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Almanac Planting Italian Sweet Pepper (Capsicum annuum) Close Up Image of Harvested Fruit (Peppers)

Italian Sweet Pepper

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Capsicum annuum

Overview

Uses: Italian sweet pepper production

Benefits: Easy to grow. 7" long, conical shaped fruit. 500 SHU rating.

Zones: 3 - 12 

Sun: Full 

Life Cycle: Annual 

Mature Height: 36"

Mature Width: 18"

Bloom Season: Summer

Summary

Italian Sweet Pepper Plants are world famous for producing beautiful yellow, orange, and red fruit. Due to these variations of color, they're sometimes referred to as "Italian Sunset Peppers". 

Their SHU (Scoville Heat Units) rating typically maxes out around 500, so their heat is barely noticeable. Many people find them to be sweeter and less bitter than a bell pepper. 

Growing in a somewhat conical shape to around 7" long, their fruit will be ready for harvest once it changes from green into beautiful shades of yellow, orange, and red.

Perfect for roasting, frying, freezing, or eating fresh: these peppers have quite the variety of uses. To add more heat to these peppers, try frying them with some of our habaneros or jalapenos

 

Care

Italian Sweet Pepper Plant Care

Provide at least 8 hours of full sun daily. 

Flower development will occur mid to late summer. Some flowers may be pinched to encourage a bushy plant. Flowers will eventually turn into Italian peppers. 

Water regularly after planting or repotting, keeping soil moist but not wet until the plant is established. We suggest attempting to make sure your Italian pepper plant gets about 1" of water every week during periods of growth.

Italian Sweet Pepper plants that get lots of sun and not a lot of water typically produce hotter peppers. Stress, such as not a lot of water, causes the production of capsaicin which results in a higher SHU rating. 

This plant is an excellent companion for cucumber!

Planting with tomatoes will repel many pests and attract beneficial insects to your tomato plants.

Do not allow prolonged exposure to temperatures below 50°F. Will die if exposed to frost. Often stunted by any temperatures below 60°F. Does best in temperatures above 65°F and below 95°F.

Size

Size of Italian Pepper Plants That You Ship

We ship our Italian Sweet Pepper Plants in 4" grow pots. Each plant will be appropriately sized for their pot. We suggest waiting at least 2 days after you receive your plant before you transplant it. This will give it time to recuperate from shipping. 

Size of Italian Sweet Pepper Plant When Fully Grown

Italian Sweet Pepper typically grows to a size of around 24"-36" tall and 14"-24" wide. 

Additional Information

Botanical Name of Italian Sweet Pepper

  • Capsicum annuum

Toxicity and Risks of Italian Sweet Pepper

Italian Sweet Pepper Plants are considered toxic due to the fact that they contain capsaicin. There is a very small amount of capsaicin in Italian Sweet Pepper, so the threat from capsaicin is minimal. 

Capsaicin is the chemical in pepper plants that give them their spicy flavor. Too much capsaicin may cause such things as stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhea, and (in severe cases) death. 

Capsaicin is also very irritating to, and may damage the eyes and skin. Use caution when handling jalapenos or touching any part of the plant. Rubber gloves and eye protection may be used as a protectionary measure. 

Also, they're members of the nightshade family, and produce toxic alkaloids.

These toxic alkaloids are most present in the unripe fruit, the stem, and the leaves of a pepper plant.

These parts of the plant may cause injury to a person or pet if consumed in high doses.