The banana pepper gets its name from its color and shape, which are similar to those of a banana. Bell peppers are easy to grow, and understanding their lifecycle will help you maximize their growth in your vegetable garden.
Continue reading to learn more about the Banana pepper plant’s various phases of development!
A banana pepper plant’s lifecycle begins with seed germination. Seeds germinate quickly in temperatures between 80 – 90 degrees Fahrenheit, so you may need to use a heating pad to expedite germination when planting banana pepper seeds indoors.
Plan to plant your banana pepper seeds 4 – 6 weeks from the date of your area’s last freeze and never let the seeds dry out; keep the soil moist by lightly spraying water on the soil daily if necessary. It may also be advantageous to use a humidity dome to keep the soil moist.
Sprouts typically appear 4 – 7 days after germination.
As mentioned above, banana peppers require warm weather to grow and fully develop, so wait at least two weeks after the date of the last freeze before planting them outside. If it’s been a cooler-than-average spring, keep the sprouting plant indoors until daytime temps consistently reach at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
As the days become longer and hotter, the banana pepper plant will sprout more stems and dark green leaves. It will shed older leaves and replace them with new ones.
As the pepper plant is exposed to direct sunlight after the growth stage, it will produce white or yellow flowers. Once the flowers are fertilized, the plant will develop a fleshy pericarp, which will thicken and expand as the pepper matures and ripens.
Banana peppers self-pollinate, meaning they do not require other plants to complete the pollination and fruiting process.
Some flowers on the plant will set fruit by itself when the pollen drops to the stigma, while others require the help of passing insects and small birds for pollination.
Once its flowers are pollinated and fertilized, the plant’s pericarp thickens and swells to become the banana pepper and is ready to harvest.
You’ll know when the banana pepper is ripe based on its color. It is usually yellow-green but can also be red or orange. A banana pepper’s spice level is determined by how ripe it is. The seeds of an open-pollinated banana pepper can be planted later to produce a new crop of peppers.