Big Red Pepper
(Capsicum annuum var. annuum)

Our growing and taste results for the Big Red pepper are provided below.

For more detailed step by step instructions for growing the Big Red pepper, visit our growing pepper page.

Seed Genetics:  Open Pollinated

Seed Collecting:  Seeds will come true if crosses with other varieties are prevented.  Bag an unopened flower with spun bonded row cover material.  Remove bag when fruit starts forming or petals fall.  Mark stem with a string so you can find it later.  Let the fruit fully mature before harvesting.  Air dry seeds prior to storage.

Fruit:  Green to red, thick walled, 4 inches long.
Taste
: Mild pepper flavor, a little tart, not sweet, crunchy.
Cuisine:  Stuffed, grilled, roasted, fresh and salads.

Disease Resistance: Good.  Some seeds had mold on them
Germination
:  Good
Maturity
:  75 days per the seed company.  We had red ones at 87 days.
Productivity
: Above average
Type
: Bell, sweet

Plant Shape: umbrella

Plant Size*:

  • Height: ~20 inches
  • Width:  ~17 inches

The Big Red pepper is very attractive and tasty.  The smallish plants were really loaded.  It is supposed to be sweet but wasn't which was actually nice if you are looking for flavor variety.  Most sweet tasting peppers are also tart.  This is the only one that I can remember that is just tart.  

Life Cycle:
     Zone 8 or lower:  Grow as annual

     Zone 9 or higher:  Perennial

Starting Seed Indoors:

  • Start 8-13 weeks prior to the date you move plants into garden in your area.
  • Planting depth:  1/2 inch
  • 2-3 seeds per 1x1x2" cell (LengthxWidthxDepth).
  • Transplant into pots at 4-6 weeks.  Pots 6" tall work well.

Planting Bed Specs:

  • Soil Temp:  + 65˚F.
  • Hole depth: 8-10 inches.  As a rule of thumb, make the hole 2+ inches deeper than the height of the root ball.  This allows for 1 inch of loose soil above and below the roots.
  • Spacing:  18" apart.
  • Planting depth:  Bury root ball and up to 1" of stem.
  • Tilling:  Optional but does improve drainage and helps roots grow.

Light Requirements:  Full Sun.  Peppers like heat but a string of days in the 90's will often halt blooming and pepper development.  This stress can take a week or more to recover from delaying and reducing harvest.  Woven shade cloth supported above the plants by poles is used by some growers to moderate sun exposure.

Watering:  Without rain, peppers need watered well 1 - 2x per week depending on how hot it is.  Your soil type will also affect water needs.  Carefully observing the plants and how long your soil remains damp is the best way to learn how to manage your unique conditions.  To prevent fungal disease water late morning or early afternoon so the sun will quickly dry the leaves and stems.  If you must water on cool, cloudy days, wet the soil below the plants, ie. keep the leaves dry.