This year I decided to spice up our flower gardens with ornamental peppers. There must be a million varieties from which to choose, but I limited myself to three: Purple Flash, Pumpkin, and Poinsettia Hot Pepper. I grew all three from seed in our bedroom window.
All three of these ornamental pepper varieties are so different that it’s hard to believe they belong in the same family. The Poinsettia Hot Pepper looks more like the traditional pepper plants I’m used to growing. These fire engine red pepper fruits are extremely hot, too hot for our family’s taste. I was hoping the deer might take a bite and decide to leave my flowers alone. But no, they’re too smart for that. Instead, they eat around the pepper plants.
The Purple Flash make a nice contrast against the marigolds in our flower box. Next year I’ll put them in a flower bed rather than a container. I believe they would have grown bigger and tolerated the heat better if I had planted them in a bed rather than a tractor tool box.
The Pumpkin, which looks more like a tomato plant than a pepper plant, grew way bigger than I’d anticipated. It’s a hog! It almost took over my entire flower bed. Now that I know what to expect from it, I’ll give it lots of elbow room next year. Its fruits turn from green to red to orange. It’s like watching a tomato transform into a mini-pumpkin. In fact, the fruits make great substitutions for mini-pumpkins in fall decorations.
I was very pleased with these ornamental peppers and plan to grow them and other varieties next year. They make a great conversation piece in your garden and provide a lot of fun. And fun is the best reason to garden.