Growing vegetables at home has never been more sought after than right now. With the rising prices of food across the globe, many people are looking into the idea of becoming more self-sustainable when it comes to our living styles. One of the main reasons people are put off by growing their own vegetables is the length of time it takes for their crops to grow. However, many people are misunderstood or misinformed about the length of time certain vegetables take to grow. So let’s take a closer look at how long does it take for a bell pepper to grow?
How Long Does It Take For a Bell Pepper To Grow?
Bell peppers are known to be a summer vegetable. They thrive in warmer climates, and struggle to mature in colder climates. For this reason the bell pepper is commonly seasonal, however they can be grown in winter periods if you have the means to keep their environment warm (such as indoors, or in a greenhouse).
Bell peppers have a Mid-Range growing season, which can stem from 60-90 days. This may seem a long time, but even the quickest growing vegetables (radishes) take up to 25 days to mature. So this really isn’t bad at all if we’re looking at the bigger picture.
However, the growing season can be shortened if you choose to buy a starter bell pepper plant from a garden center. You can reduce your growing season by up to 20 days if you buy starter plants, being ready to harvest in about 40 days, rather than 60.
To be able to achieve a growing season like this, the environment in which your bell peppers are growing has to be near perfect. But with the correct set-up, you can achieve this very easily.
Perfect Bell Pepper Environment Set-Up – For Quick Growth
First of all, you should plan exactly where you are going to plant your starter bell pepper plants. We highly recommend planting these in a reasonably sized pot. The benefit of growing bell peppers in a pot is that you can easily move the plant if needed. For example, if a late frost is forecast in the next couple of days, you have the ability to move your plant indoors, or into a greenhouse for extra protection.
As a minimum you should have a pot size of 12 inches in diameter and 12 inches in depth. Bell pepper roots grow in every direction and like to spread out, gathering as much water as possible.
Soil Temperature and Fertilizer
Secondly you need to prep the soil in which you’ll be planting your starter plant. There are 2 factors that you will have to consider when doing this; soil temperature, and correct fertilizer.
The soil needs to be heated before planting, and stay between 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the course of the growing season for best results. At this temperature germination is at its optimal level.
Fertilizing the soil with the correct fertilizer will also help for your plant to grow healthy. Using a balanced fertilizer is best for bell peppers. We recommend a 4-4-4 fertilizer if you have chosen a smaller pot to grow your bell peppers, or a 10-10-10 if you have chosen a bigger pot.
Miracle Gro All Purpose Plant Food, is one of the best natural fertilizers on the market. It contains an equal balance in Potassium, Nitrogen and Phosphorus, which gives the best results for growing bell peppers.
(Please note, you will lose a smaller bit of fertilizer every time you water the bell pepper plant, as the excess water drains away, taking some of the fertilizer goodness with it. This is why we recommend the 10-10-10 fertilizer for bigger pots).
Third and finally, you need to consider your watering routine. Both over watering and under watering your bell pepper plants can have huge effects on its growth rate. Bell peppers need roughly 1-2 inches of water a week, but in hotter climates, this will need to be increased.
On average you should be watering your bell pepper plants once a day, with half a pint of water. But this should be increased to 2 times a day in hotter climates. An easy way to tell if your bell pepper plant needs further watering is to gently press into the soil to determine if the under soil is still dry. Sometimes the water will simply trickle down the inside of the pot, and will not reach the crucial roots in the center.
How To Grow Bell Peppers From a Seed?
Getting started to grow bell peppers is the hardest part of the entire process. Growing bell peppers from a seed takes patiences and a lot of care. But in this next section we will tell you exactly how to grow bell peppers from a seed, so you can enjoy every stage of the growing process.
How to grow bell peppers from a seed may seem daunting, and there’s no guarantee that your seeds will grow, but that’s all part of the fun, right?
When growing bell peppers from a seed you need the right information, (which from our research is hard to find) so we have equipped you with an easy guide to grow peppers from a seed. So let’s take a closer look into this process. How long does it take for a bell pepper to grow from a seed?
For more information on this topic, click the link on How Long Does It Take To Grow Peppers From Seed
What you will need;
- Bell pepper seeds
- Seed starter soil
- Seed starter pots or trays
- Grow Light
- Indoor space
Getting your hands on all the above is very easy. You can find all of the required above in most local garden centers, or you can buy them online. Both options are very easy and neither will take too much time out of your day, however when ordering online, they may show up on different dates.
Bell Pepper Seed Growing Stages
The bell pepper seed growing stages are very simple. It’s composed of just 4 stages, these are; The set-up, Planting the seed, Grow light use, and Watering.
First of all you want to start by finding the best location in your house to place your trays. Ideally this would be on a windowsill with some natural light, but not a full day’s worth. As well as having enough space for your grow light, with a plug socket nearby.
Once you have found a suitable position, you can start preparing your starter trays.
Lay out your starter trays, but make sure that you only have enough to benefit from being directly underneath your grow light. Any extra trays that aren’t within the grow lights reach may have unsuccessful growth.
Carefully begin to fill your starter pots or trays with the starter soil, until each pot is ¾ of the way full. Starter soil has much less nutrients than usual, or fertilized soil. The reason for this is that bell pepper seeds contain all the nutrients they need at the beginning of their growing process. Added nutrients will overload the seed, decreasing their chances of sprouting.
Leave the pots filled with soil in the room for a couple of days, until the soil is room temperature. Seedlings grow best in a soil temperature range of 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit, which should nearly mimic a house temperature.
After a couple of days, you’ll be ready to plant your bell pepper seeds.
Planting the Seed
Now you have your starter soil in pots or trays at room temperature, you can now begin to plant your bell pepper seeds.
Using your thumb, press a small hole about ½ and inch deep, into the middle of each pot or tray. From here you can carefully select a seed and place it into the hole vertically (as if the seed is standing tall). It doesn’t matter which way up you plant it, as long as it’s planted vertically and not horizontally.
After you have done this you can then fill the rest of the pot or tray with further starter soil. Make sure there is no more than ½ an inch of soil on top of the seed for it’s best chances to grow.
Place the grow light above the start pots or trays, and make sure that all of them are within its direct light. The grow light won’t give off much heat, but will provide the seed with much needed Vitamin D.
Unfortunately at this stage, natural sunlight through a window may not be enough for your seedlings to start growing. For this reason we used a grow light. When your seed eventually sprouts and breaches the soil surface, they will need 16+ hours of light a day to produce strong, healthy stems and roots.
We recommend using an LED grow light, which is generally noise free, and emits barely any heat. They are also highly efficient, and don’t use too much electricity either.
Watering your seed with a small amount of water every day is best recommended. As your seedling sprouts and starts to grow, you will need to increase the amount of water being given. As the seedling grows, it will use more water to produce the energy it needs to grow, so please keep an eye on this.
For what to do next, please follow the stages in the paragraph above on ‘Perfect Bell Pepper Environment Set-Up – For Quick Growth’.
For more information on this topic, click the link on How Long Does It Take To Grow Peppers From Seed
This details the next steps when your seedling is ready to be transplanted for its next stage of growth and tells you just how long does it take for a bell pepper to grow.
Container Size For Bell Peppers?
If you are choosing to grow your bell peppers in a container or pot (which we highly recommend), then you’re probably wondering what is the best container size for bell peppers?
In all honesty it really depends on how many bell peppers you want to yield. One bell pepper plant has the capability to yield 2-4 bell peppers, and up to 10 per season.
For one bell pepper plant we recommend a container size of 12 inches diameter and 12 inches depth. If you want multiple plants in the same container then please times the inches in diameter, by the amount of plants you want.
For example if you want 3 bell pepper plants, then you will need a container size of 36 inches diameter, and 12 inches depth. The roots of each plant won’t grow any bigger, but the spacing between each plant needs to increase. Ideally each plant should be planted 12 inches apart from the next.
How Often To Water Bell Pepper Plants In Pots?
As previously stated on how often to water bell pepper plants in pots, bell pepper plants need to be watered every day. Their reasonably quick growth rate means their roots absorb a lot of water each day, and thrive in warm, damp surroundings.
As your bell pepper plant grows in pots, watering may need to be increased to 2 times a day. This is definitely the requirement for warmer climates, or climates which are experiencing heat waves.
For the perfect water to soil ratio, the top 2 inches if the soil should be fairly dry, whilst below the top 2 inches should be fairly damp and warm at all times. This has to be carefully monitored as over watering bell pepper plants can drown them, commonly noticeable with brown outer leaves.
How To Make Bell Peppers Grow Big?
Naturally bell peppers can grow up to 7 inches in length and 4 inches wide. Whilst we believe this is a sufficient size for a bell pepper, there is a trick you can use on how to make bell peppers grow big.
We always recommend growing your vegetables at home in the most organic way possible, for healthy, tasty vegetables which haven’t used any non-organic growing additives. So we have been curious to see if we can grow bigger bell peppers on a single plant, without the taste being obscured, using only organic materials.
Our trick on how to make bell peppers grow big is by using Epsom Salt.
What is Epsom Salt?
Epsom Salt is rich in two minerals, and is composed of magnesium sulfate. Both these minerals aid in a healthy bell pepper plant life, which are commonly found in low quantities in natural soils.
Adding 2 tablespoons of Epsom Salt into the soil before planting either your bell pepper seed , or starter plant (and every 2 weeks after), will give it a huge increase in magnesium and sulfate.
Magnesium and Sulfate
Magnesium is massively beneficial to a bell pepper plant from the very early stages of the growing process. It naturally enhances the germination process, strengthening plant cells to receive increased essential nutrients from its surroundings.
Sulfate is another natural mineral that increases the health and longevity of bell pepper plants. Mixing with the soil helps to make key nutrients more effective for the bell pepper plant, which includes Potassium, Nitrogen and Phosphorus (the 3 main minerals in balanced fertilizers, which hopefully you have already added to the soil).
This combination has the ability to not only grow the amount of bell peppers your plant yields, but also the size of the vegetables itself. Studies have shown that using this method you can see a size increase of up to 2 times of a normal bell pepper. How long does a bell pepper take to grow depends highly on its environment. So get this right, and you can’t go wrong.
The biggest bell pepper ever recorded was a whopping 736g, (or 1 lb 10 oz) which is nearly 5 times the size of a commonly grown bell pepper, which on average weighs 150g.
Well there you have it. Everything you need to know on ‘How long does it take for a bell pepper to grow?’. Remember that bell pepper plants need at least 6-8 hours of sun a day, and seedling up to 16 hours (with the use of a glow light). Hopefully this article has helped you to understand the process which needs to be followed in order to produce the best bell peppers at home.
Can You Grow Bell Peppers Bought From a Store?
Finding healthy bell pepper seeds which you can grow at home may seem like an impossible task, with many different variations to choose from. With such variety comes uncertainty. But there may be a simpler way to find healthy bell pepper seeds without even leaving the house.
Did you know that you can grow bell peppers bought from a store? Well in fact, this is one of our favorite methods to grow bell peppers. Bell peppers which you buy from a supermarket are the perfect means for healthy seeds which you can harvest.
Yes, you can grow bell peppers bought from a store with very little effort at all. Providing you give them a bit of care, and prep work, they will produce lucious, healthy plants.
How long does it take for a bell pepper to grow bought from a store?
As we have previously mentioned, bell peppers take from 60-60 days to mature. But growing your bell peppers bought from a store will take a little longer. This is because the seeds haven’t been prepped like packeted seeds are. The process isn’t that complicated, but it will take a few days before you’re even ready to start growing your bell peppers.
It takes anywhere between 70-100 days for bell peppers to grow which are bought from a store. But you’ll need to know and master the prepping process which takes up the first week of your bell pepper growing journey.
The Process – Grow Bell Peppers Bought From a Store?
The first step of this process is to carefully extract the seeds from your store bought bell pepper. Using a knife, cut off the bottom half of the pepper, leaving the top half, and stork intact.
Once you have done this, you should be able to see the bell pepper seeds which are still attached to its core. Again, carefully start cutting down the sides of your bell pepper until all you have left is the stem, with the core still attached to it. Try not to damage any of the seeds in this process. However there should be plenty of seeds inside, so damaging a few won’t be too detrimental.
The second step is to harvest the seeds. To do this you should fill up a gastro with warm water and place your bell pepper core inside. We do this to loosen up the seeds. If you try to harvest the seeds above water, they are more likely to snap or become damaged and unusable.
Holding the bell pepper core below water, start to gently rub against the seeds. You should see that a few seeds start to fall off straight away. You want to discard these seeds as they are weak or may already be dead.
From here you can continue to rub the seeds off the remainder of the core. This should take a little more effort than before because the seeds are healthy and still growing inside the bell pepper. These will be the seeds you use to grow your own bell peppers bought from a store.
After about 2 minutes you should have a good number of usable seeds which have all been harvested off the core. Using the surrounding water, rinse them off, cleaning them from any tiny bits which may still be attached.
The third step is to remove the seeds from the water and dry them. Using a paper towel you need to completely dry the seeds, so no water droplets are left on them. After this you will need to leave them on a new, dry piece of paper towel, in a cool, dry place for another 2 days, to extract any inner moisture.
After the two days have passed, the seeds will be ready to be planted in starter pots. Bell pepper seeds can be planted either way up, as long as they stand tall and not lay flat. Naturally because of gravity the roots will always grow from the bottom of the planted seeds.
Plant the seeds in their starter pots, making sure the soil is only slightly damp. Too much water at this stage can drown your seeds, meaning they won’t grow at all. Locate the starter pots, with your seeds planted inside, near a window which gets plenty of sunlight hours. The stem growing up from the seed will naturally grow towards heat, which is usually the natural sign of sunlight.
Patiently wait for your seed to grow a stem, which should breach the soil surface within a week. Do not disturb the seed once it has been planted. Any change in environment or temperature within the first 7 days may result in your seeds dying.
The final step in this process is to transplant your seedling into its final growing location. After about 10 days you should have a stem which is up to 2 inches tall, breaching from the surface soil. Take the seed and its surrounding soil out of the starter pot, and plant the entire lot into a bigger pot, which is filled with fertilized soil.
From here you can leave your bell pepper to grow naturally, watering it every few days.