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Ornamental Pepper Capsicum annuum

Phonetic Spelling
KAP-sih-kum AN-yoo-um
Description

Capsicum annuum is a pepper that can be easily grown either in an outdoor pot or in the garden. Edible varieties are used as a spice in food while ornamental varieties can add eye-popping color to your garden. Capsicum annuum requires full sun but is a great heat and drought-tolerant annual. It can be temperamental if its roots are disturbed and it prefers full sun and moist, well-drained, rich soil. It is best to keep this plant's soil consistently and evenly moist. To promote a bushy appearance, you can pinch young plants.

It is a herbaceous perennial, but in North Carolina and many other places with cold or harsh winters, peppers are best grown as annuals because they are tender to the cold.  Ornamental peppers, though in the same family as normal peppers and though they are technically edible, will lack the taste necessary to be used properly in culinary applications. Some varieties can be excessively spicy, much more than normal pepper varieties but are typically grown for their exotic and breathtaking colors.  Fortunately, this plant is seldom damaged by deer.

Insects Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  This plant has a few potential pests. It is important to look out for aphids, white flies, cutworms, pepper maggots, and Colorado potato beetles. This plant is also sensitive to Verticillium wilt (a fungal pathogen) and mosaic virus (which should show a uniform yellow-green mosaic across the leaves followed by wilt).

Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Aurora'
  • 'Black Pearl'
    Dark purple almost black leaves in full sun
  • 'Candelabra'
  • 'Chilly Chili'
Tags:
#full sun#heat tolerant#annual#drought tolerant#purple leaves#showy fruits#tender perennial#deer resistant#vegetable garden#red peppers#purple peppers#yellow peppers#orange peppers#peppers#fantz#colorful fruit
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Aurora'
  • 'Black Pearl'
    Dark purple almost black leaves in full sun
  • 'Candelabra'
  • 'Chilly Chili'
Tags:
#full sun#heat tolerant#annual#drought tolerant#purple leaves#showy fruits#tender perennial#deer resistant#vegetable garden#red peppers#purple peppers#yellow peppers#orange peppers#peppers#fantz#colorful fruit
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Capsicum
    Species:
    annuum
    Family:
    Solanaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Edibility:
    Fruits edible, but spiciness is unpredictable in intensity.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 8 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 6 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Habit/Form:
    Mounding
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Orange
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Flowers are followed by small, round, pearl-like, black fruit (3/4” diameter) that matures to cherry red. Grown for colorful 1" to 2" berry: black, red, white, yellow, cream.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Bell
    Star
    Flower Description:
    Small purple flowers appear in clusters in summer, but are not particularly ornamental.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Ovate leaves (to 3” long) emerge green but quickly turn shiny black. Leaves retain good color throughout the growing season.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Theme:
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Edible Garden
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Heat
    Problems:
    Frequent Disease Problems
    Frequent Insect Problems