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Growing Capsicum, also Bell peppers, Sweet peppers

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec

Not recommended for growing in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions

  • 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

21 Mar 18, (Australia - temperate climate)
what weather conditions do capsicum plants grow in. do they grow better in the sun or the shade?
18 Feb 18, Ken (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I planted well developed "red" capsicum seedlings mid November on well drained fertile soil. The plants grew vigorousely and needed staking. Most of the fruit showed white patches which enlarge with time an some were attacked by wasps and possibly birds. What might becthe cause?
12 Feb 18, Paiseelee Hape (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Will the plant keep growing after picking
13 Feb 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Most vegetables are annual - germinate - grow - fruit/seed and then die. The cycle of life.
10 Feb 18, Gerald (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Both chilli and bell peppers are growing exceptionally well but a bug is drilling a hole into the top of all of them. The bell peppers are filling up with water and rotting before I know it's happened. The chillis are ok to pick. Have cut the fruit open but I can't see anything inside. Any ideas?
22 Jan 18, zeta (Australia - temperate climate)
just learned about male and female capsicum my question is do I need both seeds or will they grow from either?
31 Jan 18, Brenda (Australia - temperate climate)
Capsicum are like cucumber, pumpkin etc. You plant any old seed of the variety you want and the plant comes up. It will then grow flowers. some flowers are male, and some are female (the female ones have a teeny tiny miniature fruit under them). Little creatures, often bees but some other pollinators too, will flit between the flowers and spread the pollen around fertilising any female (fruiting) flowers that are growing on the plant. Successful pollination, and you should get some capsicums pretty easily depending on when you plant them and where you live. Capsicum like hot weather and long growing season. Often treated an annual down south and a perennial up north. Good luck
26 Jan 18, Mike (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Just buy some seeds or take some from a capsicum and plant them.
26 Dec 17, (Australia - temperate climate)
hi why is my capsicums flowers but not fruiting?
28 Dec 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Check on the internet about capsicum pollination time. I have read that they require a certain temperature to pollinate. Something like 18-23 degrees, not say 15. I have just finished my crop - not the best because the plants were shaded by egg plants a lot. Try watering down at the root zone and not the bush.
Showing 1 - 10 of 421 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. GardenGrow 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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