Plant in Focus – Capsicum annuum

26 October 2015

Just in time for Halloween.

Capsicum annuum is native to southern North America and northern South America. This is the most common and extensively cultivated of the five domesticated capsicums. The species encompasses a wide variety of shapes and sizes of peppers, both mild and hot, ranging from bell peppers to chilli peppers. Although the species name is annuum the plant is not an annual and in the absence of winter frosts, can survive several seasons and grow into a large perennial shrub. The flowers are an off-white and the fruit may be green, orange, purple or red when ripe.

Health Fact: The health benefits of capsicum include relief from cancer, peptic ulcer, menopausal problems, low risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Environment: Capsicum prefers direct sunlight for several hours per day. They do well at room temperature. but the fruit will last longer if the temperature is around the  13-15oC mark.

Plant Care: Water abundantly, but not letting water stand in the pot or the pot to get water-logged. To increase humidity place the pot in a bowl of moist gravel. Beware of red spider mite, whitefly and aphids.