July is one of the hottest months of the year. As a gardener, you may be questioning what to plant in this heat. Let me give you a suggestion, ornamental peppers. Hear me out! Ornamental peppers are excellent bedding plants for hot weather conditions since they can be grown as ground covers in mixed flower borders, as an edging on a deck or patio, or as container plants. On top of that, they produce a wide range of fruit colors like red, purple, yellow, orange, and white which will add eye-catching flavor to your garden. I almost forgot to mention, you can eat them!
With any plant, something to consider when planting is maintenance. I like to think of it as the big three: sun, water, and soil. Is there enough or too much sunlight? How much water does this plant need? Do I have access to the correct soil and enough space for planting? After asking yourself these questions and locating the right place for your plant, plant it! Thankfully with this plant, there are no major concerns for pests or diseases except for occasional leaf-chewing insects. I won’t give out too much information on this plant because I want you to check out this article published by UF/IFAS https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/publication/FP105.
Local nurseries or garden centers may carry these varieties of ornamental peppers: Medusa, Black Pearl, Chilly Chili, Masquerade, Purple Flash, Tangerine Dream, Aurora, Sangria, and Chinese 5-Color. Please feel free to swing by the extension office or send emails on the ornamental pepper you decided to grow or an
y other gardening questions that you may have!
- The floriculture industry called ornamental peppers “Christmas peppers” (Harthun, 1991)