Skip to Content

The Chinese 5 Color Pepper – How To Grow The Best Hot Pepper Plant Ever!

Whether you want to kick up your fresh salsa, add a little zing to your chili soup, create amazing hot pepper powder, or create the most beautiful and interesting “blooms” in your flowerbed or garden – the Chinese 5 Color Pepper plant is for you!

The Chinese Five Color’s beauty, flavor, productivity, and versatility are simply amazing. Add in that this ornamental pepper is one of the easiest and most forgiving plants you can grow, and it really is the best hot pepper plant around.

We are certainly partial to ornamental peppers here at the farm. In fact, so much so that we grow well over a dozen varieties every year.

ornamental peppers - how to plant Chinese 5 Color peppers
The incredible beauty of the Chinese 5 Color Pepper plant. With “blooms” that come to life in purple, cream, yellow, orange and red, it can add big flower power anywhere you plant it!

Some we grow for their amazing color and foliage, others for their amazing flavor. But when it comes to the Chinese 5 Color, there is little doubt it is for all of the reasons above – and then some!

It was some 10+ years back when we planted our first 5 Color Pepper seeds. We found the seeds while visiting a farmer’s market, and although it was late in the spring, we decided to take a chance and sow a few seeds directly into an open spot in the flowerbed around our pergola.

Finding The Perfect Hot Pepper Plant – The Chinese 5 Color Pepper Plant

What unfolded that summer was beyond our wildest dreams. Not only did the plants take off, they filled in with gusto!

Each plant grew hundreds of one inch peppers in a gorgeous array of colors. From creamy white, to lavender, deep purple, orange and red, the colors were bright and vivid. And did they ever add big interest. Especially against the contrast of the plant’s dark green foliage.

growing ornamental peppers
We use ornamental peppers all throughout our landscape. They look great in pots, baskets, or when growing directly in flowerbeds.

The great thing is they look just as good in flowerbeds as they do in a garden setting. When planted directly in the soil, the plants grow into a compact shrub-style shape.

At an average of two feet tall and wide, they provide an incredible amount of color wherever they are. In fact, the peppers are so attractive we now grow them all throughout our entire landscape.

They are even perfectly content for containers and pots. It makes for a stunning conversation piece on your back porch, deck or patio. See : How To Grow Ornamental Peppers In Pots & Containers

The Flavor – The Chinese 5 Color Pepper Plant

When it comes to the Chinese Five Color – the flavor is out of this world! Fresh picked, they have a crisp, almost sweet and spicy zing. In fact, with your first taste, you may briefly think they are a crunchy, sweet, snacking-style pepper.

The heat then hits the taste buds, but without lingering on the tongue for too long. We both are not fans of having something be hot to simply be hot. For us, a hot pepper needs to have flavor first, with the heat as an enhancer.

podcast banner ad regular

That is what makes this pepper so incredibly perfect. The heat slowly rolls in and begins to fill your mouth with the perfect sweet heat. And, just when you think you might have literally bit off more than you can chew, the heat gently fades away, leaving you wanting more.

It is what makes the Chinese 5 Color Pepper wonderful for salsa, chili or a stir fry. With a small and compact seed core that is easy to remove, they also make a great appetizer pepper. Just fill with cheese and broil!

The Perfect Drying Pepper – The Chinese 5 Color Pepper Plant

The Chinese 5 Color’s attributes do not end with fresh eating. They also happen to be the best tasting, easiest drying pepper you will ever find.

If you like cayenne pepper powder, you will absolutely flip over Chinese 5 Color pepper powder. The same goes for creating pepper flakes for pizza toppings and more. And they are both so easy to make!

drying hot peppers
We dry the Chinese 5 Color for flakes and powder. We actually prefer it over cayenne pepper for its flavor and heat profile.

To dry, all you have to do is load up a few cookie sheets of peppers and dry them in the oven on low heat. After eight to ten hours on 200°, the peppers are usually dry to the touch.

Next, we grind them down to make hot pepper flakes. And to make powder? All you need to do is simply grind a bit more and sift out the seeds!

The flakes are the perfect topping for pizza, eggs, or any dish that needs a dose of heat. As a powder, it makes cayenne seem boring. It has a very similar heat level, but with loads more of additional flavor!

The Best Hot Pepper Plant You Will Ever Grow – The Chinese 5 Color Pepper Plant

Here is the best part of all, you won’t find an easier plant to grow! The Chinese Five Color is virtually impervious to damage from pests and drought. In fact, they actually help keep pests away!

Seed Link : Chinese 5 Color Hot Pepper Seeds

We plant them strategically around the edge of the garden and in flowerbeds throughout the farm. They work incredibly well as a deterrent for rabbits and other small animals. As for deer, they won’t even go near them.

ripening hot peppers
As the peppers ripen, you will get more variations of the colors blending together.

Although they can be directly seeded into the ground (as we did the first year), seeds can be started indoors six to eight weeks before your last frost date to get a jump on growth and pepper blooms.

Life Cycle – The Chinese 5 Color Pepper Plant

Peppers will usually begin to form on the plant at around 10 to 12 weeks. Once they do, it will be a constant flush of new blooms and peppers until the first frost. Frequent picking will help to keep plant production even higher.

The plant does not need a lot of support, but a single stake at the main stem will keep the plant more manageable. Once established, the pepper plant rarely if ever needs to be watered.

As for fertilizing, we hit our plants with a dose of liquid fertilizer about once a month to aid in production and growth. Here is to adding the Chinese Five Color pepper to your growing list this year, and enjoying one of the best pepper plants around! Happy gardening – Jim and Mary.

As always, feel free to email us at thefarm@owgarden.com with comments, questions, or to simply say hello! You can sign up for our free email list in the subscribe now box in the middle of this article. Follow us on Facebook here : OWG Facebook. This article may contain affiliate links.