Yard and Garden: Bell Peppers

AMES, Iowa --- Bell peppers are the large, blocky, thick, sweet peppers belonging to the species Capsicum annuum. The three- to four-lobed fruit taper slightly at the bottom and depending on the cultivar are red, yellow, orange or other colors at maturity. They are a great source of vitamin C.  
Horticulturists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach explain problems that gardeners may encounter in a home planting of peppers. To have additional questions answered, contact Hortline at hortline@iastate.edu or 515-294-3108.

My bell peppers are flowering, but not setting fruit.  Why?  

Bell pepper flowers may abort and fall off when night temperatures drop below 60 degrees Fahrenheit or daytime temperatures climb above 85 F. Maximum fruit set on bell peppers generally occurs at temperatures of 70 to 80 F. (The temperature range for fruit set on bell peppers varies somewhat with the cultivar.) Hot peppers usually set fruit better in warmer weather than bell peppers. Fruit set can also be affected by soil moisture levels. Water plants in dry weather to ensure an adequate moisture supply and encourage fruit set. 
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