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Plant Care Guide >> Container Vegetable Gardening >> Capsicum annum (Capsicum)
Capsicum comes in a range of colours most commonly green or red but other colours, including golden yellow, black, brown, mauve and orange are available. It is generally available all year round. Capsicums are actually fruits but are prepared like vegetables. When left on the plant long enough we turn from green to red or gold. Other capsicums can also turn brown, purple or yellow. Red capsicums contain a higher vitamin A and C content than green capsicums.
 
Common name: Capsicum, Sweet Pepper
Vernacular Languages: Hindi: Shimla Mirchi; Santhali: Saheb Marich
Botanical Name: Capsicum annum
Family: Solanaceae
Soil:

Capsicum grows best on deep, loamy, well-drained soils. Soil pH should be in the range of 6.0-7.0. Drainage is important and depending on soil types raised beds may be necessary.

Sowing:

Sow the seeds in a seedling tray. The seed usually germinates in 3 - 4 weeks. When the seedlings are about 30cms in height, they are ready to be transplanted into pots.

Planting:

Plant about three seedlings in a 12" pot. Fertilize the soil and give plants ample space. Pinch the central tip to promote side branches.

Climate:

The plant prefers a warm tropical climate and does not like extreme changes in the weather. It is sensitive to cool winds.

Light:

The plant requires a very warm sunny position.

Temperature:

The optimal germination temperature is 24-25C. Capsicum growth is very much dependent on temperature. Particularly the root temperature must be sufficiently high (20-22C). So for propagation under cold conditions the use of benches or bottom heat is beneficial. Capsicum transplants require a minimum day temperature of 21 - 23C, and two degrees higher during sunshine, and a night temperature of 20C.

Watering:

Ample water is essential.

Humidity:

The plant does not like extreme humidity.

Staking:

The plant does not require staking.

Fertilizing:

Give seedlings the occasional weak organic liquid feed. Increase the strength and regularity of the liquid feed once the plants begin to fruit.

Pest and Problems:

Major pests that could affect the plant are Thrip, Mites, Aphids,White fly and Pod borer.

Growth Habit:

The plant requires ample space to grow. Plants range from six inches to several feet tall and have a tidy growth habit.

Harvesting:

Capsicums take up to around 110 days from planting to harvest. The large sweet capsicums are usually picked at the green stage just before colouring.

Special Care:

The plant is very brittle so care must be taken by the pickers when snapping fruits off from the bush.

Medicinal Uses:

Click here to buy seeds for this plant.
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