Wondering can you grow ornamental peppers indoors? Click to find out all about the growing conditions for this exotic plant.
Ornamental pepper plants are prized for their colorful fruits. From little black pearls to larger cone-shaped fruits that resemble Christmas lights, these plants can level up any space they are in.
They are most often sold as a gift plant, before the holidays to which they owe their name. These frost-tolerant plants adorn gardens around the world. However, one question arises – can you grow ornamental peppers indoors? Therefore, keep reading to find out.
What Are Ornamental Peppers?
Ornamental pepper (Capsicum annuum) is a chili pepper that can be grown as an indoor annual. It is also known as the Christmas pepper plant. They got their name from the fact that they are mostly sold during December, as well as because of the colorful fruits that give a festive look.
Did you know that peppers have been used as décor since the 16th century? Furthermore, by the 20th century, this type of peppers had become popular along with the Jerusalem cherry and poinsettia as part of Christmas displays.
Ornamental peppers produce fruits and foliage in a miscellaneous of colors and a diversity of elongated and round shapes.
Types Of Christmas Pepper Plant
Here are a few of the most popular types of ornamental peppers.
‘Black Pearl’ Pepper
This award-winning variety has unusual dark foliage and round, dark-purple fruits that turn almost black when ripe. Black Pearl Pepper grows 18 inches tall and wide.
This type of ornamental pepper bears purple-and-white variegated foliage with purple fruits and grows 1 foot tall and 16 inches wide.
‘Chilly Chilli’ Pepper
This type of yellow-red pepper is non-pungent as well as family-friendly and pet-safe. Chilly Chilli peppers grow 10 inches tall and 14 inches wide.
‘Pretty in Purple’ Pepper
This attractive Capsicum variety has purple fruits, stems, and leaves. It is special in that it is spicy as well as delicious. As they mature, peppers take on red instead of purple hues.
‘NuMex Twilight’ Pepper
This variety of Ornamental pepper plants bears cone-shaped purple and red fruits.
If you have children and pets nearby, this variety of pepper is a great choice for growing indoors. It is known for its mild taste and fruits that fade from yellow to orange and eventually red.
‘Purple Flash’ Pepper
This Capsicum variety is known for its colorful shades ranging from white to dark purple and black. It grows 15 inches tall and even 2 feet wide.
This type of Christmas pepper plant has green leaves and bright purple fruits that ripen in shades of orange and red. It is recognizable by the fact that it always bears new fruit. Also, it grows 1 foot in height and 18 inches in width.
Can You Eat The Peppers From An Ornamental Pepper Plant?
Yes, you can, the fruits of ornamental peppers are completely edible, but are mostly grown for their looks. In addition, they are not known for their unique flavor traits, as the vast majority is too spicy to really enjoy their taste.
Important note: the leaves of ornamental pepper plants are poisonous to both humans and animals.
Can You Grow Ornamental Peppers Indoors?
Ornamental peppers are a great choice for growing indoors. Due to their exotic appearance and variety of colors and shapes, peppers can be quite an attractive houseplant.
Growing Ornamental Peppers in Pots
Ornamental peppers are excellent for growing in pots indoors. Furthermore, their root is small and shallow; therefore a 6-inch container will be perfectly suitable. In addition, they have an upright growth, so some plants will need to be staked or kept in a cage.
How Do You Care For An Ornamental Pepper Plant Indoors?
The level of care required to grow peppers indoors is moderately easy. Keep reading to find out the details.
The Christmas pepper plant needs a lot of sun to provide energy to produce its flowers and colorful fruits. Since we have cold winter days ahead of us and not all of them are sunny, you can use supplemental artificial lighting for healthy plants and good fruit.
Soil & Fertilization
Ornamental peppers prefer rich and loamy soil. Try to secure it with generous soil amendments of compost and manure. This combination will improve tilth and add trace nutrients for healthier plants.
Christmas pepper plants need a constant supply of nutrients to grow healthy and to bloom. Therefore, try to get a 5-10-10 fertilizer with more phosphorus and potassium than nitrogen. In terms of frequency, you can fertilize it once you notice the first fruits, and then the second time about six weeks later.
Ornamental paper plants don’t tolerate dry conditions or excessive watering. As for watering itself, do it whenever the soil surface feels dry. It is recommended to use 1 inch or less of water per week.
Temperature & Humidity
This type of pepper enjoys full sun and hot weather. Accordingly, temperatures of 75 degrees Fahrenheit and above will stimulate their rapid growth.
Furthermore, humidity is not too important a factor for their growth, it is only important to keep the roots moist.
Pruning is not mandatory unless you want to retain them in a smaller form. The procedure consists of pinching the tops to create a bushy plant. For example, if the stems are about 4 to 6 inches long, it is recommended to prune it about half an inch to encourage less leggy growth.
How Long Do Ornamental Peppers Last Indoors?
Although they have “annum” in their name – Latin for “annual”, they are not actually annuals. Wintering is very simple, just provide it with warm conditions and a sunny place, in the spring you will notice new growth and flowering.
Thus, ornamental peppers when grown in the right conditions can happily last for several years.
Christmas pepper plants come in shades from red, purple, yellow, orange, black to white. Also, this type of pepper changes color when ripe, and therefore can take on different shades almost every day. Caring for them is not at all demanding, grow them on a window that gets a few hours of light a day and keep the soil evenly moist but not soggy. Finally, this exotic plant is edible but very spicy.
Can you grow ornamental peppers indoors? Of course, you can! Ornamental peppers can be quite attractive houseplants.
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