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February 2012
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Capsicum annuum is the only Capsicum without capsaicin is the bell pepper.

Image of Capsicum Annuum plant at Google

Capsicum annuum is the only Capsicum without capsaicin is the bell pepper. It has a zero rating on the Scoville scale. Capsicum annuum is a domesticated species of the plant genus Capsicum native to southern North America and northern South America. Capsicum annuum is an evergreen Perennial that can grow up to a height of 1 m (3ft 3in) by 1 m (3ft 3in).

– It is hardy to zone 9 and is frost tender.
– It is in flower from July to September.
– The seeds ripen from Aug to October.
– The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs).
– The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil.
– It cannot grow in the shade.
– It requires moist soil.

Edible parts:
– Coloring
– Condiment
– Flowers
– Fruit
– Leaves

Medicinal uses:
– Antihaemorrhoidal
– Antirheumatic
– Digestive
– Irritant
– Rubefacient
– Sialagogue

Growing/Caring conditions for Capsicum annuum
– Sow seedlings indoors.
– Sow those eight to ten weeks before the last frost date for your area.
– They are a difficult in germination and seedlings grow slowly at first.
– Provide bottom heat or heat lamps to raise the soil temperature to 80 degrees.
– This will promote better and quicker germination.
– A heated germination mat works well.
– While your seedlings are growing, get your garden ready.
– Add plenty of compost, manure, and a general fertilizer.
– Peppers like hot weather.
– Transplant young seedlings outdoors after the last chance of frost
– If the weather is still cool, delay transplanting a few days
– Keep them in a cold frame, indoors.
– Space 18-24 inches apart, in rows 24 to 30 inches apart.
– Mulching around the peppers to keep down weeds, retain moisture, and help to feed the plant.
– As the peppers develop, use a fertilizer higher in Phosphorous and Potassium.
– Providing too much nitrogen will result in a great looking bushy, green plant, but few fruits.
– Peppers can be picked as soon as they reach a size which is edible.
– Continuous harvesting encourages the fruit to produce new flowers.
– Spider mites and aphids are the most common problems.
– An occasional borer insect is also known to attack this plant.
– Try an organic insecticide or dust.
– Fungal infections can be treated with fungicides. Apply treatment as soon as you see it.
– Potential pests include aphids, white flies, cutworms, pepper maggots, and Colorado potato beetles. Diseases include Verticillium wilt and mosaic virus.
– Frost will stunt or kill the plants.
– Cold weather can cause the plant to slow down or stunt it.
– Use a hot cap in on cold and frosty spring nights.

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