Bell Peppers Planting, Development, And Harvesting

Bell pepper planting, development, and harvesting

Bell pepper planting, development, and harvesting

Updated on 9/26/2023
Emma DowneyBy Emma Downey
Gardening Expert
Learn More about Emma Downey

Peppers are a crop that does best during the warm seasons and may be found in various colors, forms, and sizes. Peppers also come in a variety of shapes and sizes. More good news: Most types resist garden pests! Please refer to our planting, growing, and harvesting guide for further information on peppers.

About Bell Peppers

  • Botanical Name: Capsicum annuum
  • Plant Type: Vegetable
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun
  • pH ranges from slightly acidic to neutral in the soil.
  • Bloom Time:Summer
  • White is the color of the flower.


Because peppers need a long growing season (60 to 90 days), most home gardeners opt to acquire starter pepper plants from a garden nursery rather than produce peppers from seed. That is because peppers require a long growing season. On the other hand, if you want to grow your peppers, you should start the seeds inside to achieve the best results. In the late winter or early spring, northern gardeners should cover the soil in their outdoor planting beds with black plastic as soon as possible. That will help warm the ground and get it ready for planting.

Both red and green peppers are excellent sources of vitamin C, and they also contain trace amounts of vitamin A and tiny pieces of a variety of minerals in addition to their high vitamin C content. They are delicious when eaten raw in salads or as a snack with hummus or another type of dip, and they are mouthwateringly good. You may also bake filled peppers by flavoring meat or bread crumbs with various seasonings, then fill the peppers with the mixture before baking them.

Even though the directions for growing hot peppers are relatively similar to the instructions for growing sweet peppers, this article focuses on producing sweet peppers. Visit this page if you are interested in increasing hot peppers rather than cultivating sweet peppers. In addition, we also include instructions on how to grow jalapeno peppers in your garden.


Pick a location for your pepper plantation that gets an adequate amount of light and has moist soil but is not drenched for the best possible harvest of peppers. It is possible to improve the soil's capacity to drain water effectively and warm up quickly by incorporating an appropriate amount of sandy and loamy constituents into the ground. When working with a high clay concentration dirt, it is of the utmost importance to mix considerable amounts of organic matter, such as compost, into the ground. You can do this in several different ways.

Because doing so puts peppers at risk of contracting a disease, it is imperative that peppers not be grown in soil that has recently been used for the cultivation of other members of the nightshade family, such as tomatoes, potatoes, or eggplants. That is because growing peppers in such soil put them at risk of contracting the disease.

When To Plant Peppers

  • Plant the seeds in pots or containers eight to ten weeks before the date of the final spring frost is expected to occur in your region. Because of this, the pepper seeds will be able to germinate within.
  • It is safe to plant pepper starts or transplants outside approximately two to three weeks after the last chance of frost has passed, and the soil temperature has reached 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius).
When To Plant Peppers

When To Plant Peppers

How To Start Peppers Indoors

  • Plant the pepper seeds one-fourth of an inch deep, three to a container, and then bring the container inside. That will allow you to start the process of growing peppers indoors. To speed the germination process, maintain the soil's temperature at a minimum of 21 degrees Celsius (or 70 degrees Fahrenheit). To achieve temperatures of this type, it is pretty likely that you will need to use some heated propagator or heat pad in addition to some grow lights.
  • In ideal conditions, seedlings should take around two weeks to emerge. However, some varieties require as much as five weeks; thus, you shouldn't give up on them too fast! Take out the seedling that seems to have the least potential to become a healthy plant, and then allow the two pepper plants that are still alive in each container to grow together to form a single organism. The leaves of two different plants shielded the peppers from the elements, which provides protection that is typically greater than that they would receive from two other plants.
  • You can transplant your seedlings into a larger pot up to the point where their lowest leaves are located, just like you would with tomatoes if you notice that they are getting too skinny or too tall before it is appropriate to plant them outside. You can do this if you see that they are getting these characteristics before it is fair to plant them outside. They will benefit from this support. When they are ready to be produced, seedlings need to be kept in warm temperatures and given plenty of light. When the plants have between five and eight leaves and you can see roots coming through the drainage holes, it is time to report them into a larger container. You can tell when it is time to do this by looking at the number of leaves.
sweet pepper

sweet pepper

  • Because peppers are so sensitive, it is essential to wait around ten days before transferring seedlings outside to give them time to adjust to reduced temperatures and get acclimated.

How To Plant Peppers Outdoors

  • If you are planning to purchase pepper seedlings, you should search for ones with strong and straight stems, between four and six leaves, and no blooms or fruit on them. To properly harden off pepper plants, you should move them outside at least a week after the date when there is no longer a risk of frost or when the average daily temperature is above 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius).
  • Put 8 to 10 inches of compost and aged manure into the garden before transplanting. After this, rake the ground several times to break up the large clods and prepare them for transplantation.
  • If you want to plant seedlings or transplants, you should wait until the soil temperature reaches 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius) before doing so. It would help if you began warming the soil around one week before you want to plant by covering it with black plastic or a bark mulch, which will speed up the warming process. Because of this, you will be able to start planting early.
  • When it comes to getting the best possible results from transplanting peppers, it is best to do it in the evening or on a day when the sky is gloomy. It will stop the plants from becoming too dry and wilted due to the current drying out.
bell pepper

bell pepper

  • The transplant holes are recommended to have a depth of between three and four inches and be placed between twelve and eighteen inches along the row. Place the rows at a spacing of about two and three feet away from one another. When you've finished digging the holes, fill them with water and let them sit for a while before planting anything. Put two to three wooden matchsticks (for sulfur) and one teaspoon of fertilizer low in nitrogen and high in phosphorus into each planting hole. The fertilizer should be low in nitrogen and rich in phosphorus (too much nitrogen will reduce the fruit set).
  • When you take the transplant from its tray or pot, be careful not to harm its roots; instead, try to leave as much earth as you can around the new plant's diameter. It is recommended that the transplants be placed roughly one inch deeper in the new container than were previously located in the container from which they originated. The hole should be stuffed with earth, and you should pack the soil around the plant in a haphazard fashion. Create a slightly recessed area around each plant and chisel it out so that water may gather there.
  • After planting the seeds, you must ensure they get enough water.
  • It is frequently beneficial to use liquid fertilizer material at this time, such as manure tea or commencing fertilizer, among other examples.
  • So that you won't have to worry about removing the plant from the ground in the future, if necessary, you may use cages or stakes to provide lateral support for your plants to prevent them from leaning over. You could want to try utilizing tomato cages made of wire and shaped like cones, which are readily available for purchase. They might not be ideal for tomatoes, but they are just what you want to cultivate peppers successfully. You may also consider building your supports and trellises for your garden.

If you want to know how to grow bell peppers, watch this video.

HOW to PLANT and GROW PEPPERS plus TIPS for growing peppers in HOT CLIMATES


  • You should maintain a weekly watering regimen of between 1 and 2 inches of water at all times. Peppers appreciate a good bath, but they should be left to nearly dry out in between waterings since they need a time in which they are relatively dry. However, this does not indicate that you should water peppers in a shallow manner. For the best results in fostering healthy root development, the optimal way of watering is both gradual and profound. Do not let your pepper plants wilt since this will cause a reduction in the amount of fruit they produce as well as a drop in the quality of the fruit they have. In addition, pepper that receives irregular watering is more likely to develop blossom-end rot, which can be a fatal disease for the plant.
  • If you reside in an area that is often very hot and dry, or if it is now the middle of summer, you may probably need to water your plants every single day. It is essential to consider that in arid regions and at an altitude of about 1,200 meters (4,000 feet), sweet bell peppers commonly fail to develop a thick, meaty wall.
green bell pepper

green bell pepper

  • Peppers can only tolerate a moderate amount of heat before they start to wilt. Stressful conditions include temperatures exceeding 85° to 90°F in the afternoon or below 60°F at night, which can cause the plant's blooms to fall off. Covering rows with shade cloth or row covers will help protect you from heat stress and sunburn (exposure to direct sun rays during hot weather which will cause peppers to get a papery, blister, or get papery).
  • The use of mulch will assist in maintaining consistent moisture levels and preventing the growth of weeds.
  • When pulling weeds from around the plants, you need to be careful not to cause any damage to the plant roots.
  • It is a widespread fallacy that pepper plants may benefit from having Epsom salts added to the water used to water them, and this is not the situation at all. Reading the information presented here should help you become more knowledgeable about Epsom salts.

In case you were looking for a video on how to maximize the yield of your pepper plants, here's another wonderful one!

Make Peppers Grow Faster! (Improve Growth & Ripening Rates) - Pepper Geek

Keep an eye out for pepper kinds that reach their full color more rapidly; fully grown peppers are the healthiest option, not to mention the most delicious!

  • Green peppers that ripen into red varieties are named "Lady Bell," "Gypsy," "Bell Boy," and "Lipstick."
  • Orange: 'Milena,' 'Orange Sun'
  • "Golden California Wonder" is written in yellow.


  • It would be best if you started gathering the fruit as soon as the plants begin producing it, as soon as it has reached its full size and established its full color, whichever comes first. It would be best if you did this as quickly as possible. Taking cuttings from plants at regular intervals encourages the plant to produce more flowers, resulting in more fruit production.
  • However, the longer bell peppers are allowed to mature on the plant, the sweeter they get and the greater their vitamin C content grows.


  • Using a sharp knife or pair of scissors is recommended to pluck peppers from the plant without causing damage to the peppers themselves.

How To Store Peppers

  • Once collected, peppers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week in plastic bags, provided they are well packed.
  • The family of peppers known as bell peppers may be preserved in the freezer for use at a later time. Have a look at these pepper-freezing instructions if you're interested.
  • Additionally, peppers can be dried and utilized in the following ways: Prepare the oven with a temperature of 140 degrees. After cleaning the fruit, cut off the center and remove the seeds. It has to be sectioned off into strips with a width of 0.5 inches. After steaming for around 10 minutes, the mixture was divided on a baking sheet before being placed in the oven. Dry in the oven for four to six hours, rotating the trays and altering their positions at regular intervals. As soon as it has reached the desired temperature, package it in airtight plastic bags or storage containers, and place it in the refrigerator.

Wit And Wisdom

Capsaicin is the chemical that gives hot peppers their spice and fire; however, sweet bell peppers do not contain this molecule. Capsaicin is the chemical that gives hot peppers their spice and heat. Capsaicin is the compound responsible for providing spicy peppers with their signature taste.

Do Different-Colored Peppers Come From Different Plants? 

This information may shock you, but the green and red bell peppers that are so commonly found in grocery stores are, in essence, the same pepper. The red bell peppers are left on the vine for longer than green bell peppers to achieve a fuller, more flavorful development before being picked. Furthermore, the amount of time a bell pepper spends on the plant is closely correlated with the quantity of vitamin C it contains; as a result, red peppers contain a higher concentration of vitamin C than green peppers do (and taste sweeter).

Are There Male And Female Peppers?

People tend to believe that pepper fruits may be either male or female. That is a common misconception. Urban legend states that male peppers have three bumps on the bottom and are more suited for cooking, but female peppers have four spots on the bottom, contain more seeds, are sweeter, and are better suited for eating raw. 

bell pepper

bell pepper

There is no truth to this urban legend, despite its widespread circulation. Male peppers have the potential to develop into female peppers, and this is not the case in any way, shape, or form! There is no such thing as a male or female pepper fruit; any apparent differences between pepper fruits are related to the development environment or the variety. Male and female pepper fruits are not physically distinguishable from one another.


Pollination can be negatively impacted by temperatures as low as 60 degrees Fahrenheit (16 degrees Celsius) and as high as 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius). The rapid growth of the plant's leaves may be the consequence of an overabundance of nitrogen in the soil; however, you may thwart fruit development. Flowers can wilt when exposed to scorching temperatures or when there is a significant lack of humidity in the air. In circumstances with substantial dryness in the air, it is essential to saturate the soil and spray the plants with water thoroughly.

Spider mites and aphids are two common forms of pests that target pepper plants, especially those pepper plants that are grown in greenhouses. Spider mites thrive in environments with high temperatures and low levels of humidity. These mites may be identified by the appearance of a thin web on the underside of the leaves. When you first see signs of an infestation, you must treat these areas with a fine mist constantly. That will assist in creating an atmosphere that is as unpleasant to the mites as it is possible to make it.

bell peppers

bell peppers

Aphids are another kind of pest that prefer to live on the undersides of leaves, although they can also be discovered in other parts of the plant. Squash isolated clusters, or for more severe infestations, transfer plants out into the open, away from other peppers, and then carefully flip the plants upside down so you can brush them off. Squash isolated clusters. For more extreme infestations. Insects known as spider mites and aphids are two of the most common pests that feed on pepper plants, particularly those grown in greenhouses or other controlled environments. Spider mites, which can be identified by the presence of small webs on the undersides of leaves, flourish in hot and dry climates because these conditions are excellent for their reproduction. It is feasible to create an atmosphere that is as unwelcoming to the mites as possible by spraying the affected regions with a fine mist regularly and consistently at the first sign of an infestation.

Aphids are another kind of pest that prefer to live on the undersides of leaves, although they can also be discovered in other parts of the plant. Squash isolated clusters, or for more acute infestations, take plants out into the open, away from other peppers, and carefully flip the plants upside down so that you may brush or blast the aphids off with a hose. This method is more effective than simply squashing isolated clusters.



You may discover further information on illnesses and pests in the chart that is shown in the next section:

Bell Pepper Pests And Diseases

Pest/Disease Type Symptoms Control/Prevention
Anthracnose FungusSpots that are yellow, brown, purple, or black on the leaves; deep, dark spots on the stems and fruit; spots that may create a salmon-pink, gelatinous mass; ultimately, the plants decay.Destroy sick plants, pick resistant kinds, provide enough drainage, stay away from watering from above, use compost to improve nutrition, mulch, and rotate crops.
Aphids InsectLeaves that are misshapen and yellow, flowers and fruit that are twisted, sticky "honeydew" (excrement generated by aphids), sooty, black mold that grows on honeydew, and a massive population of ants on plants are all symptoms of aphid infestation.Grow companion plants that will either lure aphids away (like nasturtiums) or actively ward them off (like basil, rosemary, and plants with a strong aroma); Spray the plants with water to remove aphids and apply insecticidal soap; place banana or orange peel around the plants; wipe the leaves with a solution of liquid dish soap and water at a concentration of 1-2 percent every 2-3 days for two weeks; add native plants to the garden to attract natural enemies of aphids.
Bacterial Leaf SpotBacteriaVariable; water-soaked rust or black patches on the leaf between the veins will eventually dry and fall out, creating holes; leaves will yellow, wilt, and eventually die; stem cankers will form.Destroy sick sections or plants that are highly infected (do not compost); remove plant detritus regularly; disinfect instruments; minimize plant stress or injury; provide enough air circulation, and stay away from watering plants above.
Blossom-End RotDisorder It is caused by an insufficient intake of calcium in the body.
The blossom end of the fruit, which is the side opposite the stem, may develop dark and water-soaked patches. These spots may expand and become hollow, leathery, and rotten.
Remove any fruit that has been harmed, plant at the correct temperature for the soil, water well and evenly, apply mulch, maintain the correct pH (6.5) and nutritional levels in the soil, avoid adding too much nitrogen, provide enough drainage, and avoid harming the roots.
Colorado Potato Beetles Insect Orange-yellow eggs are deposited in clusters on the undersides of leaves; the larvae and adults gnaw holes in the surrounding vegetation.Handpick the eggs, larvae, and adult beetles, apply straw mulch, weed around the plants, use row coverings, and dispose of all plant materials at the end of the season. Implement crop rotation practices.
Cucumber Mosaic VirusVirusVariable symptoms may include but are not limited to: short stature; mottled green, yellow, and white pattern or ringed spots on leaves or fruit; deformed leaf growth; warts on fruit.Aphids are a common vector of infection. Eliminate diseased plants, select resistant kinds and seeds tested and verified to be virus-free, use row covers, clean gardening tools after each use, maintain a weed-free garden, and apply mulch.
Flea Beetles Insect A significant number of tiny holes found in the leaf (as if a tiny shotgun had hit them)Use row covers to prevent flea beetles from physically invading your garden, mulch extensively, and add native plants to attract predatory insects that are good for your garden.
Leaf Miners Insect Tunneling larvae are the cause of the meandering blisters found on leaves.Remove any leaves that have been infected, weed, apply row covers, and till the soil early in the season. Changing the planting order regularly
Root-Knot Nematodes Insect The roots "knot" or become galled, and the plants grow stunted, yellow, or wilted.Destroy any afflicted plant matter, paying specific attention to the roots; select resistant plant species; solarize the soil; add compost or manure that has aged; sterilize gardening tools between uses, and till the ground in the fall. Implement crop rotation practices.
Spider Mites Insect Delicate webs; leaves with yellow spots on the underside; leaves with brown edges or bronze or yellow centers; leaf drop.Plants should be washed with water and misted regularly; You should also use insecticide soap.
Tomato Hornworms Insect Gnawed leaves (beginning at the top of the plant), fast defoliation, black and green feces, and fruit with gouges.Check the undersides of the leaves to look for hornworms, then remove them by hand and throw them away. (If you come across hornworms with cocoons on their backs that look like white grains of rice, you should not kill them but instead move them since they belong to helpful parasitic wasps.) you should till the soil in the fall and the spring, companion plants should include dill, basil, and marigolds, and you should spray plants with Bt to prevent hornworm infestation (Bacillus thuringiensis).




  • Pickled Peppers
  • Fire-Roasted Tomato And Red Pepper Soup
  • Roasted Red Pepper, Mozzarella, And Basil-Stuffed Chicken
  • Roasted Butternut And Red Pepper Dip

Cooking Notes

Peppers are a delicious addition to a wide variety of foods, including sandwiches, pizza, scrambled eggs, salads, and dips.

cooking notes

cooking notes

We also take pleasure in preparing peppers in the kitchen, whether they take the form of smokey roasted peppers, meat, rice-filled peppers, or beef stir-fry.

In addition to that, peppers can be pickled. Check out this tutorial on how to create plucked peppers!

Peppers are a crop that does best during the warm seasons and may be found in various colors, shapes, and sizes. Peppers are also known as capsicums. In addition, peppers have a wide range of possible forms and dimensions. Even better news: the majority of kids are resistant to garden pests! Please refer to our planting, growing, and harvesting guide for additional information on peppers.