Growing Banana Peppers
Besides their cute factor, Banana Peppers are pretty easy to grow! These short lived perennials enjoy growing in warm temperatures, and while the plants despise cold weather they can be successfully over-wintered, particularly when grown in pots.
Banana Peppers produce an abundance of delicate flowers which very quickly set fruit. The fruit grows into a Banana like shape and turns yellow when ripe. Banana Peppers are prolific producers and will crop all season long.
When planting Banana Peppers, the soil should be well draining and rich in organic matter. The plants do not fare well in heavy clay or water logged soils. To ensure great fruit production, plants should be grown in a full sun position, in soil that has been enriched with good quality compost and organic fertilizer. Keep the soil moist, but not wet, particularly while the fruit is developing.
Banana Pepper plants will begin flowering in spring and will fruit right throughout the summer months. In warm, frost free climates, plants will continue fruiting well into autumn. Harvest the fruit regularly to encourage continuous production. At the end of the growing season, prune back the plant to remove old and tired branches and to encourage fresh new growth for the following season.
If you have ever struggled with growing Bell Peppers (Capsicum) or prefer not to wait so long for them to ripen, then these are definitely a great alternative. In terms of flavour, Banana Peppers taste very similar to Bell Peppers, just not as juicy. Texturally, they are quite similar to long Chilies. Banana Peppers are very versatile in the kitchen, they can be stuffed with rice and baked in the oven, sauteed and used in wraps or sandwiches, used fresh in salsas, salads, tacos and most Mexican dishes.
Banana Peppers are definitely a great addition to the home garden!
For more on growing your own food, subscribe to our website. We look forward to helping you grow your love of gardening.