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This genus of plants is known for a specific compound and its many derivatives. That compound is capsaicin. Capsaicin is usually concentrated in the fruits and around the seeds of plants in this genus. It is an irritant to many animals, including humans, and causes a "burning" sensation when it comes in contact with any tissue. It is generally thought that capsaicin is concentrated around the seeds to prevent them from being eaten by animals. People have come to enjoy the spiciness of the compound as is proven by these plants' wide distribution and cultivation. Contact with this compound can cause inflammation, which some scientists would agree is not entirely a bad thing. The compound promotes an increase in blood flow to the gastrointestinal tract, which results in quicker and more efficient digestion. Not too mention, the compound increases the production of gastric juices.
Yes, it's a gorgeous little bush studded all over with shiny red-orange rockets - too pretty to hide away among rows of vegetables. But it's very tasty too, without a hint of heat. The 3" fruit are sweet and delicious, either pickled or sliced up on salad platters. Harvest this little pepper about 70 days after plants are set out in the garden.
|Plant Types:||Annual, Fruit, Perennial, Vegetable|
|Height:||1 foot to 1 foot 6 inches|
|Width:||1 foot 3 inches to 1 foot 6 inches|
|Zones:||2a to 10b|
|Bloom Seasons:||Early summer, Mid summer, Late summer, Early fall, Mid fall, Late fall|
|Fertilizer:||Blood Meal, Fish Emulsion, Poultry Manure, Steer Manure, Water Soluble Veggie Plant Food|
|Want to know where Sweet Pepper will thrive in your house or garden? The EasyBloom Plant Sensor will give you a plant's-eye view of your environment to measure soil, sunlight, temperature and humidity.||
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Sow pepper seeds indoors in containers 8 to 10 weeks before the projected last frost in cold climates. When the soil has warmed and the night temperatures are no longer dipping below 55°F/13°C, the seedling should be set outdoors about 2 ft. apart.
Continuously harvesting peppers will induce more fruit production throughout the growing season. Pick sweet peppers regardless of color. They can be picked at any time. Hot peppers can also be picked at any color, but if you plan on drying the hot peppers allow the fruit to fully ripen and reach full color. Use garden pruners to cut the stem above the fruit to minimize damage to both the plant and the pepper itself.
CAUTION: Use rubber gloves, or clean the hot peppers under running water to avoid skin burn from the pepper juice.
For best growth, Peppers need a long, warm growing season. If temperatures drop below 60°F, especially when there are fruits present on the stem, your harvest can be damaged.
Blooms star to bell-shaped solitary or clustered flowers in yellow, white, greenish white, pruple, or purple tinged.
Peppers thrive in soils that are constantly and thoroughly moist, but not soaked.
When peppers have flowers on them, feed with a complete and balanced liquid fertilizer twice per month.
Susceptible to aphids, whiteflies, cutworms and pepper weevils. Simply spray the offending insects with a strong blast from a garden hose. Be careful not to harm the plant in the process however. Both the larvae and adult pepper weevils attack the fruit. It's best to destroy the infested plants. Keep the soil weed-free.