When growing banana peppers in raised beds or regular garden beds, it’s important to make sure you get the spacing right.
Too close together and your plants will not have enough room to grow. But if you plant them too far apart, you’re reducing the number of plants you can grow in your garden.
How Far Apart to Plant Banana Pepper Plants
While most pepper seed packets will tell you that the perfect spacing is between 18-24 inches apart is perfect, is that really all there is to it?
For the most part, banana pepper plant should be planted around 18 inches from one another. I like to make sure they have an 18 inch radius from other plants.
Because pepper plants can bush out to the sides quite a bit, it’s important to give them enough space to do so without crowing other plants and reducing proper air flow.
What to Plant Near Banana Peppers
Companion planting is a great way to help ward off pests and diminish the chance of disease.
There are a number of great pepper companion plants you can choose from to plant nearby. Here are some of my favorites:
- Garlic – garlic is a great companion plant for a large variety of other plants. Because it doesn’t take up much space, it can be a great option for planting near your peppers.
- Marigolds – Marigolds help keep a lot of pests away, namely aphids. Since aphids are really hard to get rid of, growing marigolds nearby can help diminish the population from the start.
- Onions – Onions are an easy to grow plant that does great near peppers because their strong scent helps keep certain pests away.
- Eggplant – While most nightshades do better when they aren’t super close together, eggplant grows really well near peppers.
- Squash – because squash grows low to the ground, it can help shade the ground and keep the shallow roots of peppers better protected.
When to Pick Your Banana Peppers
Banana peppers can be hard to determine when they’re ready, because they don’t change colors all that much.
There are two main types of banana peppers:
- Hot banana peppers
- Sweet banana peppers
It can be hard to decide the right time to pick your banana peppers, but most varieties are yellow when they are ripe, but the flavor gets more robust and hotter the longer you wait.
It’s also wise to check the back of the seed packet for some guidance. When you plant banana pepper seeds, they should come with some instructions. Usually they are ready for harvest around the 75-80 day mark, but that’s not always a perfect science.
Your soil temperature, pH, rainfall, etc. can all impact the ripening process.
I harvest banana peppers when they are a good size, no longer green, and have a little pushback to them when you give them a slight squeeze.
When you’re ready to pick your fruit, use a sharp knife or pruning shears and cut at the top of each pepper stem. Make sure your knife or cutting tool is clean, as peppers are susceptible to fungal diseases and other issues.
How to Grow Banana Peppers
Growing banana peppers is quite easy. When growing from seed, you’ll want to start seeds indoors around 6 weeks before your last frost date. They do not do well in cold weather, so make sure all chance of frost has passed before you transplant seedlings outside.
Banana pepper plants need at least eight hours of sun light (i.e. full sun), so make sure to put them in a sunny spot with no tall growing plants nearby.
Water peppers regularly to keep the soil consistently moist, but not overly wet. Avoid overhead watering, as the splashing water from the ground can introduce soil borne diseases. A soaker hose or watering wand are great options for watering the base of the plants.
Keep Your Peppers Well Spaced for Best Yields
While it might not seem like a big deal, plant spacing for banana peppers can impact your yields, and how strong the roots grow.
If the roots don’t have enough room to spread out, they will grow more slowly, causing the plant to grow slower as well.