The Ornamental Peppers

The Ornamental Peppers
When passing through the produce department of the supermarket, I am inevitably attracted to the lovely ornamental peppers. These beauties are often sold as flowering house plants throughout the fall and winter months. They make great holiday plants at Christmas and in the Fall, especially for Halloween.

Typically, the fruits display vibrant colors. The versatile plants are suitable for indoor gardens and outdoors. These ornamental plants come in all shapes, sizes, and colors.

There is an ornamental pepper to suit every gardening situation. For indoor gardens and outdoor container plants, the lower growing ones are often preferred. Most any variety is suitable for flower beds, borders, mass plantings, and as annual bedding plants.

Some dwarf ornamental peppers are six inches or less in height. The taller ones can get to be three feet or so tall, according to the variety and the growing conditions.

While some ornamental peppers have green foliage, some varieties bear beautiful, brightly colored or variegated leaves. I prefer the ones with highly colored foliage since the plants can provide exceptional beauty throughout the growing season and not just when the fruits are ripening and showing color.

Later, in the season the gorgeous peppers begin to add color. These come in about every shade of the rainbow with some plants displaying a huge color mix at the same time. The long lasting fruits typically last for up to three months, depending on the variety.

For growing outdoors, select an ornamental pepper variety to matches the length of your growing season. Some require a very long season, a hundred or so days from time of transplant. Earlier bearing ones might only require 65 to 80 days or so in order to begin producing fruits.

Ornamental peppers are pretty much grown like regular peppers. This means they need full sun, regular applications of fertilizer, a rich, well drained moist soil, and lots of warmth. Some varieties make good house plants. Gardeners can start their own ornamental peppers from seed or purchase transplants.

When growing these plants from seeds, it is advisable to start them early indoors provided you have a sunny spot indoors. They can also be started under grow lights. Seeds can take one to three weeks to germinate. Cover the seeds lightly to a depth of 1/4th inch. In areas with long seasons, ornamental peppers can be direct sown.

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This content was written by Connie Krochmal. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Connie Krochmal for details.