With 9000 years of cultivation behind them, it is no wonder that there are a myriad of varieties in a multitude of colours available to the home gardener - all of which can have their origins traced back to a single wild specie native to Central and South America!
Culture: Start peppers indoors from mid February to late March. Using a soil-less growing mix sow the seed 6 mm (1/4") deep. Keeping the growing medium at a temperature of 21 C (70 F) will enhance germination. Grow the seedlings under bright light and temperatures of 16-21 C (60-70 F) to produce solid, stocky plants. Transplant out after hardening off in late May to early June. Select a site with full sun and a well-drained soil. Space the plants 30-45 cm (12-18") apart in rows spaced 60-90 cm (24-36") apart.
To help the plants establish, use a water-soluble plant starter fertilizer when transplanting. Keep the plants evenly watered through the season, control weeds and avoid high nitrogen fertilizers. Staking is recommended with most varieties. Do not be in rush to harvest as most varieties are at their peak taste and quality shortly after they turn colour. Days to maturity are measured from transplanting.