Sweet pointed peppers: profile, varieties & cultivation


With a passion for growing installed at an early age, I have always been happiest outdoors in nature. After training as a professional gardener and horticultural therapist, I currently run horticultural therapy and community kitchen gardens in the UK, helping others access the many physical and mental health benefits of growing vegetables, fruit and plants.

Favourite fruit: apples and pears
Favourite vegetable: asparagus

With their sweet and crisp taste, sweet pointed peppers are a great addition to many culinary dishes. Similar to the bell pepper, sweet pointed peppers are easy to grow and care for at home.

red pointed peppers on a plant
Sweet pointed peppers are grown in a similar way to bell peppers

Sweet pointed peppers (Capsicum annuum) are heat and sun-loving plants that can easily be grown indoors or in a sunny spot in the garden. Read on to find out more about sweet pointed peppers, the best varieties to grow and how to care for them.

Sweet pointed peppers: origin and characteristics

Sweet pointed peppers, as the name suggests, are thin and pointed and come in an array of colours and flavours. Unlike the chilli pepper from the same Solanaceae plant family, pointed peppers can be incredibly sweet and mild in heat, similar to the commonly grown bell pepper but with a thinner skin.

These nightshade plants originate from the warmer climates of South and Central America and are packed full of vitamins and minerals, especially vitamins B and C and potassium.

green pointed peppers
Sweet pointed peppers contain high levels of vitamins and minerals

Sweet pointed peppers have glossy green leaves and produce cream flowers that subsequently set fruit.

Sweet pointed and chilli peppers come under the same botanical classification. The key difference between the two is that chilli or hot peppers contain a far higher concentration of capsaicin, which gives them their distinctive heat and flavour.

Many pepper varieties are readily available to buy and grow in the UK, but nothing quite beats the selection of pepper varieties available at an Eastern European market.

Assorted peppers at a market
Many different types of peppers can be found at Eastern European Markets [Photo: Rabizo Anatolii/ Shutterstock.com]

The best sweet pointed pepper varieties

Available in a wide array of colours and tastes with the pointed red pepper being the most common. Here are some of the best varieties available for growing in the UK:

  • ‘Astor’ F1 Hybrid: yellow fruits up to 25 cm, sweet and crisp, harvest time: July – October
  • ‘Big Banana’ F1 Hybrid: large red fruits, sweet and juicy, impressive yields, harvest time: August – October
  • ‘Thor’ F1 Hybrid: large red pointed peppers, sweet and crisp, perfect for salads, harvest time: July – October
  • ‘Friggitello’ F1 Hybrid: green fruits up to 14 cm, heavy cropping, ideal for frying, harvest time: July to October
  • ‘Monanta’: early fruiting, creamy green peppers turn orange to red on maturity, outdoor or indoor, harvest time: July – October
  • ‘Black Knight’ F1 : purple fruits on maturity, early fruiting, sweet and crisp, best indoors, harvest time: July – October
sweet pepper seedling
Start your sweet pointed pepper seeds inside and transplant them out after the last frost

Tip: Sweet pointed peppers require a long time to produce harvestable fruits, so start seeds indoors as early as February to get a head start or purchase young plants in spring.

Growing pointed peppers

Since peppers originate from warmer climates, they are typically grown undercover in a greenhouse or polytunnel here in the UK. However, there are varieties available that suitable for outdoor cultivation. These thrive outdoors in a sunny and sheltered spot during the summer months.

If growing from seed, sweet peppers should be sown from February onwards and germinate at 18 – 21°C. Fill small pots or trays with a damp seed sowing compost, such as our Plantura Organic Herb And Seedling Compost. Sow the sweet pepper seeds in the tray and cover with a thin layer of vermiculite. Place in a covered propagator to reduce moisture loss. Remove once the seeds have germinated and grow in a bright spot indoors with a temperature above 16°C. Once the seedlings display their first true leaves, pot on individually in 9cm pots using a peat free multi-purpose compost. Our Plantura Organic Tomato & Vegetable Compost is great for this as it provides all the nutrients they need for the first few weeks until they require fertilising. Continue to grow indoors and keep the soil moist.

Organic Tomato & Vegetable Compost, 40L
Organic Tomato & Vegetable Compost, 40L
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  • Perfect for tomatoes & other vegetables such as chillies, courgettes & more
  • For strong & healthy plant growth as well as an abundant vegetable harvest
  • Peat-free & organic soil: CO2-saving composition

Once they have outgrown their current pots, transplant the peppers to their final container or site undercover, or harden off before and planting outside in a south-facing sheltered spot. If planting outside, wait until the temperature consistently rises above 15°C and all risk of frost has passed, which is usually around the middle to end of May.

Peppers grow well in containers and do not need a lot of space, but they do need a final pot that has a diameter of at least 30cm to have enough soil and nutrients. If planting directly in the ground, choose a sheltered site with a south or west-facing aspect.

Pointed peppers on a plant
Peppers require a warm and sunny site to grow well [Photo: Martin Bergsma/ Shutterstock.com]

Most important care measures

Peppers prefer a moist well-drained soil and need frequent watering, especially if grown in pots. However, avoid overwatering as peppers will struggle in an overly wet or waterlogged soil.

As hungry feeders, peppers require high levels of nutrients to produce a sizeable harvest and will benefit from being fertilised either with a slow-release granules or liquid feed that can be applied at the time of watering. Our Plantura Liquid Tomato Food is perfect for feeding peppers and will help provide the necessary potassium to encourage continuous fruiting.

Liquid Tomato Food, 800ml
Liquid Tomato Food, 800ml
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  • Perfect for tomatoes & other vegetables
  • Liquid fertiliser for healthy plant growth & an abundant harvest
  • Quick & easy application - child & pet friendly

Pointed sweet pepper plants can become quite leggy over time, which limits fruit production. To prevent this and encourage plants to form a bushier habit and more fruits, pinch out the growing tip when they are 20 – 25cm tall.

Tip: some pepper varieties can grow quite tall as they mature and top heavy when they start fruiting. To prevent plants from toppling over, stake them when they are young.

Harvesting and using sweet pointed peppers

Sweet pointed peppers can be harvested from July onwards and can even continue cropping into the autumn. Their exact harvesting time depends on whether they have been grown indoors or outdoors as well as the variety. Once they have reached their varieties’ mature colour, they can be collected. Cut the stem with a clean and sharp pair of secateurs or scissors. To ensure continued fruiting, pick the fruits regularly as leaving ripe peppers unpicked can reduce future cropping.

Chopped peppers being cooked
Sweet pointed peppers can be eaten raw or cooked and taste great in many different dishes [Photo: Irina Burakova/ Shutterstock.com]

Sweet pointed peppers can be eaten raw or cooked. Remove stalk and seeds and then chop as desired. They taste great in salads and stir-fries as well as on their own.

Peppers come in all sorts of colours and shapes, but for something really different why not try a Gogosari pepper, which is a pepper that looks like a tomato!