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Growing Pepper Plants

Homegrown Peppers

Growing Peppers

From sweet peppers for snacking to hot peppers that will nearly set your mouth on fire, there's a pepper for every taste. Peppers are one of the easiest vegetables to grow in the garden or a pot. Plant peppers in spring or early summer and place them in an area that receives at least 6 to 8 hours of sun. Homegrown peppers are more flavorful than peppers from the market and are loaded with key nutrients. They're low in calories and a great source of vitamins A and C, potassium, folic acid and fiber. Plus, they'll liven up homemade meals and even drinks.

Homegrown peppers are more flavorful than peppers from the market and are loaded with key nutrients. They're low in calories and a great source of vitamins A and C, potassium, folic acid and fiber. Plus, they'll liven up homemade meals and even drinks.

Green Bell Pepper Plant in a Garden

Pepper Uses

Peppers are one of the most versatile vegetables with their wide range of flavor from sweet to hot. When choosing pepper plants for your garden think about how you'd like to enjoy them. Decide if you want peppers for salads, to use as a main course as a stuffed pepper, or to add heat to salsa. Below is a guide to the world of peppers in order from sweet to very hot.

many types of peppers

Bell Peppers

california wonder pepper

California Wonder

A classic pepper that can be harvested green or left until it turns red for a sweeter pepper. Great for stuffed peppers.

golden bell pepper


Versatile, sweet yellow pepper.

red beauty bell pepper

Red Beauty

Vibrant red sweet pepper ideal for stuffing or roasting.

purple beauty bell pepper

Purple Beauty

Deep purple pepper with a sweet, mild flavor.

gourmet orange bell pepper

Gourmet Orange

Hearty orange pepper with thick walls and crisp flavor.

better belle pepper

Better Belle

Compact plant perfect for pots with large green peppers.

Mild Chili Peppers

jalapeno peppers


Mild to medium hot green pepper. Use for stuffing, pickling, jelly, salsa, and drinks. Chipotles are smoked, ripe jalapenos.

anaheim pepper


Green pepper with a sweet & spicy flavor. Use for stuffing, chile rellenos, and salsa. Add to stir-fry for a bit of heat.

poblano pepper


Use for chili rellenos and mole poblano. Roast and peel for canning or freezing. Ripens reddish-brown.

banana sweet pepper

Banana Sweet

A favorite for pickling, stuffing, salads, sandwiches or frying. Harvested yellow.

shishito pepper


Small finger shaped green pepper. Ideal for tempura or stir-fry, 1 in 10 is hot.

Spicy Chili Peppers

thai chili pepper

Thai (Bird's Eye Chili)

Red chili pepper used for Thai, Lao, Khmer, Indonesian, and Vietnamese cuisine.

super chili peppers

Super Chili (Thai Super Chili) 

Compact plants great for growing in pots with red peppers. Commonly used in Asian dishes.

serrano peppers


Use for pico de gall, salsa, marinades, sauces and chilis. Unlike other peppers, it can be harvested at any color stage.

hungarian wax peppers

Hungarian Wax

Medium-hot, yellow pepper. Great for roasting. Use for stir fry, pickling or fresh eating.

Very Spicy Chilis

ghost pepper

Ghost Pepper (Bhut Jolokia) 

Red in color and exceptionally hot. Use fresh or dried in curries, pickles and chutneys.

habanero peppers


Very hot pepper. Harvest orange. Fruity, citrusy flavor. Popular for hot sauces and spicy foods.

scotch bonnet peppers

Caribbean Red (Scotch Bonnet)

Very hot pepper. Use in sauces, salsas and marinades.

It's going to freeze, what should I do? 

Pepper plants like it warm and cannot take a freeze. If the temperature drops into the 30's protect your peppers. First, water the soil well to hydrate the pepper plant and apply a 2-inch layer of mulch to help provide insolation. Around sundown, apply frost cloth and remove in the morning before the sun comes up.

I bought a red/yellow pepper, but it's green. 

All peppers start green and will ripen to it's ready-for-harvest color.

Can I plant sweet and hot peppers together?

Absolutely, the hot pepper will not change or affect other peppers or vegetable plants.

I found large green caterpillars, will these hurt my pepper plants?

These are called tomato hornworms and they are heavy eaters. They quickly eat foliage and damage the peppers. It's important that you treat your peppers right away with Bonide BT Thuricide. It's an organic insect spray that controls garden pests while being bird-safe and won't harm beneficial insects.

The new leaves on my pepper are curling.

Look at the underside of the leaves and you'll likely find tiny white, green or yellow bugs. These are aphids and are sometimes so small you can't see them with a human eye. Aphids suck on the foliage and produce waste that looks like a sticky, sugary substance. To get rid of aphids apply all natural Bonide Captain Jack's Deadbug Brew. Aphids can also be prevented or eliminated with beneficial insects like ladybugs.

The leaves on my pepper plants have holes.

If you see many holes, usually the size of an eraser that likely means you have garden slugs. This is more common after a good rain. Apply Sluggo to around your pepper plant.

My pepper plants look sad and drooping.

This is common during hot, summer days and is a sign that your pepper plant needs more water. Water in the morning between 6-9am at the base of the pepper plant. Your plant should perk up quickly.

Are peppers a fruit or a vegetable?

Peppers are a fruit. By definition, fruit has at least one seed and are grown from the flower of the plant.