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Bell pepper

Capsicum annuum

Bell pepper

It used to be that bell peppers were available almost solely as green peppers. Then in the 1980s red bell peppers became more common in recipes (especially when roasted), and now bell pepper fruits are grown in a rainbow of fascinating colors: green, white, yellow, red, orange, and chocolate brown.

Green fruits are actually immature peppers. If you leave them on the plant, they eventually will develop one of the other colors, most commonly red, and become sweeter.

Bell peppers are being hailed as a superfood, low in calories, high in flavor, and Vitamins A, C, and other nutrients. They are delicious in salads, stir-fries, soups, stews, and roasted or grilled.

Bell peppers need temperatures above 60 degrees Fahrenheit to grow well. Avoid planting them too early in the growing season, and protect plants from cold temperatures.

Plant Type:
Plant Height:
6-36 inches tall
Plant Width:
18-24 inches wide
Top Varieties

is an early-maturing variety that grows well in cool climates. It turns red at maturity.
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bears blocky fruits that turn from green to yellow at maturity. It matures in 80 days from planting.
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is a thick-walled sweet pepper good for stuffing. The leafy plant protects fruits from sunburn. The original variety turns red at maturity, but a yellow form is also available. 75 days
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is a sweet bull-horn type pepper that turns from green to red when ripe, about 75 days after transplanting. Plants perform well in container gardens.
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bears 4-inch-diameter fruits that turn deep gold at maturity. 75 days
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is an early-maturing sweet pepper that produces well in both cool and hot regions. The elongated fruits begin creamy yellow and turn red at full maturity. 65 days
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gets its name from its mild, sweet flesh and elongated yellow immature form. At maturity it turns red. 68 days
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Harvest Tips
Use a sharp knife or pruning shears to cut off fruits when they are full size or later when they are fully colored. Not all immature fruits are green. Some varieties develop creamy yellow, lilac, or purple fruits in their immature stages. Mature fruits are sweeter than immature ones, but allowing fruits to mature sends a signal to the plant to stop producing new fruits, so overall yields will be less the more fruits you allow to mature.