Peppers: To Stake or Not to Stake?

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A large branching pepper plant will need to be tied to multiple stakes to support the branches.

These Yummy Snacking pepper plants are tied to several heavy-duty metal stakes to support the loads of sweet orange fruit they’re producing.

You decide. Although many peppers are strong plants that hold themselves upright, they sometimes need a little help. If you live in an area where the growing season is long, peppers often get taller than expected, maybe three feet tall. Also, in places prone to thunderstorms, a good wind or rain will quickly level a pepper-laden plant. Finally, varieties that produce large peppers appreciate the extra support under the weight of their bounty.

Tie off pepper plants to a stake when are you, before they become heavy with fruit.

Connect pepper plants to a sturdy stake from the start so that they won't fall over or have their branches break when loaded with peppers.

To stake, simply drive a 2- to 3-foot wooden, bamboo, or purchased garden stake  at least 6 inches deep into the ground right beside the plant. The best time to do this is when you set out the plant so that the roots aren’t disturbed later. Tie the stems to stakes with soft twine or strips of stockings to avoid cutting into or scarring the stems.

You can also support peppers with a small wire tomato cage.

11 thoughts on “Peppers: To Stake or Not to Stake?

  1. We are growing some small orange peppers. They are now about 1 foot tall, and one has a pepper about 1-inch long on it. Some of the plants have fallen over. They look like something might be eating the stem. We staked them up, but they do not look as healthy as they did. Could it be a worm eating the stem? What should we do? We live in southern California. Thanks!

    • Hi Kristi,
      At a foot tall, cutworms are usually not the problem – they are notorious for chomping new seedlings. New plants are often protected with collars around the base of the plant. Were there any storms that may have blown the plants over – harsh winds can do that. Bt sprays and other insecticides can be used to treat caterpillars (always according to label directions), but unless you see caterpillars (or any insect), there is no reason to spray. Scout the plants daily so you can identify pests and use the right control. -danielle, Bonnie Plants

    • Ghost Pepper (Bhut Jolokia) is a type of chili pepper and is grown best in a well draining, sunny area. It can be grown like other peppers, see this article on Growing Peppers in the Bonnie Plants library for more detailed information. – danielle, Bonnie Plants

  2. Thank you so much for all this information, we just planted our first peppers this year and have no idea what I’m doing!

    • Hi Sireena,
      Good Luck! That is the fun part – practice makes perfect! – Danielle, Bonnie Plants

  3. I have a cubanelle and a red pepper plant. What height do these plants normally grow up to? I live in the southwest as well.

  4. Um….not to be critcal but I happen to know because I have an Serrano plant and have had Habenanro peppers past 3 ft. that they can grow much taller. The Serrano is about 5ft. and the Hab was about 4 ft. My mother’s favorite plant that I have is a 6ft. Cayanne pepper which she uses sometimes for chilli renyoes forgive the spelling. I love peppers. I love growing different varities for their flavors, colors, and aromas. Kung Pao Hots are one of my new favorites. I guess it is recomended to keep them around 3 ft big but then you don’t get the size of pepper that I want. I want something I can stuff, and my peppers seem to do ok with stakes and a trim here and there. I live in the Phoenix, Arizona area. Just thought you should know.

    • Hi Andrea,
      That is awesome! Pepper plants do grow a lot larger in the deep South -surviviving the winter in some of the most Southern areas. = Danielle, Bonnie Plants

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