couple to grow big.

peppers

By Anonymous

I planted different peppers when do they change to red and yellow

Peppers

By Almanac Staff

After the green peppers ripen it may take 2 to 3 weeks depending on the variety before they start turning color.

how to keep bell peppers from burning

By Anonymous

I have noticed my bell peppers plants are getting burn spots on them. I water every day. Any suggestions what to do to keep them from getting burn spots? They are in full sun from about 10am to 8pm in the spring and summer.

To avoid burn spots from an

By Almanac Staff

To avoid burn spots from an intense sun: 1. Plant peppers in blocks to provide foliage to the ground and each other, 2. Set up a frame with shade cloth. 3. Plant in an area that gets some afternoon shade for relief. 4. Plan sunflowers or other plants nearby to provide some shade.

Grow Time Bell Pepper

By Anonymous

How Many Days Seed to Picking

See the seed packets for

By Almanac Staff

See the seed packets for accurate maturity dates. Most peppers mature in 60-90 days.

Repotted my green pepper

By Anonymous

When I repotted my green bell pepper, I accidently broke off the top of the plant which had some small peppers developing. I've removed this broken stem part and wonder if there is any hope for any other peppers developing/growing since there doesn't seem to be any blossom on the remaining stem?

If it broke above the first

By Almanac Staff

If it broke above the first leaves, the plant should still grow.

peppers not getting bigger

By Anonymous

Hi,

I bought a pepper plant a month or two ago with three peppers already on the plant. Since replanting it in my garden I have gotten no new flowers and the fruit that was already there has not gotten visibly bigger in any way. The biggest one is still pretty small (3-4 in) and the other two are like one to two in... Any thoughts? I think I'm watering it enough. I'm giving it a good dousing two to three times a week...

Some thoughts--Do you have

By Almanac Staff

Some thoughts--Do you have enough sun? Peppers need eight hours of direct sunlight. Ensure good drainage. Peppers easily succumb to wet feet. Have you tested the soil? Peppers require a sweet soil -- pH between 6 and 8, phosphorous-rich -- bonemeal works well, and a soil high in organic matter. Hope this helps.

hmmmm.

By Anonymous

Thx for the reply. First bet is that it's not quite getting enought sun where it is. It probably gets closer to 5 hrs of sun per day where it is... Not sure about the soil. i think i'll plant my garden in a different spot next year...

too much fertilizer

By Anonymous

Hi, My pepper plant's got quite a few peppers growing on it but then about 2 weeks back I fertilized the soil and I think I put in a little too much. Now all the new blossoms have fallen off and the little ones that were developing too. Will the peppers growing on it get affected as well and how long will it take for the excess fertilizer effect to wear off?

Has it been extra hot

By Almanac Staff

Has it been extra hot outside? Often, blossom drop is because daytime temperatures got about 90 degrees (F) and nighttime above 75. Bell peppers prefer to grow in temps 70 to 80 degrees. Also, avoid overfertilizing and do not disturb the soil around the plant. At this point, it's hard to say when the fertilizer will wear off; it depends on the amount of rain and how much you added, but you'll need to leave the peppers alone.

Not too hot

By Anonymous

Hi, the temperature has been around 28 degrees(C).I have kept the plant away from direct rain as it has been pouring quite a bit.Since my plant is in a container, I'll have to be extra careful next time I fertilise it, which I don't think I'm going to do in a while now.
Thanks alot for your help.

Repot when blooming and fruiting

By Anonymous

Can I safely move in door bell pepper plants into a larger container when it is already blooming and fruiting?

I purchased them too early (its taken forever to warm up in the pacific northwest) so I put them in a hot window. They bloomed and fruited to my surprise, but they are in their original pots. Can I repot them now or will that shock them too badly?

Yes, you can repot your bell

By Almanac Staff

Yes, you can repot your bell peppers--and should do so. They need to be in fairly large pots for good production--often 5 gallon. Wet them down and let them recover in the shade to minimize shock. Reintroduce to full sun in 1 to 3 days.

blooms

By Anonymous

I have one particular bell pepper plant that blooms and as soon as it starts to set the stem of the bloom turns yellow and it drops off the plant. This has happened to three blooms all on the lower part of the plant. It is still blooming but has not set an actual fruit yet. Is there something I can do to prevent this? So far it has not happened to my other 6 plants but none of them have set yet either they are all just in bloom.

If you have blossom drop,

By Almanac Staff

If you have blossom drop, it's probably too cool to set fruit. Peppers like hot, humid weather. Be patient if your weather will be warming soon. Other causes: Poor pollination, temperatures under 55F or over 95F degrees. Be sure to fertilize the right amount. Also, peppers don't like the soil around them disturbed so be gentle.

Brown holes in pepper leaves

By Anonymous

I have grown tomato plants before but not peppers......this is my first time......I transplanted a bell pepper plant 3 weeks ago, and while it is growing, the leaves have small holes in them and the tips of some of the leaves look almost burned(like old curled up paper)....interestingly, the cucumber plant next to it has the same problem, though all of the tomato plants around these two look great.....any thoughts on what the problem might be?

It's difficult to pinpoint

By Almanac Staff

We advise that you check for insects. The brown edges don’t do any harm if the rest of the plant is healthy. For a natural bug spray, try this:
Stir together 1 quart of water, 1 tsp of liquid dish soap and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Do not dilute before spraying on plants. Useful against aphids and scale insects.

leaves fell off

By Anonymous

I planted a green bell pepper plant i bought that already had to peppers growing. It looked great at first but then the leaves drooped but werent dry and crispy. now the leaves have completely fallen off. I dont know what happened or if it can be saved.

It's hard to say without

By Almanac Staff

It's hard to say without pictures or more description. If the leaves don't have holes, then the problem may be 1) they aren't getting enough light, 2) they aren't getting enough heat, or 3) they are very sensitive to temperature change and perhaps there was dramatic change from the store to your home. Make sure they get lots of very consistent heat.

Purple stocks & stems on my bells,sweet bannanas & pepperoncinis

By dtrek17grower

I've got some purple stems on some of my pepper plants as listed above. Is this normal or a sign of some type of deficency? And should I be worried?

Brown spots

By JoAnn Sherman

This is idicative of a calcium deficiency. Green Light puts out a product for just that problem on tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and melons. You mix one tablespoon of it in a quart of water (I mix mine right in the spray bottle as it is liquid). Spraying this on those particular plants makes the adjustment/correction in their chemistry and - no more of that problem. It is in a concentrated form in a 16 ounce, white plastic bottle which will probably last you into next season if your garden is not huge. Our neighbors now use it because they saw the difference in their yield and ours. Happy harvesting.

need help with my green peppers

By Dory Roth

I have gotten peppers on my plants but one now developed a soft mushy brown spot on the side. It is not on either end but in the middle. What is causing this? It has been 95 and scorching hot sun. Can someone help me? thanks in advance. I don't wnt to lose all these peppers if they all start to get like that.

Most likely, the peppers are

By Almanac Staff

Most likely, the peppers are suffering from blossom end rot, which can spread to any area of the fruit and is not always on the "ends". Provide a good mulch to prevent moisture evaporation, and shade your plants during the hottest hours of the day. Keep the soil evenly moist like a wrung out sponge, not wet and not completely dried out.

peppers shade

By Anonymous

How would provide shade for these bell pepper plants during the hottest part of the day.

Shade

By Catherine Boeckmann

If you don't have natural foliage for shade, buy shade cloth at your garden store. Get the lightest weight because you still need sunlight for those peppers!

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