56 Bell Pepper Plant Types: Growing Bell Peppers Inside/Out, Planting, Care Tips

Georgette Kilgore headshot, wearing 8 Billion Trees shirt with forest in the background.Written by Georgette Kilgore

Gardening | April 1, 2024

Man slicing orange bell pepper plant fruit after learning about types to plant indoors and outdoors, how to grow bell peppers, and care tips for growing pepper plants.

Did you know that you really don’t have to have much space if you want to grow a bell pepper plant?

It’s true. Bell peppers are highly nutritious and delicious, and they can add a ton of flavor and character to any cuisine, making them the perfect addition to any garden.

But, an outdoor locations is required, you can grow bell peppers at home in your kitchen (or in your backyard garden), you just need to know a few tricks.

The most common varieties of bell peppers (green, red, and yellow) are found in grocery stores around the world, but there are many other colors, such as orange, purple, and white, that are also relatively easy to grow.

In this guide, Bell Pepper plant types are explored, as well as the best growing conditions, so that you can pick the pepper you want and reap a delicious harvest in just a few weeks.

Bell Pepper

(Capsicum annuum)

Bell Pepper Plant in oval frame on green background.
  • Family: Solanaceae
  • Genus: Capsicum
  • Leaf: Dark green, black, or purple, glossy surface, up to 3 inches long, oval-shaped
  • Seed: Bulb-shaped, flat, and beige with pointed tip
  • Fruit: True Berry
  • Blossoms: White flowers
  • Native Habitat: Caribbean, Central America, Mexico and northern South America
  • Height: 1-2 Feet
  • Canopy: Moderate leaf coverage
  • Type: Angiosperm
  • Native Growing Zone: 10B+ as Perrenial, 2+ as annual

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species Ranking

Least Concern


Image Credit: Sr. M. Jutta (s-ms_1989)30

Here are some additional interesting facts about the bell pepper plant (Capsicum annum):

  • Domestication Date: 4,500 BC
  • Pollination Method: Self-Pollinating
  • Characteristics: Tropical plant, sensitive to frost
  • U.S. Production: About 4.7 million pounds per year

What Is a Bell Pepper?

While bell peppers are commonly referred to as vegetables in the culinary world, they are actually fruits of the nightshade family of plants, which are small shrubs called Capsicum annum. The large amount of seeds you find inside every bell pepper is proof that they are fruit.

The name bell pepper was coined by Europeans in the 16th century who mistakenly thought that the fruit was related to black pepper, a plant from India. In Spanish-speaking countries, bell peppers are grouped with chiles, and in Asia, they are referred to as Capsicum.

Types of Bell Pepper Plants: List of Varieties

The United States National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) has thousands of listings for Capsicum annum cultivars used throughout the world. Hundreds of these are for sweet varieties, including bell peppers, but a list that long would not be useful to you, the home gardener.2

Types of Bell Peppers graphic showing Ace, Alma Paprika, Autry, Bella Noir, Big Bertha, Blushing Beauty, Brocanto, Bull Nose Bell, Cabernet Hybrid, and Cajun Belle images.

The following table lists the most common cultivars that you’re most likely to find as seedlings at your local nursery or as seeds at online stores.

Variety NameColorDays To GrowDescription
1. AceRed70Ace grows relatively quickly to green in just 50 days and dark red in just 70 days, and it produces great yields in cooler, alpine climates.
2. Alma PaprikaRed80The Alma Paprika is commonly used to create dried red pepper powder, called paprika, but can also be used in a variety of dishes.
3. AutryRed80This red variety grows well in the Southeast United States and is resistant to the tomato spotted wilt virus. The plant produces bulky fruit with high yields.
4. Bella NoirPurple70The Bella Noir bell pepper ripens to such a deep purple it can often appear black. Inside, the peppers are green and have a flesh with a subtle, mild flavor.
5. Big BerthaGreen60The Big Bertha variety of Capsicum annum produces some of the biggest bell peppers you’ll find, measuring up to 12 inches. While most commonly consumed in its green form, the fruits eventually mature to red.
6. Blushing BeautyRed70The Blushing Beauty varietal is highly resistant to disease and can produce stunning peppers with visually striking features. They are also very tasty.
7. BrocantoYellow80The bright yellow Brocanto grows on tall, sturdy pepper plants that have strong resistance to the tobacco mosaic virus, making them suitable for planting across North America.
8. Bull Nose BellRed75The classic North American bell pepper that transforms from a crisp green to a sweet red.
9. Cabernet HybridDark Red80These richly red bell peppers can grow up to 8 by 6 inches and have a delectably sweet taste.
10. Cajun BelleRed80Uncharacteristic for a bell pepper, the Cajun Belle has heat similar to a jalapeno with a pleasant balance of sweetness.

Types of Bell Peppers graphics showing California Wonder, Canary Bell, Chinese Giant, Cupid, Diamond Ivory, Doe Hill, Emerald Giant, Eros, and Flavorburst images.

VarietyColorDays To GrowDescription
11. California WonderRed75This popular, classic bell pepper is easy to grow and turns from a silky green to a rich red hue when ripe.
12. Canary BellYellow75These early to mature sweet bell peppers have a beautiful canary yellow hue and are perfect for growing in more northern climates.
13. Chinese GiantRed80When it was originally bred, the Chinese Giant was the largest bell pepper around, and now it can reliably grow to 5 inches.
14. Chocolate BeautyBrown85A deliciously sweet, large variety that transforms from green to a beautiful chocolate brown.
15. CupidRed75The fruits of the cupid prefer the shade to direct sun and hide behind the large canopies of their parent plant. The peppers are blocky and usually grow to a max of 2 inches.
16. Diamond IvoryWhite60Treasured for its silky, ivory white sheen, the Diamond Ivory eventually matures to a scarlet-red color if left to ripen on the plant.
17. Doe HillYellow60This mini yellow bell pepper dates back to early 1900s Virginia and has a short growing cycle, which makes it a favorite in Northern gardens.
18. Emerald GiantGreen60Ideal for stuffing, these thick-walled peppers have a great taste and will transform to red if you let them fully ripen.
19. ErosGolden Yellow75As a mini bell pepper, the Eros doesn’t grow very large, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in its delicious sweet and fruity notes.
20. FlavorburstGolden Yellow87These slightly elongated sweet peppers start out with a lime green color but mature to a stunning golden yellow that hints at some impressive sweet flavors.

Types of Bell Peppers graphic showing Golden Cal Wonder, Goldrush, Gourmet, Horizon Orange, Hungarian Cheese, Intruder, Islander, King of the North, Lamuyo, and Lilac images.

VarietyColorDays To GrowDescription
21. Golden Cal WonderYellow78A 4-lobed pepper with thick flesh that transforms to a very golden yellow color when fully ripe.
22. GoldrushYellowGoldrush sweet bell peppers have a luminous yellow color that makes them striking visually. They are also sweet with a refreshingly crisp texture.
23. GourmetOrange85The hearty plant produces 6-12 large, thick-walled orange bell peppers and is resistant to the Toboacco Moasaic Virus.
24. Horizon OrangeOrange75Once considered a rare cultivar that was passed down from generation to generation, you can now grow the Horizon Orange in your own garden easily.
25. Hungarian CheeseMix60The stout Hungarian Cheese peppers have very thick walls and are shaped more like a tomato than other bell peppers.
26. IntruderRed82This hybrid bell pepper plant grows large fruit with thick walls and is resistant to a broad range of plant diseases. The Intruder grows well in the Northeast and Midwest.
27. IslanderLavender81The Islander produces 3-lobed bell peppers that transform to a rich lavender hue after showing orange and yellow streaking.
28. King of the NorthRed70As the name suggests, these hearty plants are ideal for colder, northern climates due to their short growing cycle.
29. LamuyoRed80Popular in Spain, these long bell peppers are loved for their long, shape, pleasant texture, and versatility in the kitchen.
30. LilacPurple65The Lilac bell pepper transforms from a beautiful ivory white to a deep purple. The thick, juicy flesh is delicious when eaten fresh or cooked.

Types of Bell Peppers graphic showing Lilo, Lipstick, Lunchbox Orange, Merlot F1, Napoleon Sweet, Olympus, Orange Bell, Paladin, and Pinot Noir images.

VarietyColorDays To GrowDescription
31. LiloPurple/Red80In temperate climates, the Lilo bell pepper will begin as a deep purple color and transform into a beautiful red in about 20 days.
32. LipstickRed80Nobody put makeup on this pretty pepper. This heirloom variety has a natural, beautiful color and deliciously sweet flavor that’s adapted to northern climates.
33. Lunchbox OrangeOrange80The Lunchbox Orange is a mini bell pepper that has a fresh, crisp texture that many use for snacks and salads. It grows to about 3 inches long and 2 inches wide.
34. Merlot F1Dark Purple80Named after the rich red wine from which it shares its color, the Merlot F1 bell pepper grows from a hearty plant that can adapt to an array of climates.
35. Mexibell ImprovedRed70The Mexibell is a hybrid bell pepper that was cultivated to inherit the qualities of Spanish paprika and Mexican jalapeno. It’s a bit spicy, a bit sweet, and full of flavor.
36. Napoleon SweetRed90These are elongated bell peppers that are as sweet as apples and can grow up to 8 inches long.
37. OlympusRed85The Olympus cultivar produces very large bell peppers that turn bright red and very sweet when ripened.
38. Orange BellOrange75The fruit of this sweet bell pepper variety turns into a bright, rich orange color when fully ripe.
39. PaladinRed82The extra-large Paladin bell peppers have a beautiful, glossy red exterior and grow on plants with lush leafy canopies.
40. Pinot NoirPurple80One of several cultivars named after wine, the Pinot Noir is a very sweet bell pepper with a stunning color transformation that will make your garden pop.

Types of Bell Peppers graphic showing Procraft, Purple Beauty, Quadrato D'asti Giallo, Snowball, Sprinter, Staddon’s Select, Sunbright, Super Heavyweight F1, and Valahia F1 images.

VarietyColorDays To GrowDescription
41. ProcrafftRed85The Procraft is a green-to-red bell pepper that was bred to withstand a breadth of diseases that commonly impact pepper crops.
42. Purple BeautyPurple80These deep purple peppers have a crisp texture and grow on short, sturdy plants that can survive in a variety of climates.
43. Quadrato Asti GialloYellow75Largely grown in Italy, these robust plants produce large yields of golden yellow peppers with blocky features.
44. SnowballGolden85The Snowball is one of the few varieties of bell peppers that start off a spectacular white and mature to a golden yellow color.
45. SprinterDark Red80Sprinter bell peppers grow on hearty plants that can grow in a variety of climates. They produce high yields of dark, flavorful fruits.
46. Staddon’s SelectRed80This cold-weather adapted bell pepper plant has success consistently producing high yields in zone 3 and 4 climates.
47. SunbrightOrange/Yellow70The Sunbright won’t burn your eyes when you look at it but will still dazzle you with its radiant color. It also tastes just as good as it looks.
48. Super Heavyweight F1Yellow70These behemoth yellow bell pepper plants pack a punch, not in terms of heat, but in ridiculously high yields and massive fruit weighing up to a pound each.
49. Sweet ChocolateBrown60One of the fastest maturing bell peppers around, the Sweet Chocolate produces 4-inch long fruits with dark brown exteriors and delicious brick-red interior flesh.
50. Valahia F1Ivory-Yellow65These early-maturing bell peppers have a unique color and texture and offer versatility in both the garden and the kitchen.

Types of Bell Peppers graphic showing Valencia, Vidi, White Bell, Wisconsin Lakes, Yankee Bell, and Yolo Wonder images.

VarietyColorDays To GrowDescription
51. ValenciaDeep Orange85The Valencia plant produces up to 13 cm orange bell peppers with thick walls that are great for roasting or eating raw.
52. VidiRed90A traditional green to red heirloom bell pepper that has thick walls, making it ideal for grilling and stuffing.
53. White BellPale Yellow90This crisp and juicy white bell pepper grows up to 6 ounces and has a sweet and grassy flavor.
54. Wisconsin LakesRed75Originally developed by a horticulture professor in Wisconsin, this bell pepper matures early and produces reliable yields.
55. Yankee BellRed80Yankee Bell plants produce open-pollinated peppers that are known for their reliable quality in northern climates.
56. Yolo WonderRed90These bright, candy-red bell peppers can grow up to 5 inches and thrive in direct sunlight.

An Overview of How To Grow Bell Pepper

Bell peppers are a great addition to your garden because they are relatively easy to grow, but there are some simple mistakes that can prevent growth that you’ll want to avoid. The early stages of plant growth are most critical because of how the seeds and seedlings of the Capsicum annum respond to temperature.

Later on in the growth cycle, you don’t have to provide as much care, but you’ll still need to make sure the plants grow in the right range of conditions. With these basics, you’ll know how to grow bell peppers like a pro.

Growing Bell Peppers From Seed

Whether or not it’s a good idea to grow your bell peppers from seed depends largely on where you live. In very warm climates, such as the tropics, you can grow peppers from the seed throughout the year, as the soil is warm enough to promote growth.

Closeup shot of a cut Bell Pepper showing clusters of white tiny seeds.

(Image: hartono subagio19)

In more temperate climates, however, it’s not a good idea to try and start with seeds. That’s because there’s not usually enough time for the soil to warm up after the last frost and for the plant to grow before the cold returns.

Of course, you could always start with seeds in a colder climate if you have space to start growing indoors, either inside your house or in a climate-controlled greenhouse. As long as you can keep your soil above 70 degrees Fahrenheit, you should be able to start with seed.

When Should You Plant Bell Pepper for The Best Yield?

To get the best yield from your bell pepper plant, you need to plant at a time that ensures the Capsicum annum can get optimum sunlight and temperature levels. While this varies from location to location, generally speaking, the further south you are the earlier you’ll want to plant.

Florida gardeners may want to start in March while those in Minnesota will get better yields if they plant in June or July.

How To Plant Bell Pepper Seeds

To start planting your bell pepper seeds, put some seed starting mix in a container or tray. An example of a good starting mix would be coir plus perlite.

Next, place the seeds about 1 inch apart from each other on top of the soil mix and gently press them into the soil so that they are secure. Then put about ¼ inch of the seeding mix on top of the seeds.

Water daily without oversoaking the soil.

The mix should be damp and have time to dry throughout the day. You should see sprouts in a week or two.

You can learn more about how to plant bell pepper seeds by reading the best practices section of this guide.

Using Bell Pepper Seedlings

If you can’t match the temperature conditions required for growing bell pepper from seed, or you simply want a head start, getting a seedling from a nursery is a great idea. Using bell pepper seedlings helps you skip several weeks of the growing cycle, which are often the toughest to get right in suboptimal conditions.

Make sure to wait and buy the seedlings when your gardening soil is ready to receive the transplant, which will be about 8 weeks after the last frost when the soil temperature is at least 65 degrees.

How Long It Takes To Grow a Bell Pepper Plant

The average bell pepper plant grows from a seed to having fully mature fruit between 60 and 90 days.

There are some varieties that grow in a bit less time, such as 50 days, but they are usually anomalies. The exact timing for your plant will vary based on the varietal you’re growing, the conditions of your garden, and a variety of other variables that can be hard to predict, such as disease and abnormal weather conditions.

Most bell pepper plants will develop green fruit at about the 60 to 70-day period. They will then transform gradually into their final ripened color, which is most commonly red, a few weeks later.

It’s a good idea to be mindful of how mature you want your peppers to be so that they don’t encounter frost in the fall.

What Conditions Do Red Peppers Need in Order To Grow Well?

The Capsicum annum species is native to the tropics, so they require warm temperatures and relatively high levels of humidity to thrive. They also need soil that can adequately feed their roots, shoots, and leaves.

Certain varietals of bell peppers have different optimal conditions than others, so it’s a good idea to research the type of climate that your cultivar is adapted to.

  • Watering Needs

Bell peppers are native to regions of the planet with frequent thunderstorms throughout the year.9 As a result, they are adapted to regular rainfall with plenty of sunshine.

You’ll want to mimic these conditions as closely as possible by watering your pepper plants daily while making sure there is plenty of time for evaporation. Capsicum annum plants don’t produce a lot when they are constantly soaked, so let them dry out after irrigating, or provide a slow drip of water that doesn’t soak the soil.

You can make sure your bell pepper plants are properly hydrated by hand watering daily or by using drip irrigation or soaker hoses.

In general, the plants will need about 1 to 2 inches of water per week. In drier climates where water evaporates quickly, you may need slightly more.

In more humid climates where the air is saturated, you may need to water less.

  • Soil and Fertilizer

Bell pepper plants thrive in soil that is full of organic matter. While it doesn’t grow as quickly as the tomato plant, and thus doesn’t require as nutrient-dense soil, bell pepper still needs a lot of organic matter to build roots, branches, and leaves that support fruiting.

You can give bell pepper plants the nutrients they need organically or synthetically.

The organic method involves the use of composts and manures to provide the primary elements and compounds required by Capsicum annum: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). This is commonly referred to in the gardening world as NPK.

The following are some examples of natural materials that can provide NPK:10

  • Alfalfa pellets: Nitrogen and Potassium
  • Bone meal: Phosphorous
  • Cocoa shells: Potassium
  • Cottonseed meal: Nitrogen
  • Dried blood: Nitrogen
  • Granite dust: Potassium
  • Green sand: Potassium
  • Fish emulsion: Nitrogen
  • Rock phosphate: Phosphorous
  • Soybean meal: Nitrogen
  • Wood ash: Potassium

If you want to go the organic route with your bell peppers, you’re probably not going to use single-source composts like these but a bag of organically derived fertilizer. You’ll also find synthetically derived fertilizers at the store, and they will usually have higher NPK values.

The reason for this is that the organic mixes release their nutrients slowly, while the synthetic mixes have fast-releasing chemicals.

Generally, a bell pepper plant grows best in soil with an NPK ratio of 5% nitrogen, 10% phosphorus, and 10% potassium.

You may want to start out with a 10-10-10 mixture in the early season and switch to a fertilizer with less nitrogen later in the growing cycle. Nitrogen is essential for growing roots and leaves but can negatively impact the growth of the pepper fruit.

If you want to grow your bell peppers in the ground soil, in contrast to a gardening bed or container, it may be a bit more complicated to know which kind of fertilizer to use. Without a chemical analysis of the soil in your garden, you may not be sure which nutrients you need to supplement.

Some natural ground soils are very dense with nutrients and will require little in the form of organic or synthetic fertilizer while others will need a lot of help.

  • Soil and pH Level

The Capsicum annum plant tolerates a wide range of acidity levels: from as low as 4.3 to as high as 8.3.

Ideally, you’ll want the pH in your soil to be around 6.5 to 7, but don’t sacrifice other aspects of your soil quality to reach this number.11 If needed, applying lime to the soil may be helpful.

  • Mulching

Mulching is when you place a layer of organic matter, such as chipped leaves or grass clippings, on top of the soil to trap moisture and prevent weed growth. Some gardeners use a plastic sheet to achieve this same goal.

If you’re using organic mulch, the depth of mulch you’ll want to use will depend on how cold your climate is, but anywhere from 2 to 4 inches is appropriate.

Use more in cold climates and less in warm ones.

Further in this guide, you can learn which companion plants can serve as excellent mulch for your bell peppers.

  • Temperature and Humidity

The primary temperature concern for Capsicum annum plants is frost. If the plant experiences any type of freezing, whether below the surface or on the leaves, it is likely to be severely damaged or die

At a minimum, the soil you plant your bell peppers in needs to be at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit. The ambient temperature at night should not go below 55 degrees.

The ideal growing temperature for bell pepper plants is between 70 and 90 degrees. Capsicum annum prefers a relative humidity between 65% and 85%.

  • Sunlight

Most bell pepper plants need 5 to 8 hours of direct sunlight per day. Some cultivars of Capsicum annum, such as those adapted to more northern climates, may require all-day shading, as the plants are more sensitive to direct energy.

Closeup shot of a Bell Pepper plant showing its stem, leaves, and a green Bell Pepper fruit.

(Image: Ken Cook20)

The seed or seedling seller will usually provide information about sunlight requirements for their plant.

Bell Pepper Plants Spacing

When planting bell peppers in your garden, it’s important to give the plants enough space to get the water, nutrients, and sunlight they need without impeding on the territory of an adjacent plant. If the plants get too close together, they will compete for the same resources, and one or both of the plants will suffer.

You can avoid this problem by transplanting the seedlings about 12 inches apart in their rows and spacing the rows about 2 to 3 feet apart.

In general, the larger the pepper plant, the more spacing you’ll need.

Remember, you may want companion plants to mingle with your bell peppers. The spacing between those plants and your Capsicum annum may be a bit different than the spacing described above.

Small plants like herbs and clovers will not need much room, but root vegetables and larger flowering plants may need additional space to avoid robbing your peppers of sunlight and root structure.

Bell Peppers: Growing Stages

There are six main bell pepper growing stages: seedling, early growth, maturation, flowering, fruiting, and ripening. Each main stage has an array of tasks and best practices that collectively will determine how successful you are at reaching your growing goals.

1. Seedling Stage

The first stage of the bell pepper growing process is planting the seeds. If you want to do this yourself, you’ll need to have warm soil and a stable environment for the seeds to germinate.12

If it’s warm enough outside, you can use a planter box or soil in your garden, but many people decide to germinate indoors to create optimal conditions.

Start with a small pot or tray and sow the seeds in seed mix so that they are about an inch apart from each other. Make sure the seeds are packed firmly, and place ¼ inch of soil on top of them.

Make sure the mix is as close to 80 degrees as possible, and water the mixture often enough to keep the soil moist but not soggy.

Bell Pepper seedlings in a six-cell black seedling tray on the ground.

(Image: Ben Baligad21)

After about a week or two, sprouts will begin to appear in the soil. The bell pepper plant always needs sunlight, but it becomes especially important when leaves sprout.

You can help the sprout along by using all-purpose water-soluble fertilizer.

If you buy an already-developed seedling from a nursery to transplant to your garden, you will not need to worry about this stage. In most cases, this is a recommended option.

2. Early Growth Stage

At about the 4th week, your seedling should have a few branches and leaves. This is the time to start the translocation process.

It’s not a good idea to move your seedlings to the garden right away.

Rather, you’ll want to gradually introduce the young bell pepper plants to the conditions that they’ll experience outdoors. This is called hardening.

Hardening bell pepper plants is about a 10-day process.

In the first 4 to 5 days, put the seedlings outside in the sunlight during the day and bring them indoors at night. This helps them get used to the variable temperatures and wind conditions outdoors.

For the next 4 to 5 days, keep them outdoors all day and night, but do not yet remove them from their pots. Being in their safe container while getting used to the more harsh night conditions will help them adapt.

At the very end of the early growth stage, it’s time to finally transplant your young seedlings to the garden where they will fully mature. You’ll know it’s time to do this when you have strong leaves and buds on your plant but there is still no flowering.

To transplant your bell pepper, carefully remove the seedling from its container holding the plant at its root ball.

Gently place the seedling in the ground, making sure that the top of the seed ball is horizontally aligned with the ground. Then backfill the soil.

You don’t want to set the plant deep in the soil like you would some other fruiting plants, such as tomatoes.

You can also transplant your bell pepper seedlings into large containers. Just make sure they have at least 1 to 2 feet of space in the soil for the roots to grow.

3. Maturation Stage

Once your bell pepper plants are secure in their garden or large container, it’s time to monitor their growing conditions and keep them healthy.

The main thing you want to be focused on during the maturation stage is helping the plant develop a strong root structure, branch, and leaf structure. If these core parts of the plant are robust in later growing stages, they’ll be able to produce higher yields.

Because we want to focus on roots and leaves, the maturation stage is not a good time for flowering, but your bell pepper plant will want to grow them anyway. You’re the boss of your garden, so pluck any flowers you see growing on young plants so that its water and energy resources can be used elsewhere.

How tall your plant will grow during the maturation stage will depend a lot on the cultivar you’re using and how optimal the conditions are in your garden. In some cases, the plant will only grow to a foot or two, but some bell pepper plants can grow as tall as 10 feet.

4. Flowering Stage

After about 8 weeks of growth, two of which should be in your garden or large container, your bell pepper plants should be ready to flower.

The good news is that the Capsicum annum species is self-pollinating because both sexual components of the plant are located in the same flower. Because of this evolutionary characteristic, you don’t have to do anything special to promote flowering.

Insects, especially bees, can help improve fruit symmetry by distributing pollen more evenly from flower to flower.

Closeup shot of a Bell Pepper plant showing its small white flower growing from a flower stem.

(Image: JayMGoldberg22)

As your bell pepper plant begins to flower, you may want to slightly reduce the amount of nitrogen in your fertilizer. Excess nitrogen compounds can cause the flower to droop or even reduce fruit production.

In general, however, you’ll want an even balance of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

5. Fruiting Stage

Did you know that a bell pepper fruit starts out as a flower on the bell pepper plant? Not all flowers will eventually turn into peppers, but many of them will.

At this stage, the fruit will start growing quickly, as the extensive root system sucks up water and nutrients and the large leaves perform photosynthesis from abundant sunshine.

In most cases, the fruit from the flowers on your Capsicum annum plant will start out small and green.

If some of the peppers are smaller than others, you can prune away the smaller ones, which will free up energy for the larger ones to grow even bigger. Pruning isn’t necessary, but the practice can help you shape your plants to meet your growing goals.

Bell pepper plants can produce up to 12 peppers of varying sizes. Some varieties will produce even more if given the right temperature, humidity, and nutrient levels.

As you experiment with different plants in the fruiting stage, you’ll learn what works and what doesn’t.

6. Ripening Stage

If you want your bell peppers to be green and stay green, you can pick them as soon as they get to the size you want. If you want them to mature to their full-color potential, however, you’ll need to wait a couple of weeks or more for them to transform.

The final color of your peppers will depend on the cultivar you buy from the seed seller or nursery, which can range from a bright yellow to a deeply rich purple.

Closeup of a Bell Pepper plant showing red and green fruits hanging from the stem.

(Image: Rob Bertholf23)

During ripening, make sure your plants still get plenty of sunlight, water, and nutrients. The extra time on the plant also makes the fruit more vulnerable to diseases, so make sure to continue and monitor the conditions of the plants and remove any peppers that show signs of fungal, viral, or bacterial infections.

Growing Bell Peppers: Best Practices

Now that you’ve learned the basics of growing bell peppers in your garden or greenhouse, you can follow some best practices to consistently grow large, healthy peppers that satisfy your growing goals.

No two gardens are exactly the same, so learning what works and what doesn’t in a variety of scenarios can help you adapt to your unique conditions.

Growing From a Seed

It’s not necessary to start growing your bell pepper plant from a tiny seed, but if you do, it’s important to consider the optimal conditions for promoting seed germination.

Research shows that temperature has a significant impact on the ability of the Capsicum annum plant to germinate.

Closeup of a Bell Pepper sprout showing a leaflet.

(Image: Maggie McCain24)

If you live in a year-round warm climate with soil temperatures above 65 degrees, you can plant outside. If you get any type of frost, however, you’ll need to start from seed indoors or in a greenhouse.

  • When To Plant Bell Pepper Seeds

If you’re starting your bell pepper seeds indoors, you’ll want to time your planting so that you can transplant the seedling when the soil temperature outside is warm enough (above 65 degrees).

This varies by location but is usually at least 8 weeks after the last frost. That means you’d want to plant about 4 weeks after the last frost.

If you’re starting with seed outdoors, you need to make sure that the soil is about 70 degrees. When this happens will depend on your specific location, so there is no universal date to follow.

When you buy your seeds or seedlings, check the description of the cultivar to see if the plant is photosensitive in any way.

Planting Tips for Bell Pepper Plants

The following planting tips for bell pepper plants may help your Capsicum annum grow and produce healthy, delicious fruit:

  • Keep the soil at 70 degrees or higher. If you can’t keep it this high naturally, use a heating mat; warmer is better.
  • The ideal soil pH is between 6.5 and 7, but peppers can grow out of this range fairly easily.
  • Make sure there is a bright overhead light from the start. Even tiny seedlings perform photosynthesis.
  • Harden your bell pepper plants by gradually introducing them to the outdoors.
  • Prune off any flowers that develop in the early stages of growth so that the plant can grow larger.
  • Follow any specific advice for your varietal provided by the seller or the seed packaging.

Growing From a Seedling

Buying a seedling from a nursery is the preferred method for many home gardeners.

When you take the seedling home, carefully transfer it into the soil when the outside ambient temperatures are at least above 50 degrees at night.

When placing the seedlings in the ground, make sure that the roots line up with the ground in the same manner that they line up with the mixture in the seedling container. Make sure to give the plant plenty of water when performing the transplant.

Growing From a Cutting

Growing a bell pepper plant from a cutting, which is also called propagating, is relatively simple. First, cut off one of the main branches near the bottom of the plant.

Next, prune all the leaves of the branch except for a few at the very top. Place the branch in warm water, such as in a bottle or other water-sealed container, and place it under a lamp or sunlight.

After about 30 days, the branch will grow a root structure a few inches long. You’ll want to transplant it into the soil at this time.

Gently place the branch into the soil and cover it with soil so that the roots are completely covered. Finally, tend and care for the cutting as you would any young bell pepper plant.

How Far Apart To Plant

Capsicum annum plants need quite a bit of space to grow healthy fruit. Plant your seedlings about 12 inches from each other to ensure each plant gets the nutrients it needs.

For smaller plants, such as mini bells, you may be able to space them a little closer. For larger peppers, you’ll need to space them further apart to ensure there is no competition.

A field with rows of young Bell Pepper plants with mulch in between each row.

(Image: Tim Sackton25)

If you’re planting multiple rows of bell pepper plants, make sure each row is about 2 to 3 feet apart. It’s not recommended to use a patch of ground soil where you’ve grown peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, or similar plants during the past 3 to 4 years.

Bell Pepper Plant Care

As your Capsicum annum grows and matures, you’ll want to follow some basic bell pepper plant care tips:

  • Give your plants about 1 to 2 inches of water per week (More in dry climates, less in humid ones)
  • Water every day in high altitude, dry climates without over-soaking the soil
  • If temperatures exceed 90 degrees, shade your pepper plants to prevent sunscald
  • Use organic mulch or plastic mulch to maintain adequate humidity
  • When pulling weeds, make sure to carefully remove the growth so as not to damage the sensitive roots of the Capsicum annum
  • There is a common myth that Epsom salt helps protect plants, but this is not true.13 Avoid using Epsom salt on your bell pepper plants.

What Are the Best Growing Conditions for Bell Pepper Plants?

Warm temperatures, high levels of humidity, and lots of sunlight are ideal growing conditions for bell pepper plants. An environment that’s about 80 degrees during the day and no more than 60 degrees at night is perfect.

Plants thrive on about 1 to 2 inches of water per week with mulch to keep the soil humid. An NPK of 10-10-10 is good for growth and 5-10-10 is good for fruiting.

When To Pick Sweet Bell Peppers

When you decide to pick your bell peppers is really up to you. If you want bright green peppers that are slightly bitter but pack a crisp punch, you might want to pick early in the fruiting stage, between days 50 and 70.

If you want the fruits of your plant to fully mature and ripen, reaching their full-color potential, you may need to wait as long as 90 days. You can also pick your peppers at any stage in between to obtain your ideal balance of sweetness and nutrient levels.

In summary, you get to decide when to pick bell peppers, not anybody else.

Companion Plants For Growing Bell Peppers

Diversity in the garden is important whether or not you’re planting bell peppers, but when it comes to the Capsicum annum species specifically, there are certain companion plants that are beneficial and others that you’ll want to avoid.14

Some plants will help you save space, promote healthy soil, and even prevent disease, while others may rob your bell peppers of nutrients and keep your plant from growing to its full potential.

Angled shot of the different companion plants for growing Bell Peppers.

(Image: Laura Turner26)

This section covers some of the types of companion plants for growing bell pepper plants in your garden.

Save Space and Enhance Soil Health

Space is a premium in most gardens, and you can ensure you maximize the production you get out of your soil by planting bell peppers close to short-season crops that won’t compete.

For example, you could plant a few rows of root vegetables, such as radishes or carrots, during the early season and then transplant your pepper plants to the rows in between them later in the season. The root vegetables thrive in the colder soil and are ready to harvest around the time you’ll be transplanting your peppers.

In addition to saving space, companion plants can make the soil healthier for your bell pepper plants when you transplant them to the garden. Potatoes, beets, and turnips have strong root structures that break up compacted soil, making it easier for Capsicum annum structures to grow.

Legumes transfer nitrogen from the atmosphere into the soil, which may mean you have to use less fertilizer.

Natural Pest Control for Bell Pepper Plants

Bell pepper plants are susceptible to an array of pests, but there are certain companion plants that can mitigate the damage insects cause. Some plants repel pests from the garden with the odors they emit while others provide a distraction to bugs that are particularly dangerous to Capsicum annum.

The following are some examples of species you can plant that will reduce your pest problems, but there may be other plants that have the same or similar effects.

  • Plants in the Carrot Family

Carrots and their plant relatives, such as cilantro, dill, and fennel, sprout tiny flowers that make a perfect food source for the enemies of aphids and borers, two of the greatest threats to Capsicum annum.

Parasitic wasps, ladybugs, and lacewings will have access to both the nectar in the flowers as well as the bugs trying to attack your bell peppers, meaning they will be more likely to stick around and feast on more harmful bugs.

Plants in the carrot family will provide a benefit whether they’re right next to your bell peppers or at some distance, as the predatory bugs will fly to get their food.

  • Hot Cherry Peppers

Whether or not you enjoy eating hot cherry peppers, they can have a beneficial effect on your garden when it comes to pepper maggot flies.15 In a garden with only sweet bell peppers, these flies will tunnel into the fruit to eat its delicious innards, but bells wouldn’t be their first choice if there were hot cherry peppers nearby.

By planting fireballs, cherry stuffers, cherry bombs, or other types of hot cherry peppers as bait, pepper maggot flies are unlikely to feast on your sweet bell peppers. In this case, the hot peppers would be considered a trap crop.

  • Radishes and Other Brassicas

Flea beetles will eat pretty much any leaves they encounter in a garden, but they prefer the larger leaves of radishes, bok choy, and other brassica family plants. You can use these as trap plants during the early part of the growing season to protect your fledgling bell pepper plants.

Later on in the year when your pepper plants are matured and healthy, the flea beattles won’t be able to do much damage, so you can feel free to harvest the brassicas.

  • Nasturtium Flowers

Aphids can be a threat to the health of bell pepper plants at all stages of growth, but you can divert the insect’s stomach elsewhere by planting nasturtium flowers nearby.16 Aphids prefer the leafy greens of these flowers much more than Capsicum annum, but since the bugs cannot travel far, you’ll want to make sure the flowers are very close.

Additionally, the aphids can attract predator bugs that will also feast on the other pests in your garden.

Companion Plants for Weed Control

If weeds are a big problem in the garden where you’re growing bell peppers, you have a few options to mitigate their invasion. You can get down on your hands and knees and pull them out wherever you notice them, or you can sow companion plants in the nearby soil to out-compete the weeds.

Angled shot of a plant box with young Bell Peppers growing showing their green leaves.

(Image: Bukowsky1827)

In addition to mulching with grass clipping and shredded leaves, the following plants can provide some natural mulching power to get rid of those pesky weeds.

  • White Clover and Subterranean Clover

White clover (Trifoleum repens) and Subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum) can act as a living mulch in your garden.17 By covering the soil with a layer of clover leaves, these plant species prevent invasive weeds from growing around your pepper plants and disrupting fruit growth.

Clover also has the added benefit of improving water infiltration and preserving soil nutrients. This technique is often used in commercial farms to improve efficiency and crop yield, but it’s also a great solution for home gardens with weed problems.

  • Aromatic Herbs

Herbs are an invaluable addition to any garden simply because they add vibrant flavors to a variety of dishes, but they also serve an important function as a living mulch.

Fresh basil, oregano, rosemary, and thyme can all enhance the ground soil and prevent weeds from growing. They are very easy to maintain, and they will not compete with bell pepper plants for nutrients or sunlight.

Plants That Improve Pollination

While Capsicum annum plants are self-pollinating and don’t require bugs or bees to do the job for them, they can still benefit from pollinators. Through their movement alone, pollinators can increase the chance of fertilization in a flower, leading to additional fruit on your bell pepper plant.

There are several companion plants for bell peppers that can attract additional pollinators to your garden and improve the symmetry of your fruit production.

  • Sunflowers

The sunflower family (Asteraceae) of plants provides enormous benefits for Bumble Bee populations. Now believed to be a superfood for these flying insects, sunflowers can reduce the presence of harmful parasites and significantly increase the ability of queen bumble bees to produce offspring.18 Specifically, sunflowers help bees fight off a pathogen called Crithidia bombi. Bumble bees that are attracted to sunflowers will also visit bell pepper flowers, helping spread pollen and therefore promoting fruit production.

  • Broad and Hooded Flowers

Flowers with broad surfaces and hoods are also a great choice for a garden with bell pepper plants. They have bright colors that attract insects from the Apidae family and provide the structure bees need to land and feed.

Hooded varieties include monkshood, snapdragons, and lupines. There are also plenty of broad flowers that bees love, such as cosmos, oriental poppies, hydrangeas, hardy hibiscus, and moonflowers.

Plants To Avoid Putting Next to Your Bell Peppers

In general, you’ll want to avoid putting plants right next to your bell peppers that will shade their leaves from direct sunlight. Partial shading is okay, as the Capsicum annum thrives with about 5 to 8 hours of direct sun, but a large plant that provides all-day coverage isn’t a good idea.

Photosynthesis is essential to any plant’s growth, and the bell pepper plant needs a lot of sunlight to produce energy.

Bell Pepper Plants Disease Prevention

When growing bell peppers, it’s important to look out for all the diseases that can affect the health of roots, leaves, flowers, and fruit. If a disease gets out of control, it can affect your entire production.

The following list of bell pepper diseases may not be comprehensive for your location but includes the most common infections.

Fungal Diseases

Here are some of the common fungal diseases in bell peppers.

  • Damping-Off

Caused by certain species of fungal Pythium and Rhizoctonia solani, damping-off attacks bell pepper plants at the early stages of seedling. It attacks the roots of the plant, causing the stalks to slouch and fall over.

You can prevent damping-off by making sure you use high-quality seeds that are fresh and soil that’s in optimal condition.

  • Fusarium Stem and Fruit Rot

Fusarium solani is a fungus that attacks the flowers and fruits of bell pepper plants.3 It takes the form of brown and black lesions that are soft to the touch.

Sometimes the rot occurs on the protective outer layer of the Capsicum annum flower, which is called the calyx, or the flesh of the bell pepper itself. The prevent this problem in a greenhouse, you should have good circulation and maintain less than 85% humidity.

Any peppers that have rot should be removed from the garden and disposed of to prevent infecting other plants.

  • Grey Mold

Grey mold is an infection of the stem of the bell pepper plant that is common in greenhouses with poor circulation and excessive humidity levels. It’s caused by the Botrytis cinerea fungus and can attack the fruit itself if not controlled.

Like other fungi, this disease can be controlled with proper humidity and circulation and is unlikely to occur outdoors except in very warm and humid parts of the southern United States.

  • Powdery Mildew

As its name suggests, this infection looks like a powdery substance spread across the surface of the plant’s leaves. This is caused by Leveillula taurica, a relatively rare fungal pathogen that has only rarely affected greenhouses on the East Coast and is contained mostly in western states.

Closeup shot of a Bell Pepper plant showing its leaf coated with a white powdery mildew.

(Image: Scot Nelson28)

Lack of moisture is a big contributor to powdery mildew, so keeping your bell pepper plants adequately watered is crucial to preventing infection.

Viral Diseases

Here is a list of some of the viral diseases that affect bell peppers.

  • Pepper Mild Mottle Virus

Pepper mild mottle virus (PMMV) is one of the most common viral diseases and affects bell pepper plants in every location they’re grown on earth.4 The virus can infect the plant early in development but not cause any symptoms until late-stage growth.

The virus creates dark splotches across the flesh of the pepper, making it easy to spot an infection. If one of your peppers is infected, you should remove it from the garden.

PMMV spreads through plant sap, which can spread on your hands if you handle a diseased fruit. Skim milk is known to deactivate the virus.

  • Tobacco Mosaic Virus

Bell peppers are not a type of tobacco, but they are members of the same family, so both plants are affected by the tobacco mosaic virus. This virus originally got its name because of the mosaic pattern it creates on the leaves of tobacco plants.

It produces the same symptoms in bell pepper plant leaves, so it should be easy to catch.

Tobacco mosaic virus is transmitted from infected leaf surfaces to healthy plants via direct touch or by traveling on gardening tools or even hands. This is why infected plants should be removed from the garden as soon as possible.

  • Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus

Tomatoes and bell peppers are both in the Solanaceae family, so they are both affected by many of the same viruses. One of these is tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV), which causes wilting and color bruising on the surface of the bell pepper.

Leaves will also have black, brown, or tan spots with a black border. Because TSWV affects such a wide range of species, it can come from a variety of other plants in your garden, so make sure to remove infected plants.

Unfortunately, TSWV can by asymptomatic.

  • Cucumber Mosaic Virus

Cucumber mosaic is a viral infection that affects more than 1,000 plants worldwide, and it can significantly weaken bell pepper yield and qualify levels in North American gardens.5

Infected Capsicum annum plants can develop color blotching, ring spots, cupping, puckering, and thinning. It can affect specific areas or spread to the entire plant, causing stunting or even entire plant death.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for cucumber mosaic, so plants with the virus should be removed from your garden. Some Capsicum annum cultivars are resistant to the virus.

Physiological Diseases

Bell peppers are not only affected by fungal and viral diseases, but they are also vulnerable to various physiological diseases.

  • Blossom End Rot

Environmental stresses, such as extreme temperatures and humidity levels, can cause the fruit of the bell pepper plant to rot away.

Symptoms of blossom end rot begin with tender spots on the flesh of the fruit, often at the bottom, and grow into distinct brown lesions that are very unappealing.6 This disease is also associated with calcium deficiency in the plant.

You may be able to prevent this disease by applying calcium nitrate treatments to your bell pepper plants.

  • Sunscald

Sunscald occurs when bell pepper fruits are exposed to direct sunlight for too long, causing damage to the flesh of the pepper.

It’s recommended that you don’t expose your plant to direct sunlight for more than 8 hours a day, as the temperature from direct exposure can exceed the threshold of what the bell pepper fruit can handle. Sunscald symptoms are very similar to blossom end rot.

  • Fruit Cracks, Splitting, and Spots

Small cracks can develop on the outer layer of your bell pepper fruit when the growing conditions of your garden change rapidly. This is hard to control if your garden is outdoors, but this shouldn’t be a problem in a greenhouse.

Larger cracks or splitting can happen due to high root pressure in the plant. This happens from overwatering or from watering in the evening when evaporation is reduced.

High calcium levels can lead to the formation of calcium oxalate crystals, which will appear as small white dots below the skin of the bell pepper fruit.

  • Misshapen Fruit and Internal Growth

While misformed fruit is not always a concern to gardeners, you may find bell peppers with weird bulges and internal growths unappealing. This problem is mostly associated with suboptimal growing conditions, which you may or may not be able to control for your particular garden.

Common Pests

Here is a list of the common pests that infest bell peppers.

  • Aphids

Aphids represent a large group of insects that belong to the superfamily Aphidoidea.7 These tiny bugs are very common in North American gardens and rarely cause significant damage to bell pepper plants, but they do have the potential to cause noticeable harm when their populations get out of control.

If aphids feed excessively, they can cause twisted and discolored leaves, stunted shoots, and poor overall plant growth. These insects are not always easy to spot because of their small size (about 2-4 mm), but their cornicles make them distinct from many other insects.

Thankfully there are a few things you can do to reduce aphid numbers in your garden if they start causing damage to your bell pepper plants. You can remove weeds that provide breeding grounds for aphids.

You can protect the bugs in your garden that feed on aphids, such as ladybeetles, lacewings, and parasitic wasps. You can also use pesticides containing azadirachtin, which is an insecticide that’s considered low-risk to humans and stops aphids from feeding.

  • European Corn Borers

Despite its name, European corn borers attack many more plants than corn.

In some regions of the United States, they represent one of the main threats to bell pepper plant health, especially in the late stages of growth. This is because the borers dig into the pepper fruit during their larval stage and consume the insides as they grow and transform.

While the borers leave a small hole that’s visible on the outside of the pepper, it can be hard to spot. By the time the insects have been discovered, they can cause damage severe enough to ruin the fruit.

There are several ways to control and prevent European corn borers from damaging your garden.8 Some farmers use pheromone traps to trap adult borer moths from laying eggs on the underside of bell pepper leaves.

Insecticides are also used to kill the bugs before they can reproduce.

There are also many natural predators that can control borer populations. Stink bugs, spiders, and hoverflies consume the larva, and ladybeetles eat the borer eggs.

  • Flea Beetles

Flea beetles are tiny insects that eat small holes into many types of plant leaves, including those on the Capsicum annum.

The beetles are so small that they are incapable of causing much damage to fully grown leaves, but they can cause a lot of damage to the foliage of young bell pepper plants, preventing them from photosynthesizing enough energy to build structure. You can control beatles with trap crops, such as radishes and other brassicas, and insecticides that have a lasting effect.

You can also place plants in your garden that attract predators of the flea beetle.

How To Stop the Disease

In order to stop bell pepper plant diseases from spreading in your garden, it’s important to monitor the conditions of your plants as well as the environment in which they’re growing.

With fungal and viral diseases, you’ll want to remove a plant from your garden if you notice it is infected.

With physiological disease, it’s more about doing your best to control the temperature and humidity of the environment where your plants are growing.

How To Identify a Bell Pepper Plant

Before a bell pepper plant begins bearing fruit, it can be a little difficult to recognize it from other shrubs and herbs in the same family.

You’ll know how to identify a bell pepper plant once you learn about its leaves, flowers, and seeds.

What Do Bell Pepper Leaves Look Like?

Bell pepper leaves range in color from very dark green to pale yellow depending on the conditions and stage of growth. The leaves have a tear-drop shape with a pointed end and smooth edges.

In young leaves, the edges look serrated, but these smooth out as the plant matures.

How To Spot a Bell Pepper Flower

Capsicum annum plants produce small white bell pepper flowers with five or more pedals that have pointed edges. The ovary and pistil of the flower are green, and the stamen has light green filaments with darker green anthers.

Certain varieties of the plant can have different coloration, such as purple and yellow. Since both reproductive components are in the same flower, Capsicum annum is self-pollinating.

Where To Find Bell Pepper Seeds

You can find bell pepper seeds inside the fruit attached to a bulb which is itself attached to the stem.

Each piece of fruit has hundreds to thousands of seeds inside. They are very small, flat, beige or white, and have a pointed tip.

If you want to use the seeds from a bell pepper to grow a bell pepper plant, freshness is very important. The seeds from an immature pepper are not ready for the soil.

You’ll want to use the seeds from a fully ripe pepper that has reached its maximum color potential. This is often red but can be a different color depending on the variety you have.

Bell Pepper Plants Growing Zones

Bell pepper plants can grow partly outdoors from Zone 3a to Zone 11b, which includes most parts of the United States except for some remote locations in the far north. The USDA growing zone you’re located in will determine how you’ll be able to grow the plants.1

For example, if you’re garden is in Zone 4a, you’ll need to start later in the year due to the frost. If you live in warmer zones of the United States, such as the desert southwest, Florida, south Texas, and Hawaii, you may be able to start growing much earlier in the year.

Some places in the country have a tropical or subtropical climate, meaning peppers may grow throughout the year.

What Are the Best Growing Zones for Bell Pepper Plant?

The best outdoor growing zones for bell pepper plants are in the Southeast United States, as the climate there most closely mimics the tropics.

You can, however, grow bell peppers outside in any Zone 3A or higher. You just have to pick the right time of year and make sure the soil and air are warm enough.

Bell Pepper Plant Growth Rate

Generally, bell peppers take 60 to 90 days from seeding to reach peak maturity.

Your specific bell pepper plant growth rate will depend on what stage of ripening you choose to harvest and the unique conditions of your location.

Bell Pepper plant growth stages graphic showing the varying heights of Bell Pepper plant based on ages from seedling to a full-grown plant.

Peppers are capable of producing a harvest within a window of just a few weeks. They start out green and turn to a more reddish color during that time.

Typically, it takes about 20 to 30 days to transform from green to the pepper’s final ripened color.

Bell Pepper Color Differences

In the United States, the most common bell pepper colors are green, yellow, orange, and red. All of these peppers start off green but then transform into their final ripened hue.

In some cases, this is red while in others it is yellow or orange. The color changes in the peppers signify a change in nutrient balance and sweetness.

Top shot of a bunch of a Bell Pepper variety with red, yellow, and green skins.

(Image: Martin Adams29)

As the peppers ripen, their vitamin and antioxidant levels also change. Yellow, orange, and red bell peppers are almost always more expensive than green ones because they take longer to grow.

While green bell peppers are the most common variety of sweet Capsicum annum, you’re not limited to the simple green, yellow, orange, and red spectrum.

There are tons of different colors of the bell pepper plant you can grow if you know where to look, and the vitamins and minerals they can add to your diet, make any efforts totally worth it.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bell Pepper Plant

What Is the Difference Between Green and Red Bell Peppers?

Green bell peppers and red bell peppers are the same fruit in different stages of ripening.

The peppers start out green and transform into red as they mature on the plant which is the reason some of the peppers you see have a mix of green and red.

How Many Bell Pepper Varieties Are There?

There are thousands of sweet pepper varieties listed in government seed archives, but there are significantly fewer than that available for you to grow in your garden. Still, there is a great variety of bell peppers you can grow in your garden, with ripened colors ranging from traditional red to deep chocolate brown and light pale yellow.

How Much Sunlight Does Bell Pepper Plant Need Each Day?

Most bell pepper plants need 5 to 8 hours of direct sunlight per day to thrive. Some bell pepper plants, however, are more sensitive than others and will get damaged if exposed directly to sunlight for more than an hour or two per day.

What Conditions Do Red Peppers Need in Order To Grow?

Red bell peppers need warm and relatively humid conditions in order to grow, however, certain varietals have different temperature tolerances. For example, the Intruder Red bell pepper prefers the cooler climates of the Northeast and the Midwest, while other red peppers only do well in hotter climates.

How Long Does It Take To Get a Bell Pepper Sprout?

After planting your bell pepper seed, it should take about one to two weeks to get a bell pepper sprout. If you don’t get a sprout in that amount of time, your soil may be too cold, or the seed may not be getting enough water.

What Does a Bell Pepper Plant Look Like?

The bell pepper plant, or Capsicum annum, looks like a small shrub with green leaves and white and green flowers. The fruit usually starts out small and green and can transform into a variety of colors.

What Is the Best Month To Consider When To Plant Bell Peppers for the Best Yield?

You’ll know when to plant the bell pepper plant for the best yield by the time of the last frost in your area; if the last freeze was in late March, you’ll want to wait to plant until the end of May.

In general, you don’t want to plant about 8 weeks after the last freezing.

What Are the Best Vegetables To Grow in Pots Alongside Bell Peppers?

Radishes and other brassicas are some of the best vegetables to grow in pots alongside bell peppers because they attract flea beetles. Flea beetles can cause serious harm to Capsicum annum in early growth stages, but hot cherry peppers are a trap crop that can keep them distracted.

What Are the Best Methods on How To Stop Bell Pepper Plant Disease?

You can stop bell pepper plant disease from spreading in your garden by removing the infected plant. Avoid letting your hands or tools touch healthy plants after they’ve been exposed to the diseased plant, as viral and fungal infections can spread on surfaces.


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3University of California. (2013, December). Fusarium Foot Rot. UC IPM. Retrieved September 29, 2023, from <https://ipm.ucanr.edu/agriculture/tomato/fusarium-foot-rot/>

4Colson, P., Richet, H., Desnues, C., Balique, F., Moal, V., Grob, J-J., Berbis, P., Lecoq, H., Harlé, J-R., Berland, Y., & Raoult, D. (2010, April 6). Pepper Mild Mottle Virus, a Plant Virus Associated with Specific Immune Responses, Fever, Abdominal Pains, and Pruritus in Humans. NIH | PubMed Central. Retrieved September 29, 2023, from <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2850318/>

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8Boucher, J. (2012). Pepper IPM: European Corn Borer. UCONN | Integrated Pest Management. Retrieved September 29, 2023, from <https://ipm.cahnr.uconn.edu/pepper-ipm-european-corn-borer/>

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11Jaipaul, Sharma, S., Dixit, A. K., & Sharma, A. K. (2011, July). (PDF) Growth and yield of Capsicum (Capsicum annum) and garden pea (Pisum sativum) as influenced by organic manures and biofertilizers. ResearchGate. Retrieved September 29, 2023, from <https://www.researchgate.net/publication/267834124_Growth_and_yield_of_Capsicum_Capsicum_annum_and_garden_pea_Pisum_sativum_as_influenced_by_organic_manures_and_biofertilizers>

12Bennett, M. B. (2021, February 1). Germinating Seeds. WVU Extension. Retrieved September 29, 2023, from <https://extension.wvu.edu/lawn-gardening-pests/news/2021/02/01/germinating-seeds>

13Kalb, T. (2016, June 8). The Epsom Salt Myth. NDSU | North Dakota State University. Retrieved September 29, 2023, from <https://www.ndsu.edu/agriculture/extension/extension-topics/gardening-and-horticulture/vegetables/epsom-salt-myth>

14Peña, A. (2020, April 22). Benefits of Biodiversity in the Home Landscape. UF | IFAS Blogs. Retrieved September 29, 2023, from <https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/miamidadeco/2020/04/22/benefits-of-biodiversity-in-the-home-landscape/>

15Boucher, J. (2012). Pepper Maggot: Damage, Detection, Monitoring, and Management. UCONN | Integrated Pest Management. Retrieved September 29, 2023, from <https://ipm.cahnr.uconn.edu/pepper-maggot-damage-detection-monitoring-and-management/>

16Mahr. S. (2023). Nasturtium, Tropaeolum majus. Wisconsin Horticulture. Retrieved September 29, 2023, from <https://hort.extension.wisc.edu/articles/nasturtium-tropaeolum-majus/>

17Elliott, S. (2023). Multi-Purpose Living Mulch Improves Soil Health and Farmer’s Bottom Line. USDA | Tellus. Retrieved September 29, 2023, from <https://tellus.ars.usda.gov/stories/articles/multi-purpose-living-mulch-improves-soil-health-and-farmer-s-bottom-line>

18Miller, Daegan. (2023, April 5). UMass Amherst Research Finds Surprising Science Behind Bumblebee Superfood. University of Massachusetts Amherst. Retrieved September 29, 2023, from <https://www.umass.edu/news/article/umass-amherst-research-finds-surprising-science-behind-bumblebee-superfood>

19Photo by hartono subagio. Pixabay. Retrieved from <https://pixabay.com/photos/bell-pepper-seeds-vegetable-food-6739600/>

20Bell pepper plant Photo by Ken Cook / CC BY 2.0 DEED. Resized and Changed Format. From Flickr <https://www.flickr.com/photos/10990983@N07/5788512954/sizes/c/>

21Bell Pepper Plants Photo by Ben Baligad / CC BY 2.0 DEED. Resized and Changed Format. From Flickr <https://www.flickr.com/photos/51504200@N08/51219379039/sizes/c/>

22Bell Pepper (Quadrato d’Asti Giallo) Flower Photo by JayMGoldberg / Public Domain. Resized and Changed Format. From Wikimedia Commons <https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bell_Pepper_(Quadrato_d%27Asti_Giallo)_Flower.jpg>

23Bell Peppers From The Garden Photo by Rob Bertholf / CC BY 3.0 DEED. Resized and Changed Format. From Wikimedia Commons <https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bell_Peppers_From_The_Garden_(120856573).jpeg>

24Bell Pepper Sprouts Photo by Maggie McCain / CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED. Resized and Changed Format. From Flickr <https://www.flickr.com/photos/vamcmag/27029381741/sizes/c/>

25Bell Pepper Row Photo by Tim Sackton / CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED. Cropped, Resized, and Changed Format. From Flickr <https://www.flickr.com/photos/sackton/5962155252/sizes/h/>

26Companion Planting in Raised Square Foot Container Gardens Photo by Laura Turner / CC BY 2.0 DEED. Cropped, Resized, and Changed Format. From Flickr <https://www.flickr.com/photos/eatandlivegreen/5967487517/sizes/c/>

27My Organic Garden in my Backyard Photo by Bukowsky18 / CC BY 2.0 DEED. Resized and Changed Format. From Flickr <https://www.flickr.com/photos/24917549@N04/3440437126/sizes/c/>

28Powdery mildew of bell pepper leaf caused by Leveillula taurica Photo by Scot Nelson / Public Domain. Cropped, Resized, and Changed Format. From Flickr <https://www.flickr.com/photos/scotnelson/8248206734/sizes/h/>

29Photo by Martin Adams. Unsplash. Retrieved from <https://unsplash.com/photos/_LGlGi3KJIA>

30Bell Pepper Flowers Fruit Plant Photo by Sr. M. Jutta (s-ms_1989). (2018, October 7) / Pixabay Content License. Cropped and added text, shape, and background elements. Pixabay. Retrieved February 26, 2024, from <https://pixabay.com/photos/bell-pepper-flowers-fruit-plant-3727456/>