Did you know that it is estimated to be over 50,000 varieties of capsicums around the world!? Of all these varieties, they fit into 5 species;
- Capsicum annuum, which includes bell peppers, sweet/Italian peppers, serrano, cayenne, paprika and jalapeño
- Capsicum baccatum, which includes the South American varieties, such as ají amarillo, ají limon and criolla sell
- Capsicum chinense, which includes all of the Habaneros, Scotch Bonnets, Trinidad Scorpions, the Bhut Jolokia and the Carolina Reaper.
- Capsicum frutescens, which includes the Tabascos and many of the peppers grown in India; sometimes not distinguished as a species separate from C. annuum
- Capsicum pubescens, which includes the Rocoto and Manzano pepper, and are distinctive plants in having violet flowers, black seeds and hairy dark green leaves and grows as a large, multi-stemmed vine up to 5 meters long.
The Capsicum (or pepper) is also a close relation to tomatoes, so enjoy a warm sunny spot in the garden with well-drained soil and regular food and water. When planting Capsicum and Tomatoes together be sure to rotate them to a different area the successive growing season so they don’t pass on overwintering pathogens.
Capsicum plants grow vertical with a main stalk, so support them by tieing to a good support stake - this way it can handle the weight of the fruit. As they mature the colour of capsicum will change which determines the level of sweetness. Cut them off the plant rather than pick so they last longer - harvest at your own preference and eat straight from the garden, or pop into your salad and stir-fries!
Californian Wonder Capsicum
Brilliant colour for your salad or salsa. Excellent for stuffing, frying or eating raw. Also perfect on the barbie.
Sweet Bell Mix Capsicum
These Sweet Capsicums often called Peppers, are easy to grow if given a warm sheltered area. Fruit start off green but turn to red, orange white, purple or yellow colour as they mature. Fruit can be eaten green.
Prolific producer of spicy peppers. Deep solid green turning red chilli peppers that frow to approximately 75cm. Can be used either green or red. Jalapeno will add some zing to your tacos, burritos nachos & Pizza without overpowering it.
Sweet Banana Capsicum
While typically bright yellow, it is possible for them to change to green, red, or orange as they ripen. It is often pickled, stuffed or used as a raw ingredient in foods.
How to Sow
Choose a well-drained site in full sun. Sow these seeds in trays for subsequent transplanting or, after frosts, sow direct where to grow in a well-prepared seedbed. Sow seeds 5cm apart, in rows 50cm apart and to a depth of 2mm
Care for seedling
Keep seedbed or trays evenly moist during the germination period of 14-21 days. Apply McGregor's VegeMax 1 week after germination for healthier plants and a maximum crop. Protect your vege garden from snails and slugs with McGregor's Snail and Slug bait and from White Butterfly with McGregor's Derris Dust.
Hints & Tips
Picking a few early fruits is a good idea as it encourages further fruit production.