Do bell peppers need support?

shadowfox306(8a)April 25, 2010

I have 2 bell pepper plants that have been growing nicely on my patio but yesterday we had a windy day that just about knocked them out of the pot. I have already tried mounding dirt around them. Do bell peppers need a support once they reach a certain size or can they jut grow up on their own?

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IMO, they need support to help with wind because they will be top heavy. so far mine are supporting the fruit on their own but I have them growing up in a tomato cage as they eventually will get big enough to fill it in.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 9:01AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Yes they do. It doesn't have to be anything substantial or complex but a stake or as organicislandfarmer suggested, one of the 3-4 ring so-called tomato cages that are useless for tomatoes work well for peppers. Eggplants too.


    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 9:23AM
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I use cheap tomato cages for my hot peppers and eggplant. I also prune my eggplants as they get huge in the summer time and outgrow the cages. They can handle a few really tall branches but not much more. Also seems like the eggplants ripen faster in the fall and spring with less leaves. In the summer I leave more foliage on for shade.
My peppers are pretty big too but seem to do ok when they overgrow the cages. Not quite so floppy. Just need the extra bottom support the cages provide.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 9:34AM
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You definitely need support for bell peppers especially if they are growing well. When they are loaded with fruits, the weight of the fruits will bend the stem and may cause it to break. Even if it survives this the fruits might end up sitting on the dirt, which isn't exactly the best thing for them.

Like others here, I use the cheap "tomato cages" that are not good for tomatoes at all. :-) Why don't they just rename it pepper cages?

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 9:57PM
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Bell Peppers don't always need support if the plant its self is hardy enough to support all the fruit it bares. So it depends on the plant as well as the fruit. I have never had to support any of my peppers be them hot or mild. Pig fence makes fine cages with a little work on your part. Just remember it is 3+ to 1 in diameter. Or you can cut the wire in equal lengths and use the exposed pieces to wrap around the end of the solid side to make a four sided cage you can put away each year after the season is over.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 10:37AM
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I stake all my peppers, because they will fall over when they load up with fruit. My favorite set-up is to install one of those small circular tomatoes cages (worthless for tomatoes) and plant 4 peppers around the outside of it. The stakes can be secured to the cage rungs, which makes them much more sturdy. I often fill the center of the cage with pulled weeds and such so that it becomes a little compost pile.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 11:04AM
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I also use "tomato" cages for peppers. :)

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 8:58PM
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dancinglemons(7B VA)

I support all my pepper plants because the peppers get so heavy they break the branches.


    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 2:30AM
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I just transplanted and caged mine today with tomato cages. I use the small cheap cages and cut off the legs and bend them into staples/J-stakes then the cage can be used either end up. I read the idea here on GW and it is a good one. It is too early for them to go out, but I goofed with a new starting system. The poor peppers had to put up with 40 mph winds today and a few leaves were lost when the pots were blown over. I put them in a rock garden that has been heating up all spring. Think WOW with stone and antique red clay bricks. A square foot vegetable garden can look nice you know


    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 4:02AM
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