How will extreme heat and high humidity effect my peppers?

bigoledude(SE Louisiana)March 10, 2009

I am growing the peppers listed below. Last year I tried growing some bell peppers in containers. They performed lousy! This year's garden will be planted in the ground.

Many gardeners in our area have failed to produce a decent harvest of bell peppers the last few years. I know the peppers below are a very generic group. I plan on getting more of the exotic varieties later.

Keystone Giant (Bell)

Cal Wonder (Bell)

Purple Beauty (Bell)

Marconi Red

Sweet Cherry

Tam Jalapeño

Sweet Banana


Jalapeño (Hot)


Pasilla Bajio

Cayenne Long Thin

Hungarian Wax

Poblano Ancho

Mulatto Islanos

Orange Habenero

Which of my peppers (above) will be hurt the most by our brutal Louisiana heat, rain and humidity?

Are hot peppers better suited to these hot-n-humid conditions?

What sweet peppers would be a better alternative and, perform better than the "Bell" types?


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I suggest you contact your local Cooperative Extension Service for recommendations for sweet pepper varieties that do well in your area.


    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 8:23AM
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bigoledude(SE Louisiana)

Hey fiedlermiester

Prior to my post here, I scoured the website of the LSU Cooperative Extension Service. There is no information in regard to what other sweet peppers might surpass the "Bell" types in performance.

They do not address how hot peppers compare to sweet peppers in heat tolerance either.

My request for information in regard to my specific peppers and, what I might expect was mainly addressed to those folks out there who live in areas that have similar climatic conditions as we do here in SE Louisiana.

A search here, using the words "Heat tolerance peppers" yielded no information in regard to my questions above.

I also referred to gardening books (12) that I've bought over the years.

My last search was at the "2009 Southeastern U.S. Vegetable Crop Handbook" and found no answers to the questions I had. This handbook was written in a cooperative effort by 11 of the top universities in the southeastern U.S.

John, I suspect that just about every query here could be brushed off with a brief referral to their Cooperative Extension Service. A search of your user-name suggests that you are a respected member here. In my case, it appears you were very busy and chose not to offer any actual help. Why would you even bother with such an answer.

Now, if anyone out there has any experiences that might help me, please respond. I really could use some practical info.


    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 12:12AM
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So, you think that ranting at others here will get you answers?

Did you contact the extension service?

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 9:34AM
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shebear(z8 NCentralTex)

My bells don't really produce until fall. I get a few but just keep growing the plant so that it's large for the fall. As soon as the night temps start to drop the peppers start to come. However, being right off the coast the nights may not cool enough.

Most of the bell peppers seem to be selected for southern California's climate.........that ain't Texas or Louisiana.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 10:31AM
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bigoledude(SE Louisiana)

That's exactly what we've been experiencing here shebear. We seem to successfully grow bells only when the temps cool off a bit.

Was kinda hoping there were some other types of sweet peppers that would perform better than the bell types in the heat and rain here.

That was not a rant willard. I guess my question sounded like a total new-guy and warranted a thumb-over to the Cooperative Extension Service. I was just hoping that guys like John, who seem to be pretty knowledgeable in regards to growing peppers, would share some of that experience with me. I regret my sarcasm.

I'm putting everything in the ground right now and, must quickly choose what to put in my limited space.

I'd still like to know if hot peppers can better withstand our conditions.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 1:24PM
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rdback(Z6 VA)

Hi Ray,

Here are a few suggestions, even though I donÂt have z9 gardening experience:

1) Actually contact your local Co-op agent. These folks are usually very knowledgeable about your local growing area and are happy to chat with you and provide info. ItÂs part of their job, plus they all love to talk lol!

2) Try this link to a Southern University webpage. Not a ton of info, but I think thereÂs some direct answers to some of your questions (i.e. what peppers grow best Louisiana).

3) Look for other GW members that reside in Louisiana and contact them directly via e-mail. Most members have valid e-mail addresses available on their member page. (See link to thread below)

4) Look for regional garden bloggers (Gulf Coast?). Many folks share their experiences, both good and bad, via their own personal blog. (See link to thread below)

Lastly, many, many folks join GW and cruise the Forums, many of them new to gardening and trying to gain insight. JohnÂs response to "Âcontact your local Cooperative Extension ServiceÂ" is a legitimate response to your question and is generally a valuable piece of advice to most. Some donÂt even know the Co-op exists! However, your mileage may vary.

I respectfully disagree with your statement that John "Âchose not to offer any actual help". As stated above, I believe it may be helpful to many. Trust me, although JohnÂs opinions are generally spot-on, I donÂt always agree with everything he says. But when that happens, I donÂt get a case of the redass about it lol.

Good Luck and Happy Gardening


Here is a link that might be useful: previous GW thread

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 2:19PM
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I will ignore your rudeness and ask you to scroll down to page 74.


Here is a link that might be useful: From your Coooperative Extension site

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 3:37PM
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bigoledude(SE Louisiana)

Rick, I didn't even know Southern University had an AG dept. That was a good article.

John, I scrolled down to page 74 long before you linked me to it. The link is not at "my" Louisiana Extension Service or, anyone's Extension Service for that matter. That page is part of the handbook that I referred you to that 11 universities collaborated on.

The page (74) does not compare other sweet peppers to bell types. Nor does it compare sweet pepper performance to hot peppers. And it certainly does not deal with any shortcomings of the specific peppers that I asked about. In essence, it answered absolutely none of my questions.

Don't misunderstand me John, I am very grateful for your ignoring my rudeness. However, I would much rather your spot-on help.


    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 8:48PM
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Have you checked with your local nursery? I live in zone 9, but not Louisiana. We do get lots of heat humidity here in Central Florida and Jalapenos are always popular. Check with Home Depot or any other place like that and see where they get their plants from. You may be able to contact them and get some information. You can also contact the big seed companies and ask them what kinds of peppers do well in Hot/Humid areas and the best time to plant them. Heck, it may be on their website. I'll check Johnny's website and see what they have and get back to you in a little bit. You can also try calling in to a local gardening show (we have The Garden Rebel) or writing to your local newspaper's gardening section. Also try your local university's agriculture department, if not them, try the University of Florida's Agriculture department.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 10:37PM
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kandm(8b coastal alabama)

If you can place a shade over the plants during the hottest part of the day you might have more luck.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 7:19AM
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shebear(z8 NCentralTex)

Ok Ray I took the time to really look at your list and the bells are the only ones that slow down during the hot spells for me. The bananas really go wild. The marconis do pretty good as do the cubanelles. All the hot peppers do pretty good but the pablanos take a while to grow and mine were hot so you might try those too.

Shading might help, especially to keep the after 3 west sun at bay. The heat seems to peak out around 3 in the afternoon here so if you have a west/southwest fence put the bells over by it so they get shade after 3. I'd suggest building a mobile shade device but you live on the coast and it's usually pretty windy on the Texas coast so I'm thinking if it ain't nailed down, it'll probably blow around. Large moving objects in a garden are generally not a positive thing, be it animate or inanimate.

Good luck and keep trying. Just remember, trade came into being because we couldn't find all the cool stuff outside our back door. Right after that came advertising. LOL!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 8:57AM
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bob_in_pc(z8 FL)

I don't have any spot on help but I too experience problems with high humidity and extreme heat. I want to grow some bell peppers this year as I love to cook with them and know that others have had problems here growing them (along with Rocotos).

Anyway, I'm growing Burpee's Pinot Noir this year as they advertise it to do good in those conditions.

I'll post results when the crop (hopefully) comes in.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 8:08PM
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shebear(z8 NCentralTex)

By all means, keep us posted. I'd love to have more bell peppers production during the heat.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 9:29PM
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larenatc(8-Coastal SC)

More experienced people, please let me know if I am wrong. Would it be correct to assume that,"if" you don't mind waiting and have a long enough growing season, Would it be reasonable to plant in late July for a fall crop? The heat wouldn't be quite as bad then. That's what I'm considering and hope I'm not too wrong.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 11:18PM
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bob_in_pc(z8 FL)

larenatc - I actually believe that's a good solution as long as you're not growing a long season pepper. The Pinot Noir variety I'm growing this year has a 60 day growing season and I hope to have a fall crop as well as a spring crop.

I haven't figured out how to get the Rocoto to go. I've got one Yellow Rocoto left and this will be its 3rd season. I just got through re-potting it with new potting soil and I hope to finally see pods this year.

We'll see......

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 8:15AM
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I know several people from central LA who grow all kinds of peppers and veggies with no problem. If heat is bothering you, position your garden so that it only gets morning sun and not afternoon sun (such as against a wood fence etc). I don't think humitity will bother them.

Good luck

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 9:08AM
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shebear(z8 NCentralTex)

larenatc - It shouldn't be a problem. The only reason I suggest planting in the spring is that it takes a while to get a big plant that can hold a bunch of bell peppers and support their growth. I get a few during the heat but nothing like what happens when the night temps start to drop. Those big plants can put on an amazing amount of peppers. Caging is very necessary to keep the plants from losing limbs or falling over. That said you can definitely do a fall only crop.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 9:10AM
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larenatc(8-Coastal SC)

Great point on plant size. Thanks.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 9:48AM
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bigoledude(SE Louisiana)

After a whole lot of reading here, calling some southern-based seed merchants and, talking to some local growers. Here's what I've gathered so far.

Our heat-stressed bell peppers can be kept alive through the hottest part of the summer by diligently watering and feeding. When the temps start to cool-off, they will start kicking into production again.

Or, we can yank the plants that have been hard-hit and re-plant a new batch of seedlings in late June-early July. These will produce until frost nails 'em.

That was some good info shebear.

In the last week or so, I learned that just about all other sweet pepper types perform better in the heat than do "Bell" types. And, that hot peppers do even better yet.

Although bell peppers like as much sun as they can get, some afternoon shade will in fact cool things enough to buy a little more time before they shut down completely. However, once the real heat sets in, the ambient temp, even in the shade, will cause the bell types to stop.

So, it appears that we can expect other sweet peppers to hold up better than the bell types. And, the hot peppers to continue producing right through the heat.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 4:31AM
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I live in south west Florida, i grow peppers in containers. My experience is as follows...

Bell peppers rot on the vine but the plants do ok. So i nolonger bother with them.

Cayenne do very well, but don't produce fruit as much during the extreame heat of the summer, they produce very well in the fall.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 11:18PM
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I garden in Southwest Florida also, in planting beds and in seven-gallon nursery containers.

I've been having trouble growing peppers in the heat in my climate. Part of the trouble is root knot nematodes, which thrive in our subtropical climate. They are especially bad in the summer months in the heat and frequent downpours. Currently I'm fallowing my soil in trash containers for months at a time to reduce their numbers, and rotating with resistant varieties like Wando pea and California Blackeyed Pea number 5.

The only pepper I've grown that does well through the summer is Thai Hot. They slow down in the cooler weather and pick up in the heat.

I'm testing Marconi this year in my containers, they are reported to be heat tolerant, but I've learned to be skeptical about claims made in seed catalogs.

Chilly Chili Hybrid from is supposed to be "extremely heat tolerant", so they might work. That company is in Southwest Florida, so it might be good info.

I tried Carolina Wonder peppers for their reported nematode resistance, and they got devastated by root knot nematodes in my containers. There were hardly any roots at all when I pulled them, just knobby galls.

There is no substitute for trial and error under your specific growing conditions. What works in Iowa might not work in The South, as we have both found out.

I tried Gypsy, another "heat resistant" pepper. They are all dying and it's only May.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 5:46PM
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