Pepper Plant Features
Peppers look as good as they taste. These colorful vegetables (technically they are fruits) are the main ingredient in a wide range of mouthwatering recipes. Plus, the fruits are so colorful you can grow them as an ornamental in pots and planters. Pepper colors include red, chocolate, yellow, ivory, orange, and purple. Pepper varieties are generally broken down into three categories: sweet, hot, and ornamental. Sweet peppers, often called bell peppers, have thick walls that add a rich flavor to soups, stews, salads, and a myriad of other dishes. Hot peppers such as chili, cayenne, and habanero, have a spicy flavor ideal for curries, pico de gallo, and mole sauces. Ornamental peppers are edible, but are generally grown specifically for their small, brightly colored fruits that smother the plant all summer long.
Pepper Growing Instructions
No matter what type of pepper you grow, they all need full sun -- at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight a day. Peppers like a rich, slightly moist soil. Most sweet and ornamental varieties will produce mature fruit 60-90 days after planting. Hot peppers may take up to 150 days so choose a quick-maturing variety if you live where the growing season is short. Mulch the plants to eliminate weed competition and select disease-resistant varieties to minimize potential problems. Feed your plants with a little 5-10-10 fertilizer scratched into the soil at planting time. Further fertilizing can cause the plants to grow lots of foliage, but few fruits. Peppers are tropical in nature and cannot tolerate frost.
Peppers grow best in warm soil. Spread a sheet of dark polyethylene over the surface of the soil about a week before planting. This will absorb heat and warm up the planting bed. You can leave the sheet in place as a mulch.
Green, Orange, Purple, Red, White, Yellow
Moist, well-drained soil
Super-easy to grow
Complement your Pepper with these varieties:
Tomatoes and peppers have almost identical cultural requirements and make good companions in the garden or in containers.