Pepper, Ornamental (Capsicum spp.)

Pepper, Ornamental Plant Features

Some gardeners overlook ornamental peppers in their gardens because these don't produce flashy flowers or delicious fruits. But ornamental peppers are easy-to-grow annuals for sun that thrive in a wide variety of conditions, and love summer heat -- making them valuable additions to the garden and containers. Plus, you can decorate with ornamental peppers indoors!

There's a wide variety of ornamental peppers available. Most have small fruits in rich tones of red, orange, yellow, purple, lavender, and white -- often with multiple colors of fruit on the same plant. This is because the fruits change color as they ripen. Small pepper varieties are especially well suited to growing in container gardens and edging the front of the border; taller varieties make excellent statement plants in mixed containers and the middle of the border. Add extra interest by selecting varieties that have variegated foliage. 

Pepper, Ornamental Growing Instructions

Grow these annuals in a warm, sunny spot. They will thrive in partial shade, as well as full sun, but they don't produce as many fruits or fruits with as much color. Like many other annuals, ornamental peppers thrive in moist, well-drained soil that's rich in organic matter (so if you plant them in your garden, it's helpful to add plenty of compost at planting time). They benefit from a lot of nutrients -- so fertilize regularly through the growing season or use a timed-release fertilizer to keep them producing their bright, colorful fruits.

While ornamental peppers don't require pruning, you can pinch them back to keep them tidier and more compact if you wish. 

Note: Ornamental peppers have been bred for visual appeal and not for eating. These plants are not intended for human or animal consumption. 
  • Water

    Medium water needs

  • Light

    Indoors: High light

    Outside: Sun

  • Colors







  • Special Features

    Colorful foliage

    Super-easy to grow

Complement your Pepper, Ornamental

Oyster Plant
Mix ornamental pepper and oyster plant for a dramatic combination of textures.

Vinca, Annual
Annual vinca likes similar conditions to ornamental peppers and trailing vinca varieties add a carpet of color to beds and borders with ornamental peppers.

Celosia's showy spikes of flowers make a brilliant contrast to ornamental peppers.

Our favorite varieties

Salsa Red

Salsa Red

Capsicum 'Salsa Red'

This ornamental pepper is so pretty! It has dark green foliage and teardrop-shaped red fruits. Salsa Red grows 12 inches tall and wide.

Purple Flash

Purple Flash

Capsicum 'Purple Flash'

You'll love the way this ornamental pepper looks in your landscape! Purple Flash bears variegated purple foliage, dark purple flowers, and dark purple-black fruits. It grows 18 inches tall and 24 inches wide.

Black Pearl

Black Pearl

Capsicum annuum 'Black Pearl'

One of our favorite ornamental peppers, Black Pearl features rich purple foliage and round dark purple-black fruits that mature to bright red. It grows 18 inches tall and 12 inches wide.