Video Plant Profile: Ornamental Peppers


Heat up your autumn with these little balls of fire! Ornamental peppers make great container and foundation plants. They really are three-season plants, but fall is when they put on their best show. The peppers come in a range of colors from white to orange/red to purple to black -- often with multiple hues on the same plant. The plants are short and compact. The foliage is also colorful. Look for plants with almost black leaves or ones with bright variegation that contrast with the fruits.

They need full sun for best coloration, but will do alright in part sun. They are not very fussy plants. Pinch back any new growth in order to encourage branching and fullness. Keep the soil evenly moist. You can also bring them indoors as a houseplant once the night temperatures dip -- placing them in a sunny window through winter and then back outside once the last frost has past.

I like to cut a branch for use in dried flower arrangements or in a seasonal wreath. I also string some using floral wire to make a holiday garland. When working with them, be sure to wear eye protection and gloves when handling the fruit so you don't feel the heat from these potent plants.


Ornamental Peppers are deer-resistant. Nor will squirrels or rabbits touch them, but birds may give them a try. And yes, they are technically edible, but you really wouldn’t want to consume them as they are very hot and not bred for flavor, and therefore are not very tasty. Also, as they are grown as ornamental plants they made have had pesticides applied to them by the grower. 

My favorite varieties to grow are 'Black Pearl', "Sangria', and 'Calico' -- and new ones are being bred and introduced all the time. It is fun to try a few new ones out every year in my garden.

Ornamental Peppers: You can grow that!

To see other videos in our Plant Profile series, go to:
~ Japanese Anemones - click here
~ Asters - click here
~ Toad Lily- click here

~ Pink Muhly Grass - click here

Phalaenopsis or Moth Orchids - click here 

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