Fruit and Vegetable Gardening A-Z: Peppers

Peppers vary in spiciness, color and size. There are just as many choices for peppers as there are recipes for them! Peppers are very easy to grow and are delicious straight from the vine.

Hardiness Zones:
8-10 (Find your hardiness zone.)

When to Plant:
If you are starting these from seeds, start them indoors in January or February. Most people opt to buy starter plants from a nursery or home improvement store. Bring them outdoors after all threat of frost has passed.

Peppers require full sun and a nutrient-enriched soil that is well drained.

Space Needed:
Space plants about 12-18 inches apart and in rows 2 feet apart. Some pepper plants, such as bell peppers, can grow several feet tall; other pepper plants, such as jalapenos, are smaller in stature.

All pepper plants require staking. Peppers have moderate water requirements, but don't overwater them. Do not over-fertilize. Be careful when handling some hot peppers as they can burn your skin!

When to Harvest:
Harvest time varies for each variety, so consult your seed packet. Most sweet peppers are ready in 60-90 days; hot peppers can take up to 150 days. Peppers start out green in color, later turning yellow, orange and/or red when left on the vine longer. Pick them according to your desired color and size.

Average Yield:
Each plant can yield up to 2 pounds of peppers per season.

Continuous Yield:

Life Cycle:

Difficulty Rating (1-5):