Latin Name: Capsicum annuum
Type: Open Pollinated, Hot Pepper, Warm Season
USDA Zones: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Planting Method: From Transplant
Sunlight: Full Sun
Height: 24 Inches
Color: Red, Green
Sowing: Start pepper seeds indoors in peat pots about 8 weeks before the last expected spring frost. Sow them 1/4″ deep and keep the soil at 80-85 degrees F until germination; provide sunlight or a grow light for 12-16 hours a day. When the outdoor temperature reaches 60-65 degrees F during the day and no less than 50 degrees F at night, transplant the seedlings 12-16″ apart. Exposing the plants to the weather for several hours a day before transplanting may help prevent shock. Peppers also grow well in containers or raised beds.
Growing: Keep the soil evenly moist and weeds under control; mulching the plants may help with this. If excess heat and sun cause the plants to wilt, provide shade.
Harvesting: Harvesting hot peppers is basically a matter of personal preference. Generally, the longer the peppers mature on the vine, the hotter they will taste. Mature peppers, however, signal the plant to stop producing; if the peppers are picked when still at the green stage, the plant will go on producing. Always use a knife or scissors to remove peppers to prevent damage to the fragile stems.