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Pepper, Sweet, Chinese Giant

Short Description

HEIRLOOM. Burpee introduced.

Full Description

Sweet Chinese Giant was twice as big as the largest bell pepper of its day. Plants are a compact 24" tall. Fruits are usually 4 by 4", but Mr. Burpee pointed out that if you thin the fruits, they can grow 5" across and 6" long. Truly remarkable then and now.
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Item # Product
Item#: 51888A
Order: 1 Pkt. (125 seeds)
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Item#: 26329
Order: 3 Plants
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Product properties

Type 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.

80 days

Fruit Size The average size of the fruit produced by this product.

4 inches

Sun 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.

Full Sun

Spread The width of the plant at maturity.

12 inches

Height The typical height of this product at maturity.

24 inches

Plant Shipping Information

Plants begin shipping week of:

May 01, 2017

(Click here for Spring shipping schedule)


Item 26329 cannot ship to: AA, AE, AK, AP, AS, CN, FM, GA, GU, HI, MH, MP, PR, PW, VI
See all Burpee plant shipping restrictions for your state

the burpee




since 1876


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Container Vegetables - Tomato, Pepper & Eggplant
Growing tomatoes, peppers and even eggplants in containers on your deck, porch or patio!
Watch video

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
80 days
Fruit Size
4 inches
Full Sun
12 inches
24 inches
Sow Method
Indoor Sow
Planting Time
Sow Time
8-12 weeks BLF
24 inches
Pepper, Sweet, Chinese Giant is rated 3.8 out of 5 by 8.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from biggest peppers ever...and super sweet!! I live in Michigan, I bought a packet of these seeds and started them indoors in March...I transplanted them to a row in the garden that had been fertilized with composted cow manure and waited... I posted a pic because these peppers were unbelievably HUGE! There were 15+ peppers on each plant and most were as big as quart mason jars...I took pics because nobody would believe me when i tried to explain how ginormous the fruit was. They were super sweet. I started giving them away because I picked 3 wheelbarrow was ridiculous.
Date published: 2017-02-22
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not productive for me I have tried growing this for two season using different approaches--on a hot, sunny deck in a pot and then in a sunny garden bed. In both instances, this was my least productive pepper plant by far. I got maybe 1 - 3 peppers from this plant on the deck and 1 - 2 in the garden bed, compared to nonstop jalapeños planted in the same area. Might be something I'm doing/not doing? Not sure why this hasn't produced well for me. I started these indoors and planted out a bit late, but this still wasn't very productive compared to the others.
Date published: 2015-01-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome Pepper The last 2 years, I have grown this awesome pepper. These are beautiful, have great taste, very high yields, 100% germination both years. Planted 4 seedlings that were 12 weeks at transplanting. Had so many peppers that I actually had to give 22 pounds to the food bank. We live in a hot, dry desert in zone 5 which may contribute to my success. May never bother to grow any other variety. Definite keeper!
Date published: 2014-12-03
Rated 1 out of 5 by from No Good Tried several times to start seeds and got few sprouts. They would not germinate well and those that did, didn't survive.
Date published: 2014-09-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Flowering quickly! I received 3 plants about 3 weeks ago, and after a day or so to recover from shipping, my plants are doing well. I'm suprised that all three have plenty of flowers buds at only 12 inches high, but these are my first "container specific" peppers, and my previous pepper plants were twice as tall before flowering! I'm looking forward to a good harvest, and my plants seem very healthy and happy.
Date published: 2013-05-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from early to tell but plants are awesome just waiting on friut
Date published: 2012-05-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Big Old School Heirloom Bells!! The first year that I tried to grow these heirloom bells, they didn't perform well for me. I vowed never to trifle with peppers from seeds again...then after two years I decided to give them another try. I started the seeds indoors around the middle of February next to a window which gets plenty of morning and afternoon sun. Within 2 weeks I saw the seedlings begin to sprout, and two weeks later I had seedlings. I heavily diluted some fish emulsion fertilzer and spritzed the soil around them every two weeks, not over saturating, and watered them twice a week. By mid March they were about 2 inches tall and standing strong, near the end of April they were 4 inches tall and ready to go out into the big bad world! I keep my house a steady 72 degrees all through the cold months, so by then outdoors it was in the high 60's and low 70's with little wind here and there. Earlier, in March, I had already turned soil in the raised bed that I had grown cabbage, collards, turnips and mustards in the year before. Rotation of garden beds is key to keeping soil borne disease in check. You should never grow the same thing in a garden bed that you grew the year before. In my previous tomato and peppers bed I may grow swiss chard, lettuces, beets, along with onions, garlic, shallots, scallions and chives around the perimeter. Anywayz, once you turned the soil where you intend to grow peppers and tomatoes, make sure you add in some Miracle Gro garden soil, composted manure, pelletized lime to prevent blossom end rot, bone & blood meal, some play sand to keep the soil loose & pliable, and also makes it drain well. Later on, some 10-10-10 slow release fertilzer and 2 tbsps of epsom salts sprinkled around the outer root circle of the peppers and tomatoes once they reach a foot tall will kick them into overdrive for the rest of the summer. Plant pepper seedlings 2 inches deep and firm around the base of each plant. Plant tomatoes deep, up to 2/3rds of the stem up from the root ball. They will sprout extra roots from the hairs around their stems which will anchor them as they grow and begin to fruit heavily. Immediately dust with Sevin around the bottom of seedlings on top of the soil and mulch, because hookworms and other pests LOVE the young pepper and tomato shoots before they get to the point where they secrete a light toxin/deterent to keep them for cutting into their young stems. Lightly dust the leaves as needed, then later mix a Sevin concentrate with water in a spray bottle and spray leaves every 2 or 3 weeks as needed if you see pests attacking fruits of either. Peppers when they fruit can be prime targets for whiteflies, pepper maggots, certain kinds of ants, and other can be vigilant. Adequate spacing (18 to 24 inches apart ) is important on multiple levels, so don't crowd plants. Once these peppers caught on, they grew 3 or 4 ft. tall and 2 or 3 ft across! I was harvesting BIG GREEN and RED sweet crisp and flavorful bells by late July and early August. They yielded 3 more times before the frost hit them in November. But I got plenty of delicious peppers to use in various ways from summer to frost, and also froze some to be used off season. If the weather stays warm consistently and you don't get too much or too little rain, they'll do you proud! In case of drought conditions, water at least 3 times a week early in the morning so the daytime sun can evaporate any water on the leaves. Oh yeah, a nice stringy cypress mulch about 2 inches deep around peppers and tomatoes will insure that they get full use of water and food in the soil and also protects the roots from drying out. Another advantage to cypress mulch is cypress' natural fungicidal, disease-fighting and some pest-detering qualities.
Date published: 2010-10-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Large fruits! The description was correct -- I got large fruits even though I was forced to grow them in window boxes. I imagine that if I had been able to put them in the ground, they would have been larger and the yield would have been better. However, even with my limitations (and being a first-time gardener), the fruits were still more than twice as big as the (unknown) variety my mom has been growing for years. The yields were acceptable. Each plant has produced 2 to 3 fruits of decent size, and the season is not over yet. I did have a bit of problem with blossom drop. This is not a sweet pepper. The flavor is not what I was hoping for -- although that could be because of our drought this year. They were mild flavored, with a slightly tart/bitter aftertaste. Since we were not planning on eating them raw, this was not a big deal.
Date published: 2007-08-17
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