From the colorful Pizza-toppings of the Italian cuisine to the flavoursome Chili-Chicken delicacy of the Chinese cuisine, Capsicum is one of the most widely cultivated vegetables in the world. Read more about how to grow this plant.
- Common name: Capsicum
- Botanical Name: Capsicum annuum
- Other names: Sweet Pepper, Cayenne Pepper, Paprika
- Indian names: Shimla mirch (Hindi)
- Vegetable type: Fruit vegetable
- Varieties: Green, Red, Yellow, Purple, Orange, White
Despite being a single species, Capsicum has many forms with a variety of luscious colors like red, yellow, green, purple and even black! In addition to its use as spices and vegetables, Capsicum has also found use in medicines because of its excellent health benefits.
- Life-cycle: Annual
- Height: up to 1 metre
- Width/Spacing: 20 to 30 cm
- Flower color: white
- Foliage: densely branched
Growing Capsicum needs:
- Sunlight: partial sun/shade – around 3-4 hours of morning/evening sunlight with some afternoon shade.
- Water: moderately- when the top-inch of the soil feels dry.
- Sowing season: during cooler periods as Capsicum is both heat and frost tender.
– Sowing in Northern India: Spring season. Start seeds indoors during winter season before transplanting them outside during the coming spring season.
– Sowing in Southern India: Winter season. Preferably start seeds indoors for better germination rate.
Read Growing Seeds Indoors for a guide on germinating seeds indoors for better germination rate and healthier plants.
For growing Capsicum either directly sow its seeds in the soil or grow its seeds indoors before transplanting the seedlings (about 10-15 cm tall plants) outdoors. Fertilize the soil using compost, manure, compost tea or Panchagavya before transplanting the Capsicum seedlings. Read “How to Fertilise Vegetable Plants” for more information.
Plant the seedlings at a space of about 30 cm apart. As the plant starts bearing its fruit, it will need support from short-stakes for balance. During very hot or very cold climate, Capsicum can drop their flowers to conserve its energy, hence will be unproductive. Therefore, planting them during the right season is necessary for a good harvest. Capsicum are suitable for growing in containers as well.
Main pests that attack Capsicum are aphids and whiteflies. Treat them using organic pesticides like Neem Oil. In areas with higher humidity levels, good plant spacing is essential to ensure air flow and help minimise a number of potential mould problems. If the problem persists, then contact our Garden maintenance service @GreenMyLife to get rid of pests effectively.
Capsicum will be ready for harvest about 2 months from planting. Capsicum of hybrid varieties start green and then mature to the their original color. Unlike the Hybrid varieties, the colour of the heirloom Capsicums results from their genetics, and not just the stage of ripeness.
Capsicum can be propagated by seeds from a healthy harvest. However, seeds for next season will not develop in hybrid varieties.
Have fun planning colorful recipes with your freshly-harvested firm glossy capsicums.