Should You Stake Pepper Plants?

Stake Pepper Plants: numerous stakes supporting plants

These pepper plants are tied to several heavy-duty metal stakes to support the extra weight of the fruit they’re producing.

It’s often a good idea to stake pepper plants. Although many peppers are strong plants that do a good job at holding themselves upright, sometimes they need a little help — especially toward the end of the season. If you live in an area in which the growing season is long, peppers tend to grow taller (sometimes three or more feet) than they would otherwise. Also, in places prone to thunderstorms, a good wind or strong rain can quickly level a pepper-laden plant that hasn’t been staked properly. 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.

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

To stake pepper plants, simply drive a 2- to 3-foot wooden, bamboo, or other sturdy-material garden stake  at least 6 inches deep into the soil right beside each plant. While the best time to do this is when you set out the plant, so that the roots aren’t disturbed later, it’s okay to stake the plant later in the season, if needed. Tie the stems to the stakes with soft twine or strips of old nylon stockings to avoid cutting into or scarring the stems. (You can also support a pepper plant by surrounding it with a small wire tomato cage.)

Note, too, that as pepper plants grow and begin to yield large amounts of fruit, long branches may start to sag toward the ground. Since many plant diseases live in the soil, you want to do everything you can to keep those branches (and the fruit they bear) from touching the ground. Putting a stake underneath the branch to hold it up is an easy way to do this.



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!

Danielle Carroll

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

Danielle Carroll

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


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

Danielle Carroll

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

Vivian Worley

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.

Andrea De Elena

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.

Danielle Carroll

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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