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Can You Grow Red Bell Peppers In A 5 Gallon Bucket

Not everyone is blessed with the space to plant a large garden outside in the backyard. You may be limited to a 5 gallon bucket and a patio space, but that doesn’t mean you should give up. First, ask yourself, can you grow red bell peppers in a 5 gallon bucket?

Yes, red bell peppers can be grown in a 5 gallon bucket without a problem. Red bell peppers are compact plants, so they can grow perfectly fine, even when they are restricted in space.

You can grow a red bell pepper plant with only a 5 gallon bucket! The process won’t change too much, but you’ll need to know how to prepare your bucket. Continue reading to learn about this and more!

Is A 5 Gallon Bucket Big Enough For Red Bell Peppers

Yes, a 5 gallon bucket is large enough to grow red bell pepper plants.

If you compare a 5 gallon bucket to a garden outside, it’s evident that there isn’t the same amount of room.

Plants can grow largely unrestricted when they’re planted outside in a garden.

Your red bell pepper plant will be more restricted in a 5 gallon bucket. Their roots can only grow to a certain point before there is no more room.

This may choke some plants, but red bell pepper plants have a small root system that won’t notice the tight space.

How Many Red Bell Pepper Plants Can I Grow In A 5 Gallon Bucket

Even though red bell peppers can grow in a 5 gallon bucket, you should only plant one red bell pepper per bucket. 

Red bell peppers can thrive even in a gallon bucket, but you do not want to overcrowd your plants in the buckets.

Plant only one bell pepper in each 5 gallon bucket to ensure that your red bell peppers have the best chance of thriving. 

When you plant red bell peppers in a garden, they can be closer than in the buckets. The root systems have more room to grow beneath the ground and grow deep rather than wide. 

How To Make A Planter Out Of A 5 Gallon Bucket

You’ll need to prepare your 5 gallon bucket for planting. Follow these steps to get started.

  1. Choose a 5 gallon bucket that is plastic or metal. Plastic is more common.
  2. If the bucket has been used, clean out any debris from inside. That includes leaves, sticks, and garbage.
  3. Clean out the bucket. Some people recommend warm water and soap, but I think water from a hose is fine.
  4. Drill holes in the bottom of the bucket for drainage. Five or six holes should do the job. Use an electric drill or hammer and nail.
  5. Use something to cover the holes in the bottom of the pot. A cloth or screen will work well. This will keep the soil from falling out of the holes you made in the earlier step.

How To Grow Red Bell Peppers In A 5 Gallon Bucket

You used some old fashioned elbow grease to prepare your bucket for planting, so now you need to add the soil and plants.

Planting red bell pepper plants in 5 gallon buckets is relatively straightforward and aren’t much different from planting in your garden.

Add Soil

There are two types of soil you can use.

Some people like to use dirt from their yard or garden. While this will do the trick in a pinch, you may also transplant insects or diseases into your pot. 

Using dirt that you already have on hand is free, though. For someone on a budget, this will work.

I would instead recommend your second option, which is to purchase potting soil from the store. This soil is fresh and has nutrients to start your red bell pepper plants off on the right foot.

Place your buckets where they will stay before filling them almost to the top with dirt. After all, those buckets will be heavy once they’re filled with soil!

Plant Red Bell Pepper Plants 

Planting your red bell peppers is the easy part! 

Red bell peppers like warm weather, so you’ll want to wait until May or June to plant your red bell peppers. This is most likely when you’re planting the rest of your garden.

You can start your red bell peppers from seed or a pre-purchased small starter plant.

Regardless of how your red bell pepper is started, you should add your plant to the center of the bucket. I plant it about as deep as two knuckles.

Remember: only plant one red bell pepper plant in each bucket to avoid overcrowding. 

Don’t forget to give your red bell pepper seedling a nice drink of water when you’re finished!

How To Care For Your Red Bell Pepper Plants

Now that your red bell pepper plants are in your 5 gallon bucket, here’s some information about caring for them as they grow!


Buckets can be tricky because they get drier than your garden.

Your bucket can only hold a limited amount of water. Some of it will leak out of the holes you drilled in the bottom.

Your garden, conversely, can absorb and retain more water.

Unless you’re experiencing rainy weather where you live, you should water your red bell pepper plants every day.

If you notice that the soil is dry when the weather is particularly hot, you might want to water your red bell peppers every day.

Don’t flood your red bell pepper plants when you water them. Give them enough water to wet the soil.

Overwatering can happen, but those nifty holes you drilled earlier will come in handy to help drain the water!


Your red bell peppers won’t get the same nutrients in a bucket as in the ground, so fertilizer is an important step.

When it comes to a garden, I often think that you can take or leave fertilizer, but you’ll want to consider it now.

If you use potting soil, your red bell peppers will need more nutrients to grow big, including:

  • Nitrogen
  • Calcium 
  • Magnesium
  • Iron
  • Phosphorus

Give your red bell peppers about six weeks to grow before you start fertilizing your peppers.

Most fertilizers recommend fertilizing your plants weekly to biweekly, but I encourage you to follow the directions closely.


You’ve taken care to grow your red bell peppers, but when is it time to pick them?

Technically, you can pick your red bell peppers when they’re still green. Green peppers are ripe enough to eat, but they don’t have the color you’re looking for.

Watch the color as it turns from green to yellow and red.

Your peppers are officially “ready” to be picked when they’re fully red.

I’ll warn you not to wait too long to pick your red bell peppers. Your peppers can overripen if they’re left on the vine too long.

Your red bell peppers are considered to overripen when the skin begins to wrinkle. They’re still safe to eat, but they’re not at their peak quality, so that you might notice a lack of quality in flavor and texture.

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