Peppers plants thrive best when temperatures are warm. Planting should be delayed until the danger of frost has passed. Ideal temperatures are 70 to 80°F during the day, and 60 to 70ºF at night.
Pepper plants grow best in warm well-drained soils. The plants are not particularly sensitive to soil acidity but the best results are obtained in the 6.0 to 6.8 pH range.
Planting: Peppers are best started indoors, eight to ten weeks or more before the last frost date for your area. Pepper seeds can be a difficult seed germinate, and seedlings grow slowly. Space plants 18″ inches apart in rows 24″ inches apart or more. Water plants thoroughly after transplanting.
Watering: Keep the soil evenly moist; especially when the fruits are developing, peppers need about an inch of water a week.
Fertilizer: As the peppers develop, switch over to a fertilizer higher in Phosphorous and Potassium. Gardeners often make the mistake of providing too much nitrogen. The result is a great-looking bushy green plant but few fruits.
Days to Maturity: Most peppers take 60 to 80 days to mature.
Harvesting: Bell peppers are usually picked green and immature but when they are full-sized and firm. However, if they are allowed to ripen on the plant they will be sweeter and higher in vitamin content.
Other peppers are usually harvested at full maturity. Be careful when breaking the peppers from the plants, as the branches are often brittle. Hand clippers can be used to cut peppers from the plant to avoid excessive stem breakage.
The number of peppers per plant varies with the variety. Bell pepper plants may produce 6 to 8 or more fruit per plant.