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Growing Sweet Peppers 2016




I had some spare room on my window sill so I decided to grow some pepper plants. I collected seeds from a couple of store-bought sweet peppers. Most of the seeds were taken from a big yellow bell pepper. I also took some seeds from a smaller variety. I wouldn't say it was bell-shaped but it was sweet and had thin walls. I think the the colour was orange.

After letting the seeds dry for a couple of weeks I put some dirt in a small container, spread the seeds on top and added water. This resulted in many more plants than I could possibly take care of so when they had got their first pair of true leaves I selected 5 plants and removed the rest. Two plants were selected because they were clearly bigger than the rest. I also wanted to make sure I got plants from both varieties but since all seeds had been mixed it wasn't easy to tell the different, but i tried to pick from different corners of the container and what I thought looked slightly different.

After a few weeks it was time to separate them into their own, bigger, containers that they are still in today.


All five pepper plants.

All plants have flowered and produced green pods but none has ripened yet. The plants has been growing very slow lately and seem to be focusing most energy on the existing pods.

I have grown a pepper plant before but that was more than 15 years ago. At that time I didn't even like the taste of peppers but it was fun growing anyway. I don't think it ever ripened. This year I started earlier so I hope to get at least one ripe pod per plant.


Pot A
This has always been the biggest-looking plant. The leaves are wider and more wrinkly compared to the other plants. It has got the biggest pod of all plants. The total number of pods is three (not counting a few undeveloped ones at the top that will probably fall off soon).


The plant growing in pot A.


Pot B
This plant is about the same size as plant A. The width of the biggest pod is similar to the biggest pod on plant A but it's not as long. The total number of pods is four. Usually there is only one flower for each location where the stem split into two new branches, but as you can see this one has two pods growing from the same spot.


The plant growing in pot B.


Pot C
This plant has always been a bit different. It's shorter, has more visible side shoots on the main stem (still pretty small though) and the pods are more elongated, not at all bell-shaped. I suspect this plant is an offspring of the smaller variety that I took seeds from. The window in my room is facing north, noth-east, so it doesn't get much direct sunlight. I have heard pepper plants love the sun so I have experimented with this plant by putting it in a sunny south-facing window. Some of the leaves look a bit sunburned because of this. It was quite warm during that period so I think it got too hot and the pods just fell off. When I put it back into my room the pods started to develop, and it now have three of them growing.


The short plant growing in pot C.


Pot D
I thought three plants was enough but instead of throwing the other two away I just let them grow in the same container. These were the smallest of the five but after giving them some fertilizer they have grown a lot and is now almost as tall as plant A and B. Their stems are still much thinner though so I'm not sure how they will be able to support the pods. They are a bit behind the other plants and is still putting out many flowers. They look more similar to A and B than to C so I think they are offsprings of the yellow bell pepper.


The two plants growing in pot D.



34 blog comments below

Looking good, Peterssidan. Hopefully they will continue grow as well.
standready on Tue Aug 16, 2016 4:12 pm
That's truly amazing. Growing this from store bought peppers. Didn't know that it could be as easy as that. Is there anything else that makes them grow so tall and with perfect leaves, like maybe music or talking to them? Razz

Also amazing to see that each plant turned out to be different and unique from the other.
deanhills on Tue Aug 16, 2016 7:53 pm
standready wrote:
Looking good, Peterssidan. Hopefully they will continue grow as well.

Thank you. The plants will probably not grow much more unless I put them in bigger pots. The pods are growing, but I hope the plants understand they should not grow them as big as the store-bought peppers because with current pace I'm afraid that would take a long time.

deanhills wrote:
That's truly amazing. Growing this from store bought peppers. Didn't know that it could be as easy as that. Is there anything else that makes them grow so tall and with perfect leaves, like maybe music or talking to them?

Well, I often take a look at them to see how they're doing but I don't think I do anything special. Water and light is what they need.

deanhills wrote:
Also amazing to see that each plant turned out to be different and unique from the other.

Yeah, I find it interesting too. I read somewhere that the peppers we buy at the store are often hybrids. The offspring of hybrids are not very predictable and could have traits more similar to the hybrid's parents.
Peterssidan on Wed Aug 17, 2016 1:24 am
I've been growing hot pepper plants for 3 years now and though they are different plants, they're all part of the capsicul genus so in term of growing them there isn't a lot of difference.

I'm not sure that the plant 'knows' it's contained in a small pot, apart from getting root-bound and as a result getting stressed it might (not too sure here) grow smaller pods or less pods. To be safe I would stake the main branch and possibly the branches holding the fruit.
Your main stems seem to be rather thin and if the pods should grow to it's normal size it may not be able to hold the weight.

I've also noticed that plants kept indoors are not as thick as plants kept outdoors, I've read that the plant will compensate by growing a thicker stem.

I'm affraid to keep my plants indoors because I would get aphids within a few days because they wouldn't get attacked by predators like the lovebug larva.

I hope you post your progress here
Marcuzzo on Mon Aug 22, 2016 9:47 pm
Marcuzzo wrote:
I've been growing hot pepper plants for 3 years now and though they are different plants, they're all part of the capsicul genus so in term of growing them there isn't a lot of difference.

They're pretty much the same thing. Many hot peppers are the same species as bell peppers (Capsicum annuum). It's even possible to cross many species within the Capsicum genus. I might try growing hot peppers next year. I like food with a bit of heat but I have very limited experience using it in cooking (chili is not a not a traditional spice here). What varieties are you growing?

Marcuzzo wrote:
I'm not sure that the plant 'knows' it's contained in a small pot, apart from getting root-bound and as a result getting stressed it might (not too sure here) grow smaller pods or less pods. To be safe I would stake the main branch and possibly the branches holding the fruit. Your main stems seem to be rather thin and if the pods should grow to it's normal size it may not be able to hold the weight.

I'm not too worried at the moment but you're right, I might soon need to put a stake in pot D.

Marcuzzo wrote:
I've also noticed that plants kept indoors are not as thick as plants kept outdoors, I've read that the plant will compensate by growing a thicker stem.

I've heard plants grow thicker stem if they're exposed to wind. There's no wind indoors so they don't (think they) need a thick stem.

Marcuzzo wrote:
I'm affraid to keep my plants indoors because I would get aphids within a few days because they wouldn't get attacked by predators like the lovebug larva.

I don't think my outdoor climate is suitable for peppers, and I'm worried that the deers will eat them, but I might try it next year with a few plants. I haven't had any problems with aphids yet. Only 1 or 2 earlier in the year but they were easy to remove. My plants have been mostly visited by small flies, probably came with the soil, but they don't seem to make any damage. I have also seen a spider which I guess is good because it could eat aphids and other insects.

Marcuzzo wrote:
I hope you post your progress here

The pods are still growing. All new pods are falling off. It seems each plant only wants 3 or 4 of them growing at the same time. I will post pictures in a week or two when the changes are more visible.
Peterssidan on Tue Aug 23, 2016 12:32 am
A ticker stem isn't required indoors but it will help the plant in supporting the extra weight.
If you're affraid deer will eat your plant it would indeed be better to keep them indoors.
You could use a little fan to simulate the wind every now and then.
It will also help pollination as indoors there aren't any insects like bees that will carry the pollen to the other flowers.

The little fly's you mentionned are most likely gnats and don't pose a real danger, letting your containers dry a little more before watering and not keeping your soil too wet will get rid of them.

This year I'm growing chocolate and lemon habanero's, fatalli yellow, madame jeanette, scotch bonnet and the notorious carolina reaper but this one is refusing to set fruit. All flowers are dropping before it sets fruit because I've used a small pot for this one and the temparature is too unstable this summer.
We've had a lot of rain and night temperatures are often below 13 degrees, other days it will rise to above 30 and pepper plants don't like these huge changes i
Marcuzzo on Tue Aug 23, 2016 9:36 am
Marcuzzo wrote:
You could use a little fan to simulate the wind every now and then.

I don't have a fan. I could of course buy one but I want to keep this little hobby of mine as simple and as cheap as possible, at least for now.

Marcuzzo wrote:
It will also help pollination as indoors there aren't any insects like bees that will carry the pollen to the other flowers.

I have used a cotton swab to pollinate the flowers by hand. It seems to have worked just fine.

Marcuzzo wrote:
The little fly's you mentionned are most likely gnats and don't pose a real danger, letting your containers dry a little more before watering and not keeping your soil too wet will get rid of them.

They seems to be gone now, but I'm pretty sure they were flies, maybe fruit flies.

Marcuzzo wrote:
This year I'm growing chocolate and lemon habanero's, fatalli yellow, madame jeanette, scotch bonnet and the notorious carolina reaper but this one is refusing to set fruit. All flowers are dropping before it sets fruit because I've used a small pot for this one and the temparature is too unstable this summer.

Sounds hot! Embarassed A bigger pot would probably help keeping the soil temperature and moisture more stable.
Peterssidan on Tue Aug 23, 2016 12:30 pm
Peterssidan, you have inspired me to get buy some bell peppers of all different colors (red, orange, yellow and of course green) to save seeds for next spring.
Not much for growing 'hot' peppers since my neighbor has plenty in his garden.
standready on Tue Aug 23, 2016 4:25 pm
It has now been two weeks since the first set of pictures was taken so I think it's time for some more. As you can see the plants has not grown very much but the size of the pods has increased, especially on the plants in pot D. You can click on the pictures to make them larger.

Pot A


Pot B


Pot C


Pot D
Peterssidan on Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:22 am
They're growing nicely, I'l currently waiting for my fight at the ciampino airport (rome) to get home. Last week was one if the hottest weeks ever in belgium and my plants have been sitting outdoors unattended for a whole week. I sure hope they made it Sad .
I will post some pics when I get home
Marcuzzo on Tue Aug 30, 2016 12:23 pm
looking very good!
standready on Tue Aug 30, 2016 4:36 pm
Good one, many people can't think of that . you just inspired me to do something on farming .
cyborg on Tue Aug 30, 2016 7:07 pm
standready wrote:
Peterssidan, you have inspired me to get buy some bell peppers of all different colors (red, orange, yellow and of course green) to save seeds for next spring.

I have already started collecting seeds for next year's season. So far I have seeds for red bell peppers and a classic looking red hot pepper (not sure exactly what the variety is called). Note that green peppers are unripe peppers so the seeds might be harder to germinate.

Marcuzzo wrote:
I'l currently waiting for my fight at the ciampino airport (rome) to get home.

I'm sorry to hear you have to fight at the airport. Hope you get home in one piece. Wink

Marcuzzo wrote:
Last week was one if the hottest weeks ever in belgium and my plants have been sitting outdoors unattended for a whole week. I sure hope they made it Sad . I will post some pics when I get home.

Yeah, post some pics so we can see what a week of hot sun can do to pepper plants. Twisted Evil My guess is that, if they didn't get any rain, those with bigger pots will be best off, but I sincerely hope all of them will be alright.
Peterssidan on Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:22 pm
Oops, typ-o... Flight Very Happy

Just got home and some peppers got sunscald Crying or Very sad







Marcuzzo on Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:36 pm
I should have cropped the pictures of my crops, cr#p Laughing
Marcuzzo on Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:41 pm
So this is what they look like after a week unattended? Except for the sunscald in the first picture your plants look super healthy. And you got so many pods... Surprised
My plants look small in comparison. Next year I will start earlier and use bigger pots. Idea
How old are your plants? I assume you start them indoors early in the spring but do you use any extra lights or only sunlight?

Marcuzzo wrote:
I should have cropped the pictures of my crops, cr#p Laughing

Imgur makes it very easy to show thumbnails. If you click on the image in your account so that it brings up the various link codes (Direct Link, BBCode, HTML, etc.) you can change the size at the bottom. Please edit your post so that you use one of the Thumbnail sizes. If you use the Linked BBCode people will still be able to view the pictures in full size by clicking on them.
Peterssidan on Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:30 pm
Accidental post, please remove.
Peterssidan on Thu Sep 01, 2016 2:30 pm
One of the pods on plant B has started to change colour! Very Happy
First it turned dark green, almost brown, and now it starts to look ... red?


First pod starting to ripen.
Peterssidan on Tue Sep 06, 2016 9:15 am
This is what it looks like one day later.

Peterssidan on Wed Sep 07, 2016 12:20 pm
Now that is fast.
Mine have been slightly coloured for a while now Crying or Very sad
Marcuzzo on Wed Sep 07, 2016 2:05 pm
The red color is awesome Peterssidan. Are you going to add it to a salad? Razz
deanhills on Wed Sep 07, 2016 9:26 pm
Marcuzzo wrote:
Now that is fast. Mine have been slightly coloured for a while now Crying or Very Sad

Yes, much faster than I expected. I guess the size could have something to do with it. The length is just 4 cm.

deanhills wrote:
The red color is awesome Peterssidan.

I didn't remember collecting seeds from a pepper with such a colour but now that I see it I think that I might have done, just because I thought the colour was unusual. The other side of the pepper isn't fully ripe yet so I'm going to wait at least one more day before harvesting.

deanhills wrote:
Are you going to add it to a salad? Razz

I don't know. It's so small that I could put the whole fruit into my mouth. I plan to taste a small piece without anything else just to see how it taste. I might put the rest on top of an open sandwich.
Peterssidan on Wed Sep 07, 2016 10:52 pm
So now I have harvested my first pepper. I first tasted a small piece and it had that typical bell pepper taste. I also let some other people have a taste test. What was left ended up on a sandwich.

Peterssidan on Fri Sep 09, 2016 9:47 am
All plants are getting red pods but the colour tone is slightly different. The ripe pod on plant A has a nice pure red colour. The pods on plant B looks like they have some orange in the mix, but I will wait a bit longer with this second pod to see if it makes a difference. In the early stages of ripening orange is clearly visible on the pods of plant B.

Plant A


Plant B


Plant C
Peterssidan on Fri Sep 16, 2016 12:36 pm
Looks as though they have different shapes as well.
deanhills on Fri Sep 16, 2016 11:17 pm
Yes they do, but considering the similarity in colour, I wonder if they all came from the same fruit.
Next year I plan to keep better track of where the seeds come from so that I can better understand the genetics.
Peterssidan on Sat Sep 17, 2016 10:01 am
Finally, a pepper that is not red. Dancing

Peterssidan on Wed Sep 28, 2016 9:34 am
The last plant turns red.



Now that I have tasted from all my plants I think it's time to summarise this season.


A - Red
Taste is okay. I like the smooth look of the fruits and the deep red colour. I also liked the look of the plant and its leaves but now in the autumn it has started to look pale compared to the other plants and some of the leaves looks like they're drying up. Three pods were harvested from this plant.

B - Red
The plant looks very similar to A in the way it grows except that the leaves are flatter. I'm not sure if I like the taste or not. It tastes more, which is good, but it's also the same taste that made me not like bell peppers as a child. Four pods has been harvested from this plant. They are a bit smaller so the total weight is probably about the same as A. It looks like it has decided to flower again very soon.

C - Red
This plant grows much smaller and have elongated pods which I like but unfortunately the taste is not very good. I waited very long before I harvested the last pod, and wow lots of flavour, but still not very good taste. Three pods were harvested from this plant.

D - Yellow
Fun to have a different colour but the taste was nothing special. I'm not really surprised because I think yellow bell peppers usually doesn't taste very much. It had by far the biggest pod of all plants but I don't think it's genetic because it also got the smallest pod that is in the process of turning yellow right now. I have only harvested one pod so far. Three pods are still on the plant but one is very small so I don't know if it will fall off or if it will start to grow as soon as the other pods are mature.

D - Red
This one had a big elongated pod. Unfortunately it tasted not very good, similar to C. There is one more pod still on the plant.


Next year I plan to sow seeds from A and maybe B because I think they are the best ones but I know there is high chance that they have been crossed with each other so I don't know what I will get. Maybe I will sow a few seeds from the others as well just to see what I get. I have also been collecting new seeds from store bought peppers so I'm already looking forward to many more plants next year.
Peterssidan on Mon Oct 24, 2016 2:03 pm
Those don't look much a 'bell' peppers but still enjoyed watching their progress and your summary.
I enjoy the different color (green, orange, yellow and red) bell peppers. Each has a different taste.
standready on Mon Oct 24, 2016 4:29 pm
Does a pepper have to have 3 or more lobes at the bottom to be called a "bell pepper"? Here in Sweden they are sold as "paprika" which is the word used for all sweet peppers (i.e. peppers that are not hot) so no one seem to care if they have lobes or meet in one point. You can find both shapes at the grocery store.

I don't remember exactly how the fruits that I took seeds from looked like. They were probably hybrids so that could be why I get all kinds of shapes. I also suspect that the small size makes them deformed. I hope some of them survive the winter so that I can compare what the fruit looks like in bigger pots. I think the fruit shape on plant B looks quite normal already.
Peterssidan on Mon Oct 24, 2016 5:29 pm
Quote:
Does a pepper have to have 3 or more lobes at the bottom to be called a "bell pepper"?

That, I don't know for sure. I personally have consider 'bell' if they have lobes otherwise I call them sweet or hot as case may be.
standready on Tue Oct 25, 2016 7:30 pm
In my experience a bell pepper has to look like a bell to be called a bell pepper. Like have the shape of a bell.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell_pepper

If it's another shape then it's referred to as a sweet pepper. But if one checks the Internet many people are using bell pepper for sweet peppers as well. So it probably doesn't matter as much.

Generally though this is what a bell pepper would look like for me:



And this is what a sweet pepper would look like for me:

deanhills on Tue Oct 25, 2016 7:57 pm
deanhills wrote:
In my experience a bell pepper has to look like a bell to be called a bell pepper. Like have the shape of a bell.

I have never really understood what kind of bell it's supposed to look like. The closest I can think of are old square looking cow bells. To me the bishop's crown pepper looks more like a bell.


deanhills wrote:
Generally though this is what a bell pepper would look like for me:

Yeah that is what I also think of as a bell pepper, it's just that all pictures I find look so perfect. It looks like the fruit has muscles with the lobes clearly visible and they're almost as wide at the bottom as at the top. Not all peppers at the grocery store are as perfect as that.


deanhills wrote:
And this is what a sweet pepper would look like for me:

I think I collected seeds from a smaller orange fruit that had similar shape to this but I don't think any of my plants are from that one. I was under the impression "sweet pepper" was used for any non-hot fruit and that is why I used it in the blog post title.


So what is the preferred name for a non-hot pepper? On the Wikipedia page they make it sound like bell pepper, sweet pepper, pepper and capsicum are synonyms.

Bell pepper Not all non-hot peppers are bell shaped.
Sweet pepper Shouldn't "sweet" imply high sugar content? What if you have a bell pepper with low sugar content or a hot pepper with high sugar content?
Pepper Doesn't this also include hot peppers?
Capsicum This is the name of the whole genus that includes both hot and non-hot peppers.
Peterssidan on Tue Oct 25, 2016 11:37 pm
I'm not an expert but I think sweet pepper doesn't mean sweet as in sugar, but more along the lines of sweet as in not too spicy and fiery.

Capsicum for me is a genus of plants that include all of the peppers under discussion as a class. So it includes hot peppers, sweet peppers, bell peppers etc.
deanhills on Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:57 pm



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