When it comes to plants with soaring popularity, there may not be a variety with a more glowing and growing reputation than ornamental peppers.
They are quite simply, pardon the pun, on fire! In the last 10 years, growing ornamental peppers all over the landscape has become the hottest thing going. And for a great reason – they simply look stunning everywhere.
In flowerbeds, potted planters, hanging baskets, containers, and yes, in the vegetable garden too!
The plants are loaded with color, can handle heat and drought, and are hardly bothered by pests at all. In fact, in some cases, they help repel pests from bothering other varieties of plants nearby.
And if all of that wasn’t enough, many varieties are deliciously edible as well! Here is a look at how to grow and use ornamental peppers in your landscape, along with some of our favorite varieties to grow each year.
Growing Ornamental Peppers – The Most Beautiful & Versatile Plant Around!
We now grow and save seeds from about twenty different varieties on our farm. And we truly do plant them everywhere we can. From hanging baskets, containers and pots, to planting directly into our flowerbeds and garden.
Ornamental peppers provide massive color, texture and variety to all parts of our garden and landscape beds. In addition, they have become by far our most durable and longest lasting plants we use in our container and hanging basket plantings.
Long Lasting Hanging Basket & Container Plants
For the last three years now, we have grown Sangria, Chili-Chili, and McMahon ornamental peppers to fill our hanging baskets. All three have completely out-performed any other annual container plant we use.
All three varieties are smaller, bushier plants that provide beautiful dark-green foliage in the early spring. And as they begin to bloom and produce their peppers, the plants become filled with color and interest.
The Sangria produces hundred of tiny purple peppers that turn fire-red in late summer and fall. The Chili-Chili produce yellow and reds, while the McMahon’s small round peppers add their own unique color and texture as well.
But the best part of all is that these plants hold up like no other.s They don’t require as much water, and high heat and sunlight only seem to make them brighter. And they last all the way into deep fall! (See : The Most Amazing Fall Plant Ever!)
Meanwhile, by late summer, other “standard” annuals such as petunias, geraniums and impatiens start to lose their vigor and color.
In Flowerbeds & The Garden
All of those incredible qualities of growing ornamental peppers also apply to their use as bedding plants and in the garden. In short, they are magnificent!
Smaller varieties are perfect for borders or planting in masses for a focal point. And their drought resistance and pest resistance only help to strengthen their beauty.
We use two of our favorites, Chinese Five Color and Poinsettia, in both our garden and flowerbeds. Each grows to about 24″ in height and width, and provide tasty hot peppers we use in all kinds of dishes.
But even more, it is the color they bring to the space where they are planted that makes them a home run!
Favorite Varieties To Grow
With their growing popularity, it seems that every year there are more and more new varieties of ornamental peppers to grow.
But we certainly have our favorites, so below is a look at our top 3 we grow and why. Seeds can also easily be saved from year to year, making them incredibly economical to grow from seed. We have included affiliate seed links where available with each one variety listed below.
Our Top 3 Ornamental Peppers To Grow
One of the first ornamental peppers we ever grew, and still a top favorite. Stocky, thick plants become filled with an array of purple and red peppers. Perfect for hanging baskets and containers and for mass planting in beds. Peppers turn all red in late fall and last until the first hard frost, with amazing drought and heat resistance. Seed Link : Sangria Seeds
Chinese Five Color
We grow this in our flowerbeds and our garden! The plant produces 5 colors of peppers -red, orange, cream, purple and yellow. Plants grow 24 to 30 inches tall, and fill with hundreds of delicious colorful peppers.
Not only do we use them to heat up salsa, but we also dry them and grind them into the best hot pepper flakes and powder around! Seed Link : Chinese Five Color Seeds
This is the perfect bedding plants for flowerbeds! We often plant it around our pergola, and it fills the space with color all season long. Plants grow 24″ to 30″ tall, producing 3″ long skinny peppers that turn from green to bright red in late summer and early fall. Absolutely spectacular plant! Seed Link : Poinsettia Seeds
Here is to growing ornamental peppers this year – Happy Gardening, Jim and Mary.