Chocolate Bell Pepper Guide

In case you needed a little incentive to eat some “Chocolate” these Chocolate Bell Peppers are the ticket for a sweet treat without the caloric cheat. Although they don’t taste like it, these beautiful peppers get their name from the unique cacao coloring of their exterior. Slice them into sticks and dip them in your favorite hummus, toss them in your salad, or roast to perfection, there's really no limits with these mild peppers.

 

TO SOW

Chocolate Bell peppers grow best in warmer weather between 70°F-80°F. They do great in containers and small gardens. Bank on Seeds recommends transplanting.

If Direct Seeding

  • Direct seed outside 4-6 weeks after last frost date; or
  • Direct seed into a container 10-12 inches deep and wide anytime of the year. It can be placed outside when the temperature is between 70°F-80°F; or

If Transplanting

Begin the growing season early and start the pepper seeds indoors in trays or pods 8-10 weeks before the last frost date; clingwrap the container to seal in the warmth. Germination is best and fastest between 70°F-85°F. It can be transplanted outside 12 weeks later.

Sow seeds ¼ inch deep and 12-18 inches apart with rows spaced 18-24 inches apart. Germination will take 14-21 days.

TO GROW

Chocolate Bell peppers like well-draining soil with lots of organic matter. They also love full sun and warm weather. Water regularly and consistently to avoid forming uneven or bumpy peppers. Let dry between watering - check the top 2-3 inches of soil and if it’s dry, then water it.  Avoid soggy roots as this may lead to blossom-end rot.

Peppers like fertilizer when they are actively growing. Use organic fertilizer, aged compost, or 5-10-10 fertilizer every 6-8 weeks.

TO REAP

Chocolate Bell peppers develop in 60-75 days. When the first blossoms develop pinch them off gently to encourage stronger growth. Use a sharp knife or scissors to cut the peppers from the plant. Pick the first peppers when they reach usable size, this helps accelerate the growth of the other peppers on the plant. Leave some peppers on the plant to mature so they can change color and get sweeter.

PESTS/DISEASES

Powdery mildew –keep free of weeds and debris, don’t handle when leaves are wet, avoid overwatering, don’t water from above the foliage, remove diseased or dead foliage

Aphids, cutworms – handpick or spray off, neem oil

*Companion plant peppers with basil, carrots, cucumbers, eggplants, oregano, parsley, and many others.  Avoid planting with beans, cabbage, kale, and fennel. *