5 Hot Pepper Plants

Tips for Growing Hot Peppers in Pots

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Five hot pepper plants for container gardens. What you need to know about growing hot peppers in pots. Ornamental pepper plants and five edible hot pepper varieties.


Ornamental pepper plant in a white pot.

Pepper, Hot, False Alarm Jalapeno Hybrid 1 Pkt. (30 seeds)

These 5 hot pepper varieties are some of the best to plant in a container vegetable or herb garden.

Some types are just pretty to look at. Other hot peppers are both beautiful and useful in the kitchen.

Buy 'Medusa' Ornamental Pepper Seed

Buy 'Hot Caribbean Red' Peppers 1 Pkt. (30 seeds)

Buy Hot Large Cherry Pepper Seeds 1 Pkt. (100 seeds)"

If you want a potted plant that is unique and colorful, but you aren't interested in cooking with, or the medicinal uses for, cayenne pepper, stick with an ornamental variety.

Ornamental pepper plants produce large numbers of small, brightly colored fruit on bushy plants from 6 inches to 3 feet tall, depending on the cultivar.

While ornamental peppers are safe to eat, they are not pleasant to eat. They possess too much heat and not enough flavor. If you want to grow a hot pepper you will enjoy eating, choose from among the following varieties:

Growing Chilis in Pots:

Use a high quality potting mix--never  garden soil as it may contain pathogens which will send your plants into a quick decline.

Mix a little organic compost and some slow release fertilizer pellets into the potting soil before you set the plants in.

Keep the soil moist, but not wet, and give the chilis a dose of liquid fertilizer once a month.

  1. 'Chili Hot' - This low, bushy plant grows wild in the American Southwest and South America. The pea-sized peppers dry quickly. Try roasting dried 'Chili Hot' peppers in the oven until they just begin to darken. Roasting them imparts a nutty flavor. 
  2. 'Caribbean Red Hot' - There is some confusion about whether this is a type of habanero pepper or a completely separate variety. Some references claim it is hotter than a habanero.

    I have never grown anything hotter than a habanero and I don't plan to, so don't ask me to verify this.

    In any case, 'Caribbean Red Hot' produces 1 1/2 inch long, red fruit on a plant 30 inches tall and wide. The fruit can be picked in the green stage, but is hottest after it colors.
  3. 'Ghost' or 'Bhut Jolokia' Peppers - This variety is said to be the worlds hottest pepper. 'Ghost' chili peppers originated in India and, at 870,000 - 970,000 Scoville Units, they are scorching!

    'Ghost' pepper plants are extremely variable and produce varying numbers and sizes of fruit, depending on the climate they are grown in.

    The fruit is typically 2-3 inches long and tapers to a point at the blossom end. 'Jolokia' peppers are unique among cayenne peppers because of their bumpy skin. The bright red fruit is beloved for its heat, flavor, and lack of any unpleasant aftertaste.

    'Bhut Jolokia' hot pepper plants grow to 3 or 4 feet tall by 3 feet wide, so use a large planter.

    These peppers are spread on fences in their native country to repel wild elephants. They are hot enough to be dangerous to children or pets. Handle with care.
  4. Hot cherry pepper plants produce thick walled, heart-shaped fruits which are red when ripe. At 4,000 SHUs they are a little less hot than jalapeno peppers. The mildly hot, golf ball sized peppers can be pickled, frozen, or stuffed with cream and cheddar cheese to make delicious poppers.

    'Cherry Bomb' hot pepper plants are hybrids which produce more fruit than the open-pollinated strain. The fruit of the variety 'Cherry Chocolate' ripens to a darker, brownish red.

    These 36 inch tall hot pepper plants are TMV (tobacco mosaic virus) resistant.
  5. 'Big Chilli' produces impressively large 6-8 inch long peppers on compact 18-24 inch tall plants. The flat, tapered pods turn from green to red and are mildly spicy. This is a good hot pepper plant to grow in smaller pots, and it performs better in northern climates than 'Anaheim' peppers do.
Discover an easy way to grow your own food!

Related Pages:

How to Grow a Bountiful Container Vegetable Garden

Order Pepper Plants and Seeds

Hot Pepper Growing Guide 

Cayenne Pepper Healing Secrets

How to Grow Peppers of Every Kind

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