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Growing and Harvesting a Shishito Pepper Plant

New to the pepper world? Shishito peppers are one of the best pepper plants to start with. Not only are they super simple to grow, but they have a mild flavour that pairs well with many recipes. And since they harvest early, you will have mountains of peppers to enjoy throughout the season. Here are my best tips for growing a shishito pepper plant in your vegetable garden.

Growing Shishito Peppers

Shishito peppers are all the rage, and for good reason. They are easy to grow and even easier to gobble up in a variety of recipes.

These flavourful peppers are classified as hot peppers (as opposed to sweet or banana peppers) but they are not all that spicy. One in every ten does have a bit of a kick though, so these are fun to serve a bunch of at once and see who gets the shishito-eating grin!

Disclosure: Burpee Home Gardens sent me two “Dragon Roll” Shishito Pepper plants to grow and I’ve been testing out a bunch of recipes.

This post will cover…

Harvesting Shishito Peppers

Growing Shishito Peppers

Growing peppers is really as simple as planting them in a hot, sunny spot and then picking the peppers as they ripen. Peppers are one of the easiest types of vegetable plants to grow and shishitos are even easier! I shishito you not.

Plant shishito peppers in good quality, well-drained soil in a sunny spot in the garden. They need at least six to eight hours of sunlight to produce well. They are a tidy plant that can be grown in the ground (or as you’ll see below, in an 18″ pot), and that’s not a crock of shishito.

Shishito plants will produce a ton of peppers that can be harvested much earlier than other peppers in the garden. They will turn red, but they are usually picked when they are lime green. Keep picking them and the plants will produce a shishito storm of peppers.

growing a shishito pepper plant

Growing Shishito Peppers in Containers

Don’t have room in your garden? Shishito peppers work wonderfully when grown in containers or grow bags. Make sure the container is at least 18 inches in diameter to ensure it’s big enough for your fully mature plant. Drainage holes are a must!

Add a high-quality potting soil and add in some compost for some extra nutrients for your growing peppers. You can also add in a tomato cage for extra support, especially if you’re in a windy area. The weight of the fruits further into the summer can cause the branches to break.

Since they’re in a container, make sure to water them once a day or every other day. Avoid getting water on the foliage and water at the base of the plant.

Blistered Shishito Peppers

Harvesting a Shishito Pepper Plant

If you’re growing shishito peppers for the first time, you’ll be surprised how early you can harvest them. Once seedlings are planted, they can typically be harvested two months later.

Traditionally, shishito peppers are harvested while still green and immature. At this stage, they are crisper and taste delicious when cooked.

You can also wait until they are fully mature and red, which will take a few more weeks. But, if you harvest a ton of them while still green, the plant will continue to produce more peppers. Shishito peppers have a very high yield!

You’ll know when to harvest them when they are green and range from two to five inches in length. Rather than pull them from the plant, gently snip them off to avoid harming the rest of the branch.

Shishito peppers with a yogurt cilantro dipping sauce

Frequently Asked Questions About Growing a Shishito Pepper Plant

Are Shishito Peppers Easy to Grow?

Yes! Compared to most peppers, you’ll find that shishito peppers are very easy to grow and mature much quicker than most peppers. Meaning, that you can plant it later and enjoy it earlier. They work well in pots, grow bags, and raised beds.

How Big Do Shishito Peppers Get?

Shishito peppers generally range from two to five inches. They’re slender peppers with thin skin.

When Do I Harvest Shishito Peppers?

You can typically begin to harvest your peppers in late July. The plant will continue to produce more peppers well until the first frost.

Shishito peppers are usually harvested when they’re green and immature rather than red and fully mature.

How Many Peppers Does a Shishito Plant Produce?

Shishito peppers are very productive plants and produce a heavy harvest. The more you pick them while green, the more peppers the plant will produce.

How Tall Do Shishito Pepper Plants Get?

Shishito pepper plants typically grow to be 2 ft tall and up to 1 ½ ft wide.

What Plant Are Good for Shishito Peppers Companion Planting?

Alyssum, basil, chives, garlic, and petunias will attract predators that will eat aphids and other pests to protect your shishito pepper plant. Other good plants to plant around shishito peppers include eggplants, onions, rosemary, yarrow, carrots, dill, and parsley.

Shishito peppers are truly a delight to grow in the summer. If you’re looking for a new and fun vegetable to add to your garden, give them a go! Let me know in the comments down below if you have any more questions about growing a shishito pepper plant.

More Veggies to Plant


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