So, you’ve decided to try your hand at growing your own peppers. If you’re new to vegetable gardening, these plants are a great choice since they are very resilient and require minimal effort to grow. We show you how to grow peppers of all types by starting them from seed and planting them outdoors.
The fun thing about pepper plants is there are so many varieties of peppers that there is a type for everyone. Try sweet bell peppers for grilling and baking or adding to salads, and hot peppers, such as the habanero, for adding to Mexican recipes and spicy meals.
Not only are they versatile, but pepper growing is one of the easiest forms of vegetable gardening.
Give them some proper soil to plant their feet in, a decent amount of sunshine, and a drink of water when they need it, and pepper plants thank you by producing a healthy crop of delicious fruits.
- How to Grow and Care for Pepper Plants
- What to Know before Growing Peppers
- Easiest Way to Grow Peppers from Seeds
- How to Grow Peppers in the Vegetable Garden
- Can You Grow Peppers in Pots?
- Companion Planting with Pepper Plants
- How to Care for Your Pepper Plants
- How Long Does It Take Peppers to Grow?
- Common Problems to Watch for in a Pepper Garden
How to Grow and Care for Pepper Plants
We explain how to start peppers from seed, transplant them outdoors in the garden or container, and ways to care for your new plants to help them give you the healthiest peppers at the end of the growing season. Whether you want to grow Shishito peppers, jalapenos, or bell peppers, we have the tips you need.
What to Know before Growing Peppers
Growing peppers is pretty straightforward, whether they are chilli peppers, such as cayenne or banana peppers, or bell peppers. What is a serrano pepper? These spicy peppers are just as easy to grow as other pepper types. However, there are still some things to know and steps to take to ensure that they thrive and provide you with a good crop.
Pepper Plants (Capsicum)
All plants demand food, water, and sunlight to flourish, and some need more than others. When planting jalapenos and other pepper varieties, make sure you keep these three necessities in mind.
Peppers are sun-lovers and expect six to eight hours of full sun each day, so it’s vital to plan your garden or raised bed in an area where they receive a decent amount of sunshine.
They also want the right soil temperature to promote germination. If you plan on planting seeds and live in a colder climate, consider starting them indoors.
However, if you purchase young plants from the nursery, and the last frost is over, it’s safe to plant them directly outdoors.
Small pepper plants do not require staking, but some of the larger varieties, like bell peppers, want support. If you plant large types, consider placing a tomato cage over the plant or fasten them to a garden stake.
Easiest Way to Grow Peppers from Seeds
Pepper plants enjoy growing in hot climates and need warmth to germinate. Therefore, the best way to grow bell peppers and other pepper varieties is to start seeds inside before the last frost. Here is how to grow peppers from seeds by growing peppers indoors.
Begin by picking your favorite from the many different types of peppers. Bell peppers have no heat at all, while chili peppers contain varying degrees of capsaicin and heat.
Seven weeks before the last frost, prepare your seeds by filling a seed starting tray almost to the top with potting soil and get it damp by spraying it with water. Use your finger to move a small bit of the soil aside and drop a seed on the dirt.
Brush the soil back in place and pack it down lightly with your hand. After planting all the desired seeds, place the tray in front of a sunny window where the temperature is around 80°F.
If you don’t have a warm window, consider using a grow light. Keep the seeds damp but not soaked by spraying them with water each day and wait for them to germinate in one to two weeks.
How to Grow Peppers in the Vegetable Garden
A garden bed is an ideal place to grow a bell pepper or jalapeno pepper plant, and transplanting them outdoors is easy. Here is how to grow chili peppers from seedlings or young plants from the garden center in a vegetable garden.
If you’re transplanting peppers outside after germination, make sure to harden off the young plants first by taking them outside each day for a week to acclimate. It’s safe to begin planting peppers in your garden outdoors once the nighttime temperatures are above 50°F.
Prepare the garden by digging holes 18 to 24 inches apart, making them slightly larger than the plant’s root or pot. Remove each plant from the original container and set them in the hole.
Fill the dirt in around the base and pat it down lightly with your hands. Spread some mulch over the garden, water them well to help the plants settle, and feed them with an organic fertilizer.
Can You Grow Peppers in Pots?
These plants are perfect candidates for container growing if you don’t have a vegetable garden or yard space for growing peppers, whether you are growing tabasco peppers or jalapenos. Here is how to grow all pepper varieties in a raised bed or pot on the patio.
Pick a container or pot with at least a twelve-inch diameter. Fill it with potting mix until it’s about three-quarters of the way full.
Remove the young plant from its original pot, loosen the roots a little and then place it in the container. Pour more dirt around the bottom of the plant, and pat it down lightly with your hand.
If you’re planting them in a raised bed, make sure to space them 18 to 24 inches apart. Sprinkle some mulch in the pot to retain moisture, water it well, and feed the plant with an organic fertilizer.
Companion Planting with Pepper Plants
After you grow peppers from seeds and are ready to plant them in the garden, it’s important to decide where to plant them in the bed. It’s a good idea to plant peppers alongside companion plants to promote healthy growth and harvest.
Plant your peppers near lots of flowers to encourage pollination. If you’re preparing a garden of mixed vegetables, consider growing lettuce, spinach, basil, tomatoes, carrots, and dill with your peppers.
These plants work well together, and some of them deter garden pests. Avoid planting fennel, broccoli, cabbage, and other Brassica family members near your peppers since these do not make suitable companions.
How to Care for Your Pepper Plants
Now that you’ve got your pepper plants situated in the garden, it’s time to give them the care and maintenance they desire. While nature is good at providing them with sunshine and rain, they still require a little help from you to thrive.
Ensure that your pepper plants receive a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight each day. If your garden soil is lacking in nutrients, consider adding organic matter and a well-balanced fertilizer.
Spread black plastic mulch throughout the garden or in the pots to retain moisture and stop weeds, and water your plants when the top part of the soil is somewhat dry.
Proper spacing is essential when growing pepper plants since crowded plants are prone to fungal disease. If you get an unexpected frost, cover your young plants with plastic bags or sheets to protect them from freezing.
How Long Does It Take Peppers to Grow?
Gardening is not only hard work, but patience is a must as you wait for your plants to mature. How long do pepper plants take to grow, and when are the fruits ready for harvesting?
Pepper Plant Growth Rate
The first step in the growing process is germination. This is the time when the plant emerges from the seed. Whether you grow ghost peppers, jalapenos, or bell peppers, most pepper plants take about a week to germinate, but some take two weeks or more.
The time it takes for a plant to grow to maturity after germination varies between peppers. California Wonder peppers take about 75 days to mature, while bell pepper plants take roughly 60 to 90 days.
Picking bell peppers is the best part of the growing process! Jalapeno peppers take 70 to 85 days to get fresh peppers for your favorite recipes.
Common Problems to Watch for in a Pepper Garden
While pepper plants do not have as many problems as some other garden veggies, they do have a few issues to watch for. Here are some signs that your plants are struggling with either pests or disease.
Insects are among the first things that come to mind when thinking about garden problems, and aphids and cutworms are two of the most common to affect pepper plants.
Aphids are tiny, green bugs that hide beneath leaves and leave a sticky sap on stems. Cutworms are small green worms that usually go after seedlings. Both of them are destructive and soapy water works well to eliminate the problem.
Another common issue for peppers is disease. Blossom-end rot causes the bottom of the fruit to turn brown and rotten, and this is the result of soil that lacks calcium.
Mosaic virus is a viral disease spread by insects, and there is no cure. Pepper plants become stunted, and the leaves take on a mosaic appearance. The best way to halt this is to kill aphids as soon as you spot them.
Anthracnose is a fungus that spreads from the soil to the plant from splashing rain and watering. Large lesions form on the pepper fruits, and it’s vital to prevent this disease by laying mulch in the garden.
Planting peppers is so simple that even those without a green thumb can do it, whether they are red, sweet peppers, or spicy green peppers. The key is to give them proper soil, sunlight, water, and the attention they crave, and your pepper plants do all the rest.
Knowing how to grow peppers means that you get to enjoy a harvest of sweet and hot peppers when the growing season nears an end, so why not share our pepper growing tips and guide with the pepper-lovers in your life on Pinterest and Facebook?