All Peppers like a warm, sunny and sheltered spot. They originated in the tropical highlands of Central and South America and grow best with warm (70 to 80˚ F) days, cool (55 to 70˚ F) nights and high humidity.

Water Needs


Pepper plants are somewhat drought tolerant (especially Hot Peppers), but lack of water can affect fruiting, so they should be kept moist for best production. Drip irrigation works well with Peppers.

Sweet Peppers are particularly vulnerable to water stress when fruiting, so keep the soil evenly moist. If not given enough water, the fruits can develop a slightly bitter flavor (and may get Blossom End Rot).

Don't leave water on the leaves overnight as this encourages disease.

Fertilizer Needs


Low nitrogen. High potassium. High phosphorus. Peppers are fairly hungry plants and require lots of phosphorus and potassium, but not too much nitrogen (which may result in big vigorous plants, but few fruits).

Side Dressing, after transplanting

Compost tea, 2 cup(s) per plant, after transplanting, every 3 weeks

It’s a good idea to feed the plants with compost tea or liquid kelp, after they have recovered from transplanting. After that, give the plants a regular feeding of compost tea every 3 weeks, and be sure to do so when flowering and producing fruit.

Pruning, when 6in tall

when 6in tall, 1 time

Some gardeners pinch out the growing tip when the plant is about 6" tall to encourage bushy, branching growth.

Watering, before flowering

Water, 3 quart(s), before flowering, 2 times a week

The plants should be given all the water they need on a regular basis. This means checking the soil every few days and watering until it is thoroughly moist.

Watering also depends on your local weather; don't water if it's raining, or water more frequently if it's dry. Just be sure to keep soil moist for the best crop. The best way to know how much moisture is in your soil is to feel 1" below the soil line. If it's dry, water.

Side Dressing, at flowering

Mulch, 2 inch(es), at flowering, 1 time

Mulch is helpful to conserve moisture and to keep down weeds around these shallow rooted crops.

Be aware that mulch insulates the soil, so don’t apply it until the soil is warm (65º to depth of 4"). Ideally wait until the plants are flowering.

Watering, after flowering

Water, 3 quart(s), after flowering, 2 times a week

The plants must never be short of water while they are flowering and producing fruit. Make sure the soil is constantly moist, as they have a greater need for water at this time. 



Though staking isn't usually needed, it is sometimes helpful to keep the plants upright and to keep fruit off the ground. If your plants start to lean you should put in a sturdy stake several inches away from stem.