Food Gardening Network

Growing Good Food at Home

Growing Bell Peppers in Containers

Bell peppers growing in pot by the window

Bell peppers growing in pot by the window

Bell peppers are easy to grow in containers. Choose smaller, more compact varieties for your containers. See our Plant Profiles section for a couple of suggestions.

Make sure your soil is clean, weed-free, and nutrient-rich. Don’t reuse last season’s soil. It will be much better for your bell peppers if you start with fresh gardening soil—there’s even soil formulated especially for container gardening. And make sure your containers have good drainage; soggy soil can lead to root rot, which can spell disaster for your bell pepper plants.


Bell peppers need at least six hours of sunlight each day to flourish. They can tolerate some shade, but their preference is sun. Putting your container on wheels is one way to help your bell peppers get the sunlight they need. Just move them when you need to.


Water, sunlight, and soil are all essential ingredients for a successful bell pepper harvest. Watering is one of the easiest things to do—and therefore one of the easiest things to overdo. Your bell peppers need about an inch of water a week. You can supplement whatever nature does not provide. Wherever they’re planted, they need soil with good drainage—and that includes containers! You can mulch the soil around your bell peppers to help retain some moisture; also make sure your container has adequate drainage. Be careful that you don’t kill your crop with kindness—water just enough, but no more. Too much water can invite disease, and you want to keep your bell peppers healthy!


For bell peppers in containers or planters, use a commercial soil mix that’s formulated for vegetables; Miracle-Gro has a special formulation. This gives your plants a healthy head start, and you’re less likely to introduce weeds or soilborne diseases by digging up soil from your garden.

Use starting fertilizer when you first put your pepper plants in your container. Refer to your seed packet (if you started from seeds) or the plant care information that came with your seedlings for additional fertilizing guidance.

Have you grown bell peppers in containers? Please tell us about your successes and challenges growing bell peppers in containers.


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