HEIRLOOM. An All-America Selections Bronze Medal winner for 1941 and still extremely popular.
Even after more than 70 years, this is still extremely popular pepper. Large, pointed fruits measure 6-7" long and 1 1/2" across. The mild yellow peppers ultimately turn brilliant red. A favorite for pickling.
Some flowers and vegetables fall into subcategories that may define how they grow (such as pole or bush), what they are used for (such as slicing tomatoes or shelling peas), flower type, or other designations that will help you select the type of a class of plant that you are looking for.
Days To Maturity
The average number of days from when the plant is actively growing in the garden to the expected time of harvest.
The average size of the fruit produced by this product.
The amount of sunlight this product needs daily in order to perform well in the garden. Full sun means 6 hours of direct sun per day; partial sun means 2-4 hours of direct sun per day; shade means little or no direct sun.
The width of the plant at maturity.
The typical height of this product at maturity.
Starting seeds indoors is called Indoor Sow or Indirect Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds indoors in the spring or summer
When to transplant bulbs or roots in the garden for spring
Starting seeds outdoors is called Outdoor Sow or Direct Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the spring or summer
Start Indoors Fall
Starting seeds indoors in the fall called Indoor Sow or Indirect Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the fall
Transplant Fall-When to transplant bulbs or roots in the garden for fall
Start Outdoors Fall
Starting seeds outdoors in the fall is called Outdoor Sow or Direct Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the fall
First Date: Feb-22 - Last Date: Mar-07
First Date: May-02 - Last Date: May-30
How to Sow and Plant
Only home gardeners who enjoy long growing seasons in the Deep South should attempt to sow pepper seeds directly in the vegetable garden. Most of us must start our own pepper plants indoors about 8-10 weeks before transplanting, which should be done 2-3 weeks after the expected last frost.
Sow seeds ¼ inch deep in seed-starting formula
Keep the soil moist at 75 degrees F
Seedlings emerge in 10-21 days
As soon as seedlings emerge, provide plenty of light on a sunny windowsill or grow seedlings 3-4 inches beneath fluorescent plant lights turned on 16 hours per day, off for 8 hours at night. Raise the lights as the plants grow taller. Incandescent bulbs will not work for this process because they will get too hot. Most plants require a dark period to grow, do not leave lights on for 24 hours.
Seedlings do not need much fertilizer, feed when they are 3-4 weeks old using a starter solution (half strength of a complete indoor houseplant food) according to manufacturer’s directions.
If you are growing in small cells, you may need to transplant the seedlings to 3 or 4 inch pots when seedlings have at least 3 pairs of leaves before transplanting to the garden so they have enough room to develop strong roots
Before planting in the garden, seedling plants need to be “hardened off”. Accustom young plants to outdoor conditions by moving them to a sheltered place outside for a week. Be sure to protect them from wind and hot sun at first. If frost threatens at night, cover or bring containers indoors, then take them out again in the morning. This hardening off process toughens the plant’s cell structure and reduces transplant shock and scalding.
Planting in the Garden:
To get an early start with your pepper plants, particularly in the North, cover the prepared bed with a dark colored polyethylene mulch at least a week before transplanting. This will heat the soil beneath and provide a better growing condition for young pepper plants. The mulch will also help the soil retain moisture throughout the season as the pepper plants grow.
Select a location in full sun with good rich moist organic soil. Make sure you did not grow tomatoes, peppers, eggplant or potatoes in the bed the previous year to avoid disease problems.
Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 8 inches. Level with a rake to remove clumps of grass and stones.
Peppers should be set 18 inches apart in a row with the rows spaced 2-3 feet apart.
Dig a hole for each plant large enough to amply accommodate the root ball.
Carefully remove the plant from its pot and gently loosen the root ball with your hands to encourage good root development.
Fill the planting hole with soil to the top and press soil down firmly with your hand leaving a slight depression around the plant to hold water.
Use a plant tag as a location marker. This is particularly important if you are trying different varieties. It is very difficult to tell which variety is which from the foliage.
Water thoroughly, so that a puddle forms in the saucer you have created. This settles the plants in, drives out air pockets and results in good root-to-soil contact.
Peppers may also be planted in containers. Use a container at least 18-24 inches wide and deep and use a commercial potting mix rather than garden soil.
How to Grow
Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating.
Mulches also help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures. This is especially important for peppers as their roots may be easily damaged when weeding, and this can lead to blossom end rot.
Keep plants well-watered during the growing season, especially during dry spells. Plants need about 1-2" of rain per week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. It's best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
Note that hot peppers tend to be hotter when they have less water and fertilizer. If they receive plenty of water and fertilizer they may be more mild than expected.
Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.
Try planting pepper plants near tomatoes, parsley, basil, and carrots in your home vegetable garden. Don't plant them near fennel or kohlrabi. Peppers are very colorful when in full fruit and combine well with green herbs, okra, beans and cucumber fences in the garden bed.
Harvesting and Preserving Tips
Like cucumbers and summer squash, peppers are usually harvested at an immature stage. The traditional bell pepper, for example, is harvested green, even though most varieties will mature red, orange, or yellow. Peppers may be harvested at any stage, but their flavor doesn’t fully develop until maturity. Fully ripe peppers in multi-colors are delightful in the garden as well as in salads.
Cut the fruit from the plant with a sharp knife or pruners leaving a small part of the stem attached.
Sweet bell, pimento and cherry peppers are delicious eaten green but are sweeter and higher in vitamins if allowed to turn bright red before harvest. Some varieties are yellow at maturity or may mature from green through yellow and red.
Hot peppers may be harvested at any stage. Anaheim is usually picked green and cayenne types red.
Bell peppers may be chopped and quick frozen for use in many recipes; sweet cherry and banana peppers and hot cherry peppers are perfect for pickling.
A popular and trouble-free way to store hot peppers is to dry them. String mature red peppers by piercing the stem with a needle and heavy thread. Hang the string in a warm, dry, airy place (not in the sun!) to dry. They can make a colorful kitchen accent. Pull a pepper from the string when you need one. Hot peppers remain hot even after they are dried. Remember that in recipes a little hot pepper can go a long way.
Please note that hot peppers can burn sensitive skin on contact and fumes from grinding or cooking them can irritate the lungs and eyes. When working with hot peppers use rubber gloves and wash your hands before touching your face or eyes.
Days To Maturity
8-12 weeks BLF
Pepper, Sweet, Banana is rated
4.1 out of
Rated 5 out of
One of My FavoritesThis has been one of my favorite peppers to grow so far. This, out of the four varieties I planted last year, was the highest yielding and by far the best tasting. During late summer when it was really producing, I could go out to the garden every day for weeks and pull off a few peppers to snack on. I never attempted to cook them because they tasted fantastic raw. I got my last peppers off the plant the week before Thanksgiving last year, well after all of my other peppers stopped producing. I planted them again this year and look forward to harvest time.
Date published: 2017-03-20
Rated 5 out of
Ancient Gardener from
Love these!An excellent pepper, I use these banana peppers for both cooking and eating fresh in salads. They produce enough peppers from four plants to satisfy my family's needs and I still have plenty to give away to friends. Very pleased, and intend to grow these every year from now on.
Date published: 2016-09-15
Rated 5 out of
Loved the red onesThe seed pack was a mix of yellow banana peppers and what I believe are Itallian red bull horn peppers. They are clearly different peppers of different sizes maturing at different times. The banana peppers were right on time but the red bull horn took much longer but were well worth the wait. They must be fully red to get the full flavor. Sweet and not peppery tasting, I would eat them raw like an apple they were so good. They were also long, probably 9" or longer, so it you prune the top of the bull horn pepper plant to get side shoots you will have a some fruits that will touch the ground inviting pests or rot. Thick walls make them good for canning. Also long enough to fit the entire length of a quart jar. I got a couple good runs of peppers off the red bull horn with the last harvested in October. The yellow bananas were alright but the red bull horns as I'll call them were the star of my garden.
Date published: 2015-12-28
Rated 3 out of
Very Prolific Pepper.I grew these from seeds and it generally went well. They take a bit to get going but once they do you get A LOT of peppers at a time per plant. I've had about 10-15 average per plant. The only issue I have is that the flavor is extremely subtle when green, almost non-existent, (smell great though) and then it takes forever for them to fully ripen. Far more than 72 days. When orange or red the flavor is better but the fact that it takes so long to ripen kind of kills it for me.
That said, YMMV, and you definitely get a lot of peppers and since they're so versatile that's only a good thing. I just think the flavor is extremely over hyped.
Date published: 2012-08-28
Rated 1 out of
Dead PlantsThe Yellow Pear tomatoe plants arrived 12 days after I ordered them dried out competely and dead.
Date published: 2012-05-09
Rated 4 out of
nice pepperI got this pepper at a vegetable plant sale. It does not have many pest/desise problems. Its very easy to grow. Tastes like bell pepper.
Date published: 2010-07-18
Rated 5 out of
Great Sweet PepperThis sweet pepper is a very excellent pepper. It is very sweet and tasty. It is also very quick to mature compared to other sweet pepper varieties. The plants always get humongous, so two or three plants is all that is needed. The plants are also very insusceptible to diseases and pests. A classic variety, but still just as good!
Date published: 2008-07-05
Rated 5 out of
EASY! and TASTY!I definitely recommend this for beginner container gardeners! It was too easy. I planted seeds outside in Mid May and by early July I had several pale green peppers that eventually changed to gold, then orange, then red. They were sweet when ripe and tasted delicious on everything-especially frozen cheese pizzas.