Peppers for Every Palate

Experiment with different types of peppers to find a good fit for your garden and your kitchen. Days to maturity given below are for fully ripe peppers that have begun to show mature color.







Sweet bell peppers
(Capsicum annuum)
Fruits may start out green, lavender or yellow, and ripen to red, orange or yellow. Miniature or other small-fruited varieties work best in cool climates. Choosing disease-resistant varieties is crucial in warm climates. ‘Ace’ (70 days)
‘California Wonder’ (75 days)
‘Yum Yum Gold’ (75 days)
‘King Arthur’ (79 days)
Specialty sweet pepperscubanelle, frying pepper, pimento
(C. annuum)
These peppers are great for beginners. They tend to mature faster than bells, and they produce good crops over an extended period of time. Varieties that produce fruits less than 6 inches long are usually extremely productive. ‘Gypsy’ (70 days)
‘Sweet Banana’ (72 days)
‘Lipstick’ (73 days)
‘Carmen’ (80 days)
Southwestern chile peppersAnaheim, ancho, poblano
(C. annuum)
Most varieties carry a little heat over a rich, smoky-sweet pepper flavor. These are great for grilling, pan-frying, stuffing or drying. They usually ripen all at once quite late in the season. ‘Anaheim’ (76 days)
‘Ancho San Luis’ (85 days)
‘Holy Mole’ (85 days)
‘Numex Joe E. Parker’ (95 days)
Specialty hot peppers
cayenne, habanero, jalapeño, serrano
(C. annuum, C. chinense)
Most small-fruited hot peppers are so prolific that only a few plants are needed. Varieties with less heat — such as ‘Garden Salsa,’ ‘Mariachi’ and ‘Señorita’ — are more versatile in the kitchen.

‘Serrano del Sol’ (75 days)
‘Early Jalapeño’ (80 days)
‘Hungarian Hot Wax’ (83 days)
‘Mariachi’ (85 days)

Ornamental peppers
(C. annuum)
These make great edible ornamentals in beds or containers. Fruits may be round marbles or pointed fingers, and color may be yellow, orange, purple or black. These peppers are usually very hot. ‘Riot’ (50 days)
‘Demon Red’ (80 days)
‘Black Pearl’ (85 days)
‘Purple Flash’ (85 days)

For more information on growing peppers, including harvesting, cooking and storage advice, see Growing Peppers.

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