QUESTION: Are bell peppers easy to grow? I’m new to gardening and we buy a lot of bell peppers, so I’d like to try growing them in containers or maybe a regular garden. – Lisa J
ANSWER: Yes, growing bell peppers is a simple process. However, this plant does require patience from the gardener.
Pepper plants should be started indoors, if you are growing them from seed. You can start them approximately eight weeks prior to transplant.
You should wait until all threats of frost are over prior to planting them in their permanent outdoor location.
The temperatures should be 70-degrees Fahrenheit, or higher, before peppers are moved outdoors. They take a lot of patience because they thrive in heat.
Therefore, you might plant them in late spring, but they won’t really show out until the temperatures heat up in the middle of summer.
If this is too much trouble, you can always buy starter plants at most nurseries and garden centers, which makes things easier for you.
Meet all of the pepper plants’ needs to ensure they’re thriving by the time the temperatures heat up. They should be planted in well-draining soil, be fertilized regularly, and keep an eye out for pests and diseases.
Pepper plants do face a few common problems which you should be aware of. If the plant looks healthy but isn’t producing a ton of fruit, it might be lacking magnesium. This can be corrected by sprinkling Epsom salt around the base of the plant before watering.
If you have a pepper plant which produces prematurely, remove the blooms from the plant. This will signal for it to keep growing. Once the appropriate height is reached, allow the pepper plant to begin producing.
Be aware of aphids, spider mites, and white flies as these are pests which love to live on pepper plants. These pests can be treated with an insecticide.
Pepper plants could run into fungal issues if the soil isn’t well-draining and if they lack airflow around them.
If you notice signs of fungal disease, apply a fungicide to your plant, decrease the amount of water being applied, and ensure your peppers aren’t planted too closely. They should have at least a foot between each plant to provide adequate airflow.
Take these tips into consideration when growing pepper plants. If you provide proper care, stay on top of potential issues, and wait for the temperatures to rise, you should have a positive experience growing this vegetable.