Pepper Growing: A Detailed Guide

Last Updated on April 15, 2024 by Real Men Sow

Pepper growing in different varieties allows you to have mild, meaty peppers for salads or stir-fries, slightly spicier peppers for fresh salsas, and hot peppers for powerful flavour explosions. While cultivars that produce large fruits may lose their blooms in the heat of the summer, little, thin-walled peppers often survive. In addition, peppers with small fruits mature more quickly, which is crucial in regions with short seasons and chilly temperatures.

Pepper Growing: When to do it

After the last frost in spring, plant pepper seedlings in your garden within 2 to 3 weeks. Before transplanting pepper seeds in the garden, start them indoors for 6-8 weeks. Do not plant pepper seedlings in the garden until night temperatures reach 55°F (13°C).

If you have a plastic tunnel or other season-extending devices that protect them from cold temperatures, pepper seedlings can be planted in your garden sooner.

Pepper Growing: How Long ‘Till Maturity

Sweet peppers mature between 60 and 70 days. You can either harvest sweet peppers and use them before they mature or you can leave them on the plants until they reach full maturity and turn a deep red color. Hot peppers can be harvested at any size that is usable.

Pepper Growing: Soil Requirements 

Peppers thrive in sandy loam that has been well-drained and is rich with organic matter, such as aged compost. Peppers should be planted in full sunlight. The soil should remain evenly moist throughout the entire process, from planting to harvest.

Pepper Growing: Companion Plants

Peppers can share space in the same room as onions and cabbage. Carrots can be a companion to peppers and are said to increase their growth.

Peppers Seed Starting Tips

Peppers are a warm-weather, tender crop.

  • If you intend to transplant seedlings directly to the garden, start peppers indoors at least 8 to 6 weeks in advance of the average nighttime temperature reaching 55°F (13°C).
  • Transplant the seedlings to your garden, and start seeds indoors at least 14 weeks before the last frost.
  • If nighttime temperatures exceed 55°F (13°C), you can set peppers in your garden, unless you plan on protecting them from the chill by covering them with plastic tunnels or row covers.

There are two types of peppers, sweet and hot. Bell peppers can be added to sweet peppers. Hot peppers can be spicy and very hot.

The variety of peppers you choose will determine the ripening color.

After transplanting, peppers mature between 55 and 80 days. Seedlings ready for transplanting–whether you start them yourself or buy them at a garden center–will be about 40 to 50 days old. Depending on the variety, peppers take 90 to 140 days from sowing to reach maturity.

Types of Peppers

There are two basic kinds of peppers: sweet and hot.

  • Sweet peppers have a mild flavor and include bell peppers. Hot peppers can be spicy and very hot.
  • Scoville heat units are used to measure hot peppers. Before you try hotter peppers, make sure that the pepper is low on the Scoville scale.

How to Harvest and Store Peppers

You can harvest pepper as soon as the plants are big enough to be eaten. Most mild and hot peppers need at least 70 days to reach edible size. It can take another 3 to 4 months to reach maturity. Some peppers are more sensitive than others.

If you know which variety of peppers you are growing, you can mark a calendar at planting to determine when the fruit will mature and harvest. You can harvest the fruit when it reaches the desired size or color if you don’t know what variety.

You can harvest pepper as soon as the plants are big enough to be eaten. Most mild and hot peppers need at least 70 days to reach edible size. It can take another 3 to 4 months to reach maturity. Some peppers are more sensitive than others.

If you know which variety of peppers you are growing, you can mark a calendar at planting to determine when the fruit will mature and harvest. You can harvest the fruit when it reaches the desired size or color if you don’t know what variety.

How to Harvest Peppers

  • Use a pruning shear to remove the peppers. A short stub of the stem should be left attached to the fruit. You should not remove peppers by hand. This can cause broken branches.
  • To protect your skin, use gloves when harvesting hot peppers. Capsaicin oil, which is a potent ingredient in hot peppers, can cause severe burns to the skin, eyes, nose, mouth, and hands.

How to Store Peppers

For up to 2 weeks, store peppers at 55°F (13°C). If the peppers are not too cold, they will keep in the fridge. Rinse the fruit with water and pat dry. Place the bag in the crisper area of the refrigerator. You can buy perforated plastic bags, or you can make your own. Use a hole punch or a sharp object to punch 20 holes into a medium-sized bag.

Keep peppers at 45°F (7°C) Too cool temperatures can cause peppers to soften and shrivel. They may also develop water-soaked and pit areas.

When kept at room temperature for three consecutive days, peppers that have changed color from the harvest will continue to ripen. Green peppers can be eaten if they haven’t changed in color but are still at their full size. You should use peppers with blossom end-rot or sunscald as soon as possible. They will quickly decay if stored.

Problems when Pepper Growing

The cultural and growing requirements for tomatoes are almost identical to peppers, which include sweet peppers and hot peppers. You can grow tomatoes.

Select a spot with full sun, where the soil is well-drained and moisture-retentive. You should give sweet and hot peppers some space so they can cross-pollinate. Below is a list of possible problems that could be caused by peppers, along with some suggestions for how to fix them. 

Common Problems when Pepper Growing


Brown or gray grubs, hide in the soil during the day and eat at night. Pick grubs that are not in the soil around plants by hand. The garden should be free from plant debris. Put a cardboard collar of 3 inches around the stems of the seedlings and push it 1 in. into the soil.

Rolled Down Leaves

But there isn’t any yellowing or stunting. It is a physiological leaf roll and not caused by a pathogen. This could be due to weather or temperature. Make sure your plants are well-watered. There is no need to take any action.

Curling Leaves with Discoloration

Aphids, small soft-bodied insects that are green and gray in color, cluster under leaves. Honeydew is a sticky substance that Aphids leave behind. Black sooty mold can grow on the honeydew. Use insecticidal soap to get rid of aphids. Aluminum mulch will help disorient them. Ladybugs, praying mantis, and lacewing flies are all predators of aphids.

Wilting Leaves (Yellow then Brown)

Whiteflies, tiny insects, will rise up in a cloud if an infected plant is disturbed. These tiny insects suck juices from plants and can cause them to become weaker. Spray insecticidal soap. Spread Tanglefoot on bright yellow paper to trap whiteflies.

Scorched Leaves

The leafhopper is a 1/3-inch-long, wedge-shaped insect with wedge-shaped wings. Leafhoppers suck juices from stems and leaves. Spray with insecticidal soap or dust with Diatomaceous Earth.

Tiny and Round Shot Holes on Leaves

Lower leaves are more affected than the top. The flea beetles, tiny black beetles, feed on leaves and jump when they are disturbed. Remove beetles by hand. Make sure the garden is free from plant debris. To kill larvae in the spring, cultivate the soil deep and interrupt the cycle of the plant’s life.

Defoliated Plants

Leaf-eating insects like tomato hornworms and blister beetles are both known to eat tomatoes. Remove all insects by hand. You can keep the garden free of weeds and other debris. To kill larvae and disrupt the life cycle, cultivate in spring. You can pick the beetles out by hand. Use Sevin to spray or dust beetles or use a pyrethrum and rotenone spray.

Losing Leaves and Shoots 

The Colorado potato beetle, a yellow beetle that is 1/3 inch long and has black stripes and an orange-colored head, is 1/3 inch in length. You can handpick beetles. Make sure the garden is free from all debris. Use a mixture of basil leaves with water to spray the garden.

White Foamy Stems

The foam can conceal the green insect, called spittlebugs. You can handpick them and then destroy. They are not harmful and can be tolerated.

Black Spots on Lower Stems and Leaves

On lower stems and leaves, there are often black spots. The leaves then turn yellow-brown. Early blight is caused by excessive rainfall and high temperatures. Keep the weeds under control in your garden. They can harbor fungal spores. Avoid overwatering.

Dying Lower Leaves Turning Yellow

The stem also becomes discolored and streaky when it is cut lengthwise. The stem then wilts and dies. A soil-borne fungus is responsible for verticillium wilt. Plant verticillium-resistant varieties. Rotate your crops and don’t plant in soil that has been previously used for pepper, tomato, cucumber, or other family members.

Small Yellow-Green Raised Spots on Leaves

Leaves may fall and it is impossible to cure fungal or bacterial leaf spots. Treat treated seeds. Remove infected plants. Keep your garden and tools clean. Plant resistant varieties.

Darkening Tips of Growing Leaves

Thrips spread the spotted wilt disease. Thrips can be controlled by controlling weeds. Remove infected leaves and plants. White spots appear on fruits; the leaf tips become distorted. Thrips are small insects that can be yellow, brown, or black and have fringed wings. Thrips leave a scar on the plants by scraping plant tissue while they feed. Keep your garden free from weeds

Mottled Leaves

Streaked green and yellow; they curl and crinkle. There is no treatment for the Mosaic virus. It is spread by beetles. Plant tobacco mosaic virus-resistant varieties. Remove infected plants, and remove weeds that host cucumber beetles. If you smoke, wash your hands.

Stunted Plant Roots (due to Galls or Knots)

Plant roots become stunted if they have galls or knots. Root-knot nematodes, which are translucent, microscopic worms that inject toxins into plant roots, are almost invisible. Plant resistant varieties. Fish emulsion, which appears to counter nematode poisons, can be fed to plants. Rotate the crops. Marigolds can be used as a companion plants.

Plant Not Growing

The plants do not grow, the blossoms fall off and the fruit does not form. Too cold temperatures are dangerous. Plant when it is warmer. Consider planting varieties that are appropriate for your area.

Lush Foliage But Unable To Fruit

The lush foliage of plants does not produce any fruit. The soil might be phosphorus-rich but not nitrogen-rich. Before planting, add aged compost to the soil and side dress plants with this compost. Placing a wire cage around the peppers at night can help keep them cool. To increase pollination and fruit yield, lightly tap the plants to ensure that pollen is distributed.

Blossoms Not Bearing Fruit

If the temperature drops below 60°F or rises to 75°F, pepper blossoms can fall. Plant the earliest varieties and those that are recommended for your area. Plant in warmer climates.

Few flowers and few fruits are produced by plants

 If peppers bloom too young, they can also bear fruit. They may become stunted over time. You should only pick flowers that are small and still developing. Avoid purchasing seedlings that are already in bloom.

The holes in buds and blossoms

Mature fruit may become distorted and misshapen. Pepper weevils are 1/8-inch long dark beetles; their larvae are white and legless and are found in fruit. Handpick grubs and weevils. Pepper weevils are attracted to nightshade plants; after harvest, remove infested plants. To stop the pest’s cycle of life, you can cultivate the soil. This problem is common when Pepper Growing.

The fruit is small, flattened, and normal in color

There are very few seeds inside. Pollination was either poor or insufficient. When the weather is warm and the insects are active plants. Attract bees, and other pollinators, to your garden. To increase pollination and fruit yield, tap lightly on the plants to ensure that pollen is evenly distributed.

The fruit has worms or wormholes

Corn earworm can be described as a white, red, or green caterpillar that has spines up to 1 1/2 inches in length. The tomato hornworm caterpillar is a 3 to a 5-inch long green caterpillar with white stripes. These pests can eat through leaves and fruits. Handpick and dispose of. Spray with Bacillus Thuringiensis. Spray with pyrethrum and rotenone

Light-colored fruit that is soft, sunken, and dry

Pepper Growing that is exposed to too much sun can become sunburnt. Prune plants so that flowers and fruits are covered by a leaf canopy. Leaf spot is a condition that can cause leaves to fall. Shade-cloth or a lath screen can be used to shade peppers during hot spells.

Real Men Sow
Real Men Sow

Hello, I’m Pete and I’m currently based in the west of Scotland, in a small place called Rosneath, where I’m exploring my garden adventures. I personally started gardening around 6 years ago and initially, I started out by growing my favorite fruits and berries, such as strawberries, Raspberries & Gooseberries. Since then I’ve added a lot of vegetables and working closely with my neighbor, it’s been a lot of fun.