It’s fun to grow any kind of chilli pepper, but we have a soft spot in our heart for banana peppers. They are known to have various health benefits, they are totally delicious and yep, you’ve guessed it, they’re also really easy to grow.
So if you’re thinking of growing any chilli pepper, banana peppers are the way to go.
Ready to get started? Let’s take a look at how to grow these delicious, spicy yellow fruits:
Banana Peppers – Appearance & Varieties
Banana peppers are a yellow pepper with waxy skin and they come from the chili pepper family. It is named a banana pepper not because of a banana flavour, but because of its color and shape which looks like the tropical fruit from a banana tree.
Most of the time, the fruit banana peppers yield are a deep yellow color when fully mature, but they can also be red or orange in color sometimes.
There are many varieties of banana peppers including mild and hot varieties. Mild banana pepper varieties can be harvested faster than the hot banana pepper varieties, although there’s not too much in it in regards to cultivation time.
Banana Peppers – Culinary Uses
Banana peppers are extremely mild and only sit at 0-500 on the Scoville Scale, so if you only like very mild spice and maximum flavour, you’ll get that with these fruits.
Because banana peppers are so mild you can include them in a huge range of dishes. You can pickle them, chop them and have them in salad, include them in salsa, put them on pizza, fry them off and have them in pasta dishes – the list is endless.
We love stuffing banana peppers with homemade chilli, topping them with cheese and roasting them for a warming family meal.
How To Grow Banana Peppers
Growing banana peppers is really easy if you follow these steps:
Step One – Germination
You can germinate banana pepper plants indoors during the spring or summer when the temperature is warm. The young plant is ready for transplant when it has outgrown the seedling tray. It should be spaced about 18cm – 24 cm apart and each row should be about 24 cm apart.
It is important at this stage of growth that you do not waterlog the seedlings and only water them when the top layer of soil is dry. It is also important to use potting soil as compost is too nutrient rich and can inhibit growth.
Step Two – Transplanting
The temperature should be above 60 degree Fahrenheit outdoors when you transplant the seedlings. They should be transplanted to an area of your garden that is not exposed to too much wind and that receives full sun. In order for them to grow healthily, they need a minimum of 6 hours of sunshine daily and should have around 20 inches of space between each plant.
If you do not have the ideal growing conditions outdoors banana peppers grow really well indoors in a sunny spot. Just make sure that each plant has a whole pot to itself.
Within 60-80 days of good care you should find that you have lots of delicious banana peppers to harvest and enjoy.
To help you get the very best banana peppers from your growing efforts, here are some extra tips to help you:
If your soil is not fertile, you can mix in compost to increase the nutrients. Nitrogen fertilizer should not be used as it only causes more leaves to grow without increasing the fruit yield. If you do need to add fertiliser to the soil at any point you can use a chilli pepper fertiliser, seaweed and fish emulsion or horse manure.
The banana pepper plant will become thirsty quickly so you must regularly water it. When watering, just water enough to keep the soil slightly moist. Lack of watering can cause the fruit to taste bitter. Heavy watering can cause the soil to become waterlogged which can eventually destroy the roots.
In addition, adding ingredients like gravel or perlite to your soil mix will encourage better drainage, which can prevent water logging or root rot of your banana peppers.
If the plant grows too tall and becomes lanky, you can set up a trellis or wooden sticks to provide support for it.
Peppers do best when the temperature is around 60 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature reaches beyond 90 degree Fahrenheit, the blossoms of banana peppers can wither away. To protect your plant from the scorching sun, you can set up a shelter to provide some shade.
Pruning and topping chilli pepper plants is good practise if you want bushy plants with good ventilation and lots of fruit. You can watch this Youtube video to see a demonstration of how to prune and top your banana peppers to nurture them into the healthiest plants.
You can harvest the banana peppers when they reach full size and the skin is thick and firm. As soon as they become yellow in color you can harvest them or you can wait for them to turn red or orange in color depending on your preference.
When harvesting, use a pair of scissors to nip it off rather than pulling it off the plant by hand.
When Will You Start Growing Your Own Banana Peppers?
It’s so much fun to grow any chilli peppers but banana peppers are so delicious, healthy and easy to grow they really do top the list of growing favourites!
Now you have our tips above and all the information you need to get growing yourself, soon enough you’ll be enjoying multiple banana peppers from your very own plants – how exciting!