How to grow Sweet Pepper

Capsicum annuum var. annuum (Grossum Group)

Mulch sweet peppers during the summer months to keep the soil temperature down as they have quite shallow roots. Keep the compost moist, but not wet. Fertilise weekly – when flowers appear feed with a high potash tomato feed.

Allow to completely ripen before harvesting for flavour.

Growing Sweet pepper from seed

Peppers, like tomatoes, will not germinate with frost or cold temperatures. For most climates, starting early indoors is necessary. Pepper seeds germinate best with bottom heat keeping the soil temperature around 77-80 ºF (25-27 ºC). There are special seedling heat mats that raise the soil temp 10º above room temp, or you can use a lamp from above to warm the soil. If you do a search you can also find instructions for do-it-yourself bottom heat trays using Christmas tree lights.

Ensure a distance of 0.98 inches (2.5 cm) between seeds when sowing - look to sow at a depth of approximately 0.25 inches (0.64 cm). Soil temperature should be kept higher than 20°C / 68°F to ensure good germination.

By our calculations*, you should look at sowing Sweet pepper about 60 days before your last frost date .

Transplanting Sweet pepper

Transplant outdoors when seedlings have 5-6 leaves and after soil temp exceeds 55F.

Ensure that temperatures are mild (minimum night temperatures should be around 15°C / 59°F) and all chance of frost has passed before planting out, as Sweet pepper is a tender plant.

By our calculations*, you should look at planting out Sweet pepper about 14 days after your last frost date.

Harvesting Sweet pepper

Carefully cut off short piece of stem with fruit to avoid damaging plant.

Seed Saving Sweet pepper

Seed viability is four years.

How long does Sweet pepper take to grow?

These estimates for how long Sweet pepper takes to sprout, grow and harvest are from real observations from real gardeners, right around the world.

Days to Germination How long does it take Sweet pepper to germinate?
11 days

Average 11 days | Min 1 days | Max 28 days (1354)

Days to Transplant How long until I can plant out Sweet pepper?
+ 50 days

Average 50 days | Min 1 days | Max 120 days (523)

Days to Maturity How long until Sweet pepper is ready for harvest / bloom?
+ 115 days

Average 115 days | Min 5 days | Max 258 days (1200)

Total Growing Days How long does it take to grow Sweet pepper?
= 176 days

When should I plant Sweet pepper?

Our when to plant Sweet pepper estimates are relative to your last frost date.

When to sow The number of days to sow Sweet pepper before or after your last frost date.
60 days before Last Frost Date
When to plant out The number of days to plant out Sweet pepper before or after your last frost date.
14 days after Last Frost Date

Sweet pepper Etymology

Annuum refers to these plants being highly capable of being treated as an annual, regardless of perennial heritage.

Other names for Sweet pepper

Pepper, Sweet pepper

Capsicum annuum var. grossum, Capsicum annum

Misspellings: capsium, Capsicum annum


1 Do It Yourself

2 Key To Pepper Pests


3 Virus Diseases of Pepper Fact Sheet Page: 736.00 Date: 10-1984

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