When it comes to growing food, one of the biggest questions people have is how many plants do I need to plant per person? It’s a loaded questions without a clear cut answer.  But you can begin to figure out how many pepper plants you need by using the average yield of each crop and knowing how many bell peppers per plant can be produced.

When it comes to peppers there are a lot of different varieties and types out there- and the yield will be different depending on if we’re talking about hot peppers, banana peppers, sweet peppers, bell peppers or any other type of pepper. But if you’re growing mostly bell peppers- here’s how many peppers you can expect to harvest per plant.

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How Many Bell Peppers Can a Single Pepper Plant Produce?

On average a single bell pepper plant will give you between 5-10 peppers. This is just an average and there are a lot of different variables that can affect the amount of fruits per plant. Things like soil quality, growing season, temperature, water, plant or soil health will all play a part in how many peppers you can expect to harvest.

The variety of pepper you are growing can also affect the yield per plant.


Do Bell Pepper Plants Keep Producing All Season Long?

In short, yes. Pepper plants will keep on growing and producing all season long. This is great news is you live in a warm climate with a long growing season! Peppers are warm loving plants and tend to grow more slowly in low temperatures- so those living in a cooler climate with a shorter growing season will have to start the bell pepper seeds indoors or use a green house to get maximum harvest.

Regular harvesting of the fruits also encourages more growth and production. So pick those peppers often to encourage even more growth!

Do keep in mind that bell peppers change colors as they mature- starting with green peppers and progressing to red peppers in the final stages. So be sure to harvest your peppers at the color you prefer.


10 ways to get more peppers from each plant text with images of red, yellow, and green bell peppers on the plant


10 Ways to Get More Peppers From Each Pepper Plant

As I mentioned above, there are a lot of variables that can affect how many bell peppers you can get from each plant. But here’s how to get the most productive pepper plants and the best yield each and every year:


Plant the Correct Pepper Varieties for Your Location

Your location can play a big part in how prolific your pepper plants are. For the best results, peppers need a long growing season and love warm weather. If you live in this climate then you’ll be able to grow most varieties. But if you live in a short growing season you’ll want to choose a variety of pepper that matures more quickly to be sure you can maximize your yield. 

Do a quick search to make sure you’ve chose varieties that will work in your location.


Amend Your Soil

Your soil plays a big part in how much  your bell pepper plants will produce. Poor soil will give you an unhealthy plant that bears little fruit, while healthy soil will give you healthy plants! 

Be sure to dig  lots of organic matter into your soil before planting. You can also consider adding a handful of Epsom salt to the hole at planting time for an extra boost.

Peppers are heavy feeders and need a lot of nitrogen during the initial growing phase, but during the fruiting phase too much nitrogen means more leaves and less flowers (which, of course, leads to less fruit production).


bell pepper seedlings on an outside table


Start Your Plants Early

Again, peppers need a long growing season, so starting the plants approximately 8 weeks before your last frost date is best and will ensure you can get maximum harvest from each plant.

Even if you live in a warm area, starting seeds early is a good thing since pepper plants will keep on growing as long as the ideal conditions are met. By starting seeds early, you can extend your season even longer.

Plant your pepper seedlings into the garden after the threat of frost has past and the soil temperature has warmed to about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Learn more about starting peppers from seed and how to grow them here: Quick Start Guide to Growing Peppers in Your Garden


Use Correct Spacing

It can be tempting to plant as many pepper plants as possible into your garden beds, but doing this will actually be counterproductive. Proper spacing will allow plenty of room for root growth and will allow for your pepper plants to reach their full size and potential. 

Crowding can also reduce air flow and increase the risk for disease in your garden. A sick- or dead- plant won’t give you any peppers!

You can learn more about spacing here: Garden Spacing: How Far Apart Should Plants Be in Your Garden


Water Your Peppers Correctly

Bell pepper plants are pretty hardy and love warm temperatures, but that doesn’t mean heat and drought won’t affect them at all. Hot dry temperatures will affect flower production and reduce your pepper yield. So be sure to water deeply in dry spells. Setting up a drip irrigation system is a great way to ensure proper watering at the soil level. 

Don’t forget that over watering can also cause problems such as disease and rotting roots. So be sure your soil has good drainage and that your plants aren’t sitting in standing water. 

Learn more about watering here: How to Water Your Garden Correctly


Plant in Full Sun

Peppers need to be planted in full sun for the best results. This means they need 8-10 hours of sunlight per day. They are a heat-loving, sun-loving plant so give them as much sun as you can! Too much shade can lead to smaller plants and less fruits.


Avoid Stress

Stressed plants don’t produce well. Stress comes in many forms, such as disease, pests, water, and weather conditions. This means you want to reduce weeds, prevent disease, and water correctly.

Remember that temperature can play a big part in how much fruit your plants produce. Peppers thrive in temperatures between 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit at night. 

In cooler temperatures, pepper plants will appear stunted and may not produce flowers. Conversely, at temperatures above 90 degrees, flowers may begin to drop which will affect the number of peppers you will harvest. You can avoid temperature stress by planting the correct varieties and planting at the correct time.


close up of green bell pepper on plant in garden


Keep Ahead of Pests

Pests in the garden are just that- pests! Pests can cause all sorts of problems and can affect the fruit production of your pepper plants. 

Common pests for peppers are:

Take preventative measures such as companion planting and keep and eye out for pests so that you can take care of them before they cause problems with production.


Prevent Common Diseases

Like pests, disease can affect the production of your pepper plants. There are a few common diseases for peppers such as blossom end rot, bacterial spot, mosaic virus, and powdery mildew. The best thing you can do is to take steps to prevent diseases in your garden. You can do this by:

  • Spacing your plants correctly
  • Not overwatering- or watering from above
  • Rotating your vegetables
  • Removing diseased plants immediately
  • Having healthy, fertile soil


Get Rid of Competition

This means weeds! Weeds will compete with your pepper plants for all necessities such as sunlight, space, and nutrients!

Mulching is the best way to keep weeds out of your pepper beds. You can choose any type of mulch from wood chips to plastic mulch or anything in between.


red bell peppers close up on the plant


Troubleshooting: Why You’re Not Getting a Lot of Peppers

You’ve got your pepper plants out in the garden, but what does it mean if you aren’t getting a lot of fruits? There are a few things to look at when trying to troubleshoot in the garden. Here are a few reasons why your pepper plants might not be flowering or producing fruits:

The Weather

As I mentioned above, peppers thrive in temperatures between 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit at night. Temperatures outside of this range can affect flower and fruit production.

Too much rain or too little rain can also play a part. 

If your pepper plants aren’t producing, take a look at your weather and determine if this could be playing a part. 


Deficiencies (or Too Much Fertilizer!)

Soil health is very important when it comes to having a good yield from your plants. Peppers need more phosphorus and potassium to set fruit, so if your soil is lacking these key nutrients, your yield will be affected.

Calcium deficiency can lead to blossom end rot in bell pepper plants. Magnesium is also a key nutrient for flowering- so adding some Epsom salts can help too.

And as I mentioned above, too much nitrogen during the fruiting stage will give you more leaves and less flowers.

Read more about soil deficiencies here: Soil Nutrient Deficiencies and How to Fix Them



As we all know, fruits develop after fertilization occurs. If there is inadequate pollination you yield will suffer. Do you see lots of pollinators in your garden and around your pepper plants? If not, pollination could be an issue.

Be sure to plant flowers throughout your garden to encourage more pollinators to visit. You can also try hand-pollinating your peppers and see if that helps your fruit production.

Read: 11 Best Flowers for Your Vegetable Garden



And finally, your pepper production could be affected by the plants growing around your peppers in the garden. Not all plants grow well together. For example, fennel can inhibit growth of other plants. Here are the best Companion Plants for Peppers.

Also, be sure you haven’t planted tall crops such as corn or sunflowers too close to your peppers. These tall crops can shade peppers and not allow them to get the needed sunlight. 

Other crops can draw fungus, pests, or other disease to the bed or soil. 


close up of pepper plant stem with 4 orange bell peppers


How Many Pepper Plants to Grow Per Person

I wish I could give you a clear number of plants to grow per person, but the truth is every family is different. We all have different tastes and different needs. Some people grow for fresh eating only, while others want to freeze or pickle a ton for later. 

What I can tell you is that you’ll get approximately 4 lbs. of peppers per plant (again, lots of factors will affect this number so it’s an average). 

If you like freeze your peppers, you’ll get about 1 quart of chopped peppers per pound. If you do the math, you’ll get about 4 quarts of chopped peppers per plant. 

You can use these numbers to work out how many plants your family should grow to meet your own personal needs. You can also check out Gardening Magic for a complete system that help you automatically calculate how many plants to grow to meet your family’s needs- and then create a planting calendar for you at the touch of a button!