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

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
  • 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

26 Apr 20, Kath (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I have a green and yellow bell pepper plant that are still producing, although the yellow ones are black and I’m not sure if they will turn yellow. Shouldn’t they have finished producing by now? We are still getting some sunny days but the days are shorter and cooler, I’m just wondering if these peppers will reach maturity now we are in Autumn?
28 Apr 20, Anon (New Zealand - temperate climate)
If you have had a good/great crop I would be happy with that. They may produce but what is the quality like?
10 Dec 19, Jenny Cathcart (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Should laterals be picked off capsicums? Thank you.
16 Jan 19, Shirley (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I have two very healthy looking plants but they only have one large capsicum on each plant even though there were more flowers...should I have picked the fruit when small to encourage more to grow? They were planted in fresh tub mix.
17 Jan 19, Mike Logan (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Look up website biobees about pollination of capsicums. No don't pick fruit off.
22 Dec 18, David Maunder (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Do they need fertilising and if so what do you use
02 Jan 19, Mem (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Yes they do,I use wally's strawberry fertilizer and a general liquid feed every 2 weeks.Its also a good idea to make sure they get enough calcium as this can effect the fruit.They will produce fruit without feeding but it is generally small and you get much less.
29 Dec 18, Mike (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
All plants need a good fertiliser base - best to do before planting. Ask at a nursery or Bunnings etc. A good handful spread over a square meter or so - mix it in well a two weeks before planting. Or a good mixture of composted material dug in 2 weeks before.
11 Oct 18, Katherine (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Other than basil is there anything else i can plant with capsicum like lettace and radishes, spring onion? As they are going to be in raised gardens im trying to maximise space
12 Oct 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Just give them some area to grow - they could shade other plants which could stunt them a bit. Yep go ahead with your suggestions. If you can find shallot bulbs try them - quick and easy to grow. Or just try a succession of the smaller plants you are talking about. i try and plant taller plants in one end of my garden and smaller in the other end - swap next time I plant.
Showing 1 - 10 of 34 comments

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