Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Bell Pepper
Capsicum annuum 'California Wonder'

Family: Solanaceae (so-lan-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Capsicum (KAP-sih-kum) (Info)
Species: annuum (AN-yoo-um) (Info)
Cultivar: California Wonder

» View all varieties of Peppers

7 vendors have this plant for sale.

47 members have or want this plant for trade.


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Heat (Pungency):
Sweet (0 Scoville Units)

Fruit Shape:

Fruit Size:
Medium (4" to 6" in length)

Fruit Color:
Green changing to red

Disease Resistance:
Tobacco Mosaic Virus (TMV)
Potato Virus Y (PVY)
Phytophthora Blight
Tobacco Etch Virus (TEV)
Bacterial Leaf Spot (BLS), Race 1
Bacterial Leaf Spot (BLS), Race 2
Bacterial Leaf Spot (BLS), Race 3
Pepper Mottle Virus (PepMV)
Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus (TSWV)

Seed Type:

Fresh (salsa, salads)

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Propagation Methods:
From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Days to Maturity:
Mid (69-80 days)

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Thumbnail #1 of Capsicum annuum by Big_Red

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There are a total of 17 photos.
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9 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive DavidinTX On Apr 20, 2010, DavidinTX from Houston, TX wrote:

It is too early to say but I am quite excited about the results I am seeing from this plant already. Last year I bought some bell pepper plants from Walmart, I cared for them they grew well but produced nothing, yes nothing. Something like that tends to affect your enthusiasm and those plants there aren't cheap, but this is Texas and peppers should have no real problems growing here. I put it partly down to where I bought those plants from and a week of storms which did some damage to some of my plants, although the pepper plants seemed healthy.

This year 2010, undaunted, I decided not to go down the Walmart path, and bring on my own seeds instead. I planted 15 seeds from a packet into a large pot, and waited. For a while there was little sign of anything happening, they were weeks behind my tomatoes and other plants. However in the end they did show up, and right now they are growing bushy and fast, in the past week they have doubled in size.

I planted 15 seeds and got 15 healthy strong plants. Right now they are as big as the plants for sale in Walmart or Home Depot. The leaves are very healthy looking. I'm ready to separate them and see how they grow from here. I'll be doing a little homework and reading there before I proceed, because I am quite inexperienced with peppers. It looks very good at this point. I hope to post some photos and my findings as the season goes on. Forget Walmart, plant the seeds and wait.

I should say that I used what was on hand, my magic gro for tomatoes, I was watering both plant types at the same type and the peppers seem to have responded very well to it. I'm sure there are products more suited to peppers, but the plants seem to like it. I can see me taking peppers much more seriously next year.

Positive WillowWasp On Jul 5, 2009, WillowWasp from Jones Creek, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Good Bell Pepper better if it is used when green color and not red. Red it has a slightly bitter taste.

Neutral lssfishhunter On Jan 29, 2009, lssfishhunter from Jonesville, SC (Zone 7b) wrote:

I grew these peppers last year against Big Dipper. I prefer the Big Dippers over Californina Wonders because the Big Dippers produced larger and more peppers. However, Californina Wonders tasted good and produced well. California Wonders still produced smaller peppers after most of the Big Dippers stopped producing. California Wonders are worth growing and will do well in the south but they may not be the best choice.

Positive jessums On Mar 3, 2008, jessums from Pittsburgh, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

A great highly productive plant that is a staple in any seedling store. I grow it every year and will continue to do so.

Positive DonShirer On Jan 9, 2008, DonShirer from Westbrook, CT (Zone 6a) wrote:

Grew 8 of these in an Earthbox. Quite productive and tasted fine, though not as large as some other bells. A rabbit feasted on the leaves until I threw a net over the EB.

Positive critterologist On Mar 18, 2005, critterologist from Frederick, MD (Zone 6b) wrote:

I'm pretty sure this pepper is OP, not a hybrid.

Great productivity, even during excessively wet or very dry summers here. We like to let green peppers ripen at least until they have streaks of orange/red (sweetens the taste), and even with doing that we picked a lot of peppers from these plants!

Positive melody On Jan 22, 2005, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

A prolific, trouble free pepper. They are good, strong plants that resist breakage and set a huge crop of fruits.

I'm not much on hybrids, but enjoy growing this pepper for the reliable production. Easy to find in most garden centers, it grows well in most parts of the country.

Positive Emaewest On Oct 21, 2004, Emaewest from Timberlea, NS (Zone 6a) wrote:

I grow peppers in pots exclusively. California Wonder makes a handsome potted plant that produces firm, tasty peppers. As houseplants, in a south-facing window, mine have produced fruit right through the winter (though the fruits are usually few, small and thin-walled.) Easy to start from seed--also readily available from local garden centers.

Positive Big_Red On Aug 7, 2004, Big_Red from Bethelridge, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:

Set out 30 plants, trouble free, productive with great tasting fruit. Will raise even more next year.

Positive Farmerdill On Mar 4, 2004, Farmerdill from Augusta, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

There are several modern variations of this old standard bell pepper. The difference lie primarily in performance. This is a blocky (4 x4) green bell which turns red when ripe but used primarily as a green bell. It is widely available and is a good pepper.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Auburn, Alabama
Clovis, California
Desert View Highlands, California
Menifee, California
Oceanside, California
Pleasanton, California
Rancho Cordova, California
San Jose, California
Vincent, California
Westbrook, Connecticut
Lewes, Delaware
Bonifay, Florida
Pierson, Florida
Vero Beach, Florida
Augusta, Georgia
Honolulu, Hawaii
Round Lake, Illinois
Brookston, Indiana
Clarence, Iowa
Des Moines, Iowa
Kansas City, Kansas
Benton, Kentucky
Bethelridge, Kentucky
Ewing, Kentucky
Hindman, Kentucky
Independence, Louisiana
Lake Charles, Louisiana
Cumberland, Maryland
Frederick, Maryland
Valley Lee, Maryland
Boston, Massachusetts
Halifax, Massachusetts
Johnsonburg, New Jersey
Elephant Butte, New Mexico
Espanola, New Mexico
Binghamton, New York
Buffalo, New York
Durham, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina (2 reports)
Felicity, Ohio
Vinton, Ohio
West Chester, Ohio
Eagle Point, Oregon
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Jonesville, South Carolina
Hermosa, South Dakota
Austin, Texas (2 reports)
Fort Worth, Texas
Freeport, Texas
Houston, Texas (3 reports)
Liberty Hill, Texas
Round Rock, Texas
Seabrook, Texas
Radford, Virginia
Troy, Virginia
Grand Mound, Washington
Dousman, Wisconsin
Pewaukee, Wisconsin

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