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A picture of a Bell Pepper

Bell Pepper

Capsicum annuum

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Also known as

Pepper, Chilli Pepper, Cayenne Pepper, Red Capsicum, Sweet Pepper

Full Sun
Moderate care
Moderate watering
Tender

H5-H1c

RHS hardiness

-15°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

90cm

Max

50cm

10cm

Min

20cm

1 years to reach maturity

Fruiting

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

Harvest when the fruits have ripened to red, orange, yellow, brown or even brownish-black or leave to dry on the shrub. Protect against intense sun expose especially during hot summers when the fruit is maturing. Fruit can be collected during the Autumn

More images

Starr 070112-3413 Capsicum annuum
A photo of Bell Pepper
Chile pequin fruit and flower closeup
Capsicum annuum (2)
Capsicum annuum, paprika

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Overview

Capsicum has the highest diversity of shapes and is the most common and extensively grown of the chilli species. Although annuum means annual it is actually a perennial in areas where the temperature remains between 15 - 30C (60-85F) all year. Wild ancestors of this species are believed to have evolved in Southern Brazil and Bolivia but were cultivated by man around 6,100 years ago. In the UK this species has been classified as follows: the hot varieties are called chillies and the sweet varieties are called red or green peppers. But modern breeding has confused this with the introduction of hot Bell peppers and sweet Jalapenos.

Common problems

Blossom end rot. Leaves can be prone to scorching when wet in bright sunlight.

Companion plants

Peas And Beans and good companions, both of these vegetables fix nitrogen in the soil, cover bare ground to control weeds, and enhance the flavour of peppers. Alliums are good; cultivating onions, chives or leeks around the perimeter of your pepper patch enhances flavour and helps deter aphids and other garden insect pests. Chives are a perennial plant, so planting once will provide flavorful chives year after year. Chives also attract bees and butterflies to the garden. Basil repels aphids, ants, mites, slugs, flies, certain beetles, and a host of other garden pests. Peppers and tomatoes are “good neighbours” as tomatoes help keep the soil free of harmful soil nematodes and ward off beetles. In addition to adding a splash of brilliant colour to the garden, marigolds, nasturtiums, and petunias help deter beetles, aphids, whiteflies, squash bugs, and other common garden pests.

Propagation

Seed

Sow during spring and summer and space of 30 - 40 cm apart. Sowing depth between 10 - 15 mm. Germination takes 10 - 18 days.

Special Features

Crop rotation

Capsicums are heavy feeder, follow with legumes.

Pot plant

When grown as an ornamental, planting in a container is a good choice. Repot every 2 years or when the current pot is too small for your plant.

Repels harmful insects

Paprika is good in insecticide recipes.

Attractive fruits

Uses

Culinary

Edible

Huge chillies that have a sweet flavour, good for drying and grinding into Paprika powder. Use fresh for salads with a more intense flavour than ordinary salad peppers.

Culinary

Can be eaten raw in salads or cooked in a variety of dishes from soups to stews