September 16, 2018
This is a challenging time of the year in many ornamental flower gardens. The hot summer sun has burned away many of our full-sun colorful flowers, but it’s also the time of the year that the ornamental peppers are starting to show their true colors. Ornamental peppers love our hot and humid summers and this helps the plants produce loads of pretty fruit. The selection of ornamental peppers is unbelievable. What a fun and unique way to add interest to your garden. When the pepper plants are producing, it’s very common to have fruit in various stages of coloration. Here are some of my favorites. Sedona sun produces a dazzling display in gardens with masses of fruit on small, spreading mounds. Plants grow 9 to 12 inches tall and spread up to 16 inches, with the small, hot peppers held above the foliage. As the fruit mature they range from bright lemon-yellow to deep apricot-orange. It’s like having a rainbow of fire in the landscape. Black Hawk is a south regional All-America Selection. This plant produces adorable little ornamental peppers that start off black and change to a beautiful, head-turning red. Onyx Red is another All-America Selection that is adorned with eye catching dark foliage. The color contrast between the foliage and the abundance of shiny black and red round fruit is striking. The fruit of ornamental peppers are edible, but extremely hot. Shishi Gashira!....Whoo!!! Ah……no. With age, comes wisdom. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman and I’ll see you next time on Southern Gardening.