How to Take Care of Red Pepper Plants


Peppers are warm-season vegetables that cannot tolerate cold or frosts. Red peppers can be sweet or hot and include varieties such as bell boy, lady bell, gypsy, cayenne and red chili. Although the sweet bell peppers are the most commonly-grown types in the United States, the hot pepper varieties are popular in their own right. Both kinds of red pepper plants enjoy warm temperatures, fertile soils and regular moisture.

Step 1

Water the red pepper plants evenly and regularly once or twice per week when rainfall is less than 1 inch. Soak the soil down to and around the roots three to four times per week during dry, hot periods.

Step 2

Apply a starter fertilizer such as a 4-12-4 NPK liquid starting solution for the transplants. Follow the dosage instructions on the fertilizer label, pouring the solution into the soil around the roots immediately after planting the red peppers.

Step 3

Side-dress the red pepper plants with a nitrogen granular fertilizer or composted manure after the first peppers begin to grow. Spread the fertilizer or manure beside the red pepper plants according to the dosage directions on the package.

Step 4

Harvest the peppers when they reach their mature size, depending on the pepper type, and when they achieve the desired color. When the peppers are ripe and ready for harvest, they should be easy to pull from the plants.

Tips and Warnings

  • Beware of aphids infesting the red pepper plants. Look for aphids on the undersides of the pepper plants' leaves. Apply an appropriate insecticide or horticultural oil to the red pepper plants if large, damaging populations of aphids are present.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hose
  • Liquid 4-12-4 NPK starter fertilizer
  • Nitrogen fertilizer or composted manure


  • University of Illinois Extension: Watch Your Garden Grow -- Peppers

Who Can Help

  • National Gardening Association: Plant Care Guides -- Pepper
Keywords: red pepper plants, red pepper care, grow red peppers

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.