Description: Plants range from six inches to several feet tall and have a tidy growth habit. The glossy fruits grow from an inch or less in length to more than six inches and can be pointy, round, or blocky. They have bright colors and waxy coats. Foliage may be green or purple, and peppers range from cream through yellow, orange, red, purple, and brownish-black.
How to grow: Grow peppers during warm weather in full sun, after the danger of frost has passed. Fertilize the soil and give plants ample space. Pinch the central tip to promote side branches. Do not let young plants become stressed by cold weather or drought.
Propagation: Start seeds indoors eight weeks before planting. Seeds germinate in 15 to 20 days at 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Uses: It's fun to see colorful peppers as potted plants. They work well in flower borders and vegetable garden rows. When cooking, beware and taste the peppers. Heat is concentrated in the inner veins and seeds.
Related varieties: Chilly Chili has nonfiery-tasting pointy little multicolored peppers, facing upward in a swirling manner. Prairie Fire has blockier small peppers. Thai Dragon has long, red, hot peppers on prolific plants. Many heirloom types plus bell peppers are widely available.
Scientific name: Capsicum annuum
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