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Do Peppers Like Acidic Soil? (All You Need to Know)

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Peppers are a kind of fruit, bell peppers, and their near relatives are mini sweet pepper, cubanelle pepper, banana pepper, cherry, jalapeno, and many more. Some say they grow better in acidic soil for that stingy taste. 

We will be answering whether peppers need acidic or alkaline soil, what soil pH do pepper plants grow best in, do peppers like coffee grounds, how can you make the soil more acidic for pepper plants, and different kinds of bell peppers as well!

Do peppers like acidic soil?

Yes, peppers do prefer a bit more acidic soil. Chilli peppers grow in pH levels of 5.5 to 6.5 range, while green peppers grow on 5.5 to 6.8 pH levels of dirt. So they do like to expand on a bit acidic soil. Jalapenos grow better on less acidic soil from 6.0 to 6.8 pH levels.

Let’s walk through this section to know if the following peppers like acidic soil or not –

Bell Peppers:

Bell pepper is also known as sweet pepper or Capsicum. They are of different sizes and colors of red, orange, yellow, purple, green, and more. They are known as sweet pepper because they are of the less intense flavor of chili. 

They like to grow on 6.0 to 6.8 pH acidic soil. 

Hot peppers:

Hot pepper is also called chili pepper for its intense spicy flavor. They come from the genus Capsicum and the family Solanaceae. Hot peppers best grow on 5.5 to 6.5 pH level soil, making them more acidic. 

They are available in red, yellow, and green colors.  

Green peppers: 

Green peppers are a form of a variety of bell peppers. Green peppers contain more chlorophyll for their green color. They contain alkaloids and solanine and can cause damage if consumed more in quantity than average. 

Green peppers also grow on the same soil as bell peppers. So on 6.0 to 6.8 pH soil.  

Chili peppers:

Chili papers are berry fruit, also known as hot peppers. They grow on pH 5.0 to 6.9, making them spicier than other chilies. They are grown on peat moss or coco coir soil. They are full of vitamin C, Vitamin B6, and Iron.

Banana peppers:

Banana peppers are the medium-sized peppers of the chili pepper family, which are also known as the yellow wax pepper or banana chili. They get this name for their appearances like a banana. 

The ripe ones can be of red or orange color as well.

They are full of vitamins, thiamine, and riboflavin. They also contain minerals like iron magnesium, calcium, zinc, potassium, and phosphorus. They grow in slightly acidic soil, like 5.5 to 6.5 pH levels. 

Ghost peppers:

Ghost peppers come from Bhutan, and thus, they also get the name of Bhut Jolokia, making them a famous dish in that area. It is one of the spiciest peppers out there. They have a Scoville scale of over 1 million. 

They grow in pH of 6.0 to 6.8 acidic soils.

Do peppers need acidic soil or alkaline soil? 

Peppers are grown the best in slightly acidic or neutral soil of 6.0 to 7.0 pH making them pretty neutral. But for their acidic properties, most peppers are really rich in vitamin C, making them an acidic element. Some prefer to grow them in acidic soil.

 Chili peppers grow in the most acidic soil, starting from pH as low as 4 or 5 to 5.5. Bell peppers, on the other hand, grow on a more neutral soil like 6.0 to 6.8 pH even though they are still relying on the acidic scale. 

All of the peppers require a good draining system for them to grow healthy. 

Also, pepper plants are more prone to insects like bees and ants, so you have to keep them checked and use fertilizers and pesticides to keep them away from the pests.

What soil pH do pepper plants grow best in? 

Pepper grows best in neutral and slightly acidic soil. From pH of 5.5 to 6.8 on the acidic side to pH 7, peppers grow best in them, making completely neutral soil. If the soil is more alkaline or acidic, it might cause severe damage to the plant, leaving them to rot. 

We are mentioning some of the optimum levels of pH for different peppers below:  


Jalapenos blossom flowers before they produce peppers, so if they don’t produce, that means the soil is not at optimum level. Jalapenos grow best in 6.0 to 6.8 pH, making them almost neutral. 

 If the soil is higher acidic than this, try using other methods to reduce its sulfur and increase by adding calcium carbonate, also known as lime.


Ancho or Poblano is a milder chili especially seen in Latin America, Mexico. Their Scoville unit is about 1,500 plus. They grow at 6.5 to 7 pH, making them almost neutral. Try using organic compost while planting them in the soil. 


Habaneros are a pretty spicy pepper. They have Scoville units from 100,000 to 350,000 units. They are green when they are not ripe, but they start to show different colors, especially orange, as they ripen up more. They grow in 6.0 to 6.5 pH levels.

Hot cherry peppers:

Hot cherry peppers look like small cherries but with a hint of spice. They grow best on 6.5 to 7 pH making them grown in neutral soil for their tangy taste.


Cayenne pepper harvest in 70 to 100 days from planting, and they are a great choice of chefs for using in cooking. They have 30,000 to 50,000 Scoville units. They are somewhat spicy, and they are grown in 6.0 to 7 pH soil. 

Do peppers like coffee grounds? 

Yes, peppers really like coffee grounds. Coffee grounds can give nutrients to pepper plants for almost two months with only a 0.5 inches to a 1-inch high layer of coffee grounds on the soil. 

They help produce stronger stems and healthier leaves and provide them with nitrogen. Coffee grounds also support the growth of plants and help to create more blossoms and flowers that lead to more production of peppers. 

They can also inhibit seed germination, helping to create more in quantity. Coffee grounds help increase the rate of insects and more minor bugs around the plants as well as their smell.

That is why, if you decide to use coffee grounds, remember to take them out regularly and apply fresh coffee beans on the soil. Coffee grounds also help control the soil’s temperature, which is essential for pepper plants to grow.

How do I make my soil more acidic for pepper plants?

Pepper plants grow really well in acidic soil as they are rich in Vitamin c and minerals. If the soil is slightly on the acidic side, it gets better for the plants to grow richer in vitamin c and more spicy peppers.

 But this job can be hectic as unbalanced and improper pH in the soil can cause a lot of harm to the plants, producing fewer fruits and causing them to rot. 

We are mentioning some ways below how you can avoid these situations and grow healthy pepper plants and make the soil more acidic and balanced for the pepper plants below : 


The best way to raise the level of acid in the soil is to use limestone, which is basically calcium carbonate. (CaCo3) Go to your nearest grocery shop, where you can easily avail limestone.

You can also find them in some plant shops or plant nurseries as well, as limestone is a pretty common component to be added to the soil for many plants.


Limestone increases the acidity in the soil but keeps in mind to not use much, as then you would have to reduce it again using sulfur. Sulfur helps to reduce acidity from the soil if the soil becomes a lot acidic, making it hard for a plant to survive on it. 


If you go to plant shops, you will easily get some fertilizers that will help you make your soil acidic. 

Lime peels:

Basically, any kind of peels may be of fruits or vegetables will work with high levels of vitamin C. Vitamin C components are considered highly acidic. You can mix them with your plant’s soil as a homemade organic compound for your plant. 

Final Thoughts

Peppers do like acidic soil more than alkaline soil. They also work great on neutral soil. Bell peppers work on more neutral from 6.8 to 7.0 pH, while chili pepper works on 5.5 to 6.5 pH of soil. Banana wax pepper, green peppers, habaneros, poblanos, cayennes, etc., also fall among them.

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