Growing Carolina Reaper In Pots & Garden: Everything You Need To Know

Site Preparation

Like most summer vegetables, peppers require rich, moist soil that drains well so it doesn’t become waterlogged. Working a 2-inch layer of compost into the site improves moisture retention. You can perform a soil test to determine fertilizer needs and soil pH, which must be between 6.0 and 6.8 for healthy growth. Work 2 pounds of a 16-16-8 fertilizer into every 50 square feet of bed if you don’t do a soil test. Select a site that receives about eight hours of sun each day, otherwise your bell peppers won’t flower or fruit well.


Providing peppers with adequate water is essential from the moment the plants flower until the harvest. Deeply water the plants with 1 inch of water per week, and adjust the amount or frequency during hot, dry periods, after rainfall or if your soil is sandy and drains fast. Instead of flooding the soil with water when it’s dry, keep it evenly moist. Drip irrigation is ideal for growing peppers, because it’s economical, less labor intensive and delivers the water at the plant’s roots without wetting the foliage and possibly triggering diseases.


Weeds can rob nutrients and water from pepper plants, which makes combating them essential. In cool areas, black plastic mulch can speed the soil-warming process for an early start to planting while simultaneously combating weeds and preserving soil moisture. Organic mulches, such as seed-free straw or grass clippings, can also prevent weeds and slow soil-moisture evaporation, but these are best spread around the plants once the soil has warmed to about 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Common Diseases and Pests

  1. Aphids
  2. Armyworms and Cutworms
  3. Bacterial Leaf Spot
  4. Blossom End Rot
  5. Flea beetles
  6. Mosaic Virus
  7. Powdery Mildew
  8. Southern Blight
  9. Sunscald
  10. Whiteflies