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Growing peppers in home gardens

A quick guide to peppers

  • Start pepper from seeds indoors about eight weeks before planting outside.
  • If you buy plants from a garden center, choose sturdy plants up to a foot tall.
  • Transplant outdoors after nighttime low temperatures are above 50°F.
  • Use black plastic mulch to warm the soil, decrease weed growth and keep soil moisture.
Yellow sweet pepper and green sweet pepper growing on plant

Peppers (Capsicum annum, C. chinense) can be sweet or hot, tiny or a foot long, and range in color from green, yellow, orange, red and purple, to brown.

Sweet peppers include banana, bell, cherry and pimiento types. Hot peppers include ancho, chili, habanero, jalapeño, hot banana and serrano types.

The compound that makes peppers taste hot is capsaicin and is in the seeds and the whitish membrane inside the fruits. Removing the seeds and membrane before cooking or eating raw reduces the hotness of peppers.

Selecting plants

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Planting

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How to keep your pepper plants healthy and productive

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Managing pests, diseases, and disorders

Many things can affect pepper leaves, flowers and fruit. Changes in physical appearance and plant health can be caused by the environment, plant diseases, insects and wildlife. In order to address what you’re seeing, it is important to make a correct diagnosis. 

You can find additional help identifying common pest problems by using the online diagnostic tools or by sending a sample to the UMN Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic. You can use Ask a Master Gardener to share pictures and get advice.

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Author: Marissa Schuh, Extension educator, and Cindy Tong, Extension specialist

 

Reviewed in 2022

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