The sweet varieties of peppers -- bell peppers in particular -- are the most popular types of peppers in the United States, according to the University of Illinois Extension. The pepper is a warm-season vegetable. You can eat a sweet pepper when it is green or when it is a ripe yellow or red, or you can add them to soups and salads. The ideal temperature for growing sweet pepper plants is 21.1 to 26.7 degrees Celsius during the day and 60 to 70F at night. Caring for a sweet pepper plant takes patience and attention to detail.
Check the location of your sweet pepper plant to ensure the plant is exposed to full sun and the soil is well-drained. Apply a black plastic mulch over your sweet pepper plant's soil to help the soil drain and stay warm in the spring, when cool night temperatures below 10 degrees Celsius can still pose a threat to the plant. Also, make sure your pepper plant is 14 to 18 inches away from other plants in your flower bed or 18 to 24 inches away from other pepper plants if they are in a row.
Collect a sample of your sweet pepper plant's soil and take it to your county extension office for testing of its pH level. Apply lime to the soil if the pH level is lower than 6.0 to 6.8, and apply sulphur to the soil if the pH level is higher than this range. Follow the product manufacturer's directions.
Water the sweet pepper plant deeply each week. Apply a 12-12-12 fertiliser after the first flush of peppers is established. Reduce the amount of water your give your pepper plant if the soil becomes soggy and waterlogged.
Put an organic mulch such as fine pine bark on the ground around your pepper plant at the start of summer because temperatures higher than 32.2 degrees Celsius can cause blossoms and buds to drop. The mulch helps the soil retain moisture, prevents weed growth and inhibits soil compaction.
Apply pesticides to the sweet pepper plant if you spot common pepper pests such as leaf miners, flea beetles or corn borers on your plant. In addition, apply a foliar fungicide spray to your plant every week or two if the foliage begins to develop spots -- a sign of foliage diseases such as bacterial leaf spot, cercospora leaf spot or alternaria leaf spot.
Things you need
- Black plastic mulch
- Soil probe
- Soil sample box
- Lime or sulphur
- Watering can
- 12-12-12 fertiliser
- Fine pine bark
- Foliar fungicide spray