25 Best Pepper Plants To Grow in Your Garden

Best Pepper Plants to Grow in Garden

Growing peppers is a rewarding experience, especially for pepper lovers out there. It’s a great way to add spice or sweetness to your dishes and helps you save money by having a supply within your reach. 

We rounded up the 25 best and easiest peppers anyone can grow at home. Whether you’re a newbie gardener or an expert with a green thumb, you’ll find something on our list that’s perfect for your pepper needs.

1. Jalapeño Pepper

Jalapeño Pepper
Image: Truff
Capsicum SpeciesCapsicum Annum
Common Name/sHuachinango
Chile Gordo 
Scoville Heat Units2,500 – 8,000 SHU
FlavorMildly Spicy
Best ForSalsa
Pasta sauce
Chili dip

Did you know your favorite chipotle sauce is made of smoked and dried jalapeño chili peppers?

Jalapeño pepper is a mildly spicy pepper native to Mexico. It’s one of the most popular green peppers in making salsa, pasta sauces and chili dips. 

This pepper plant can grow between two to three feet tall and produce 30 to 40 peppers as short as 80 days. If you want a slightly fruity flavor of Jalapeño pepper, leave them longer on the vine and wait for them to turn red before harvesting.

2. Habanero Pepper

Habanero Pepper
Image: African Dream
Capsicum SpeciesCapsicum chinense
Common Name/sHabanero Red
Scoville Heat Units150,000 – 350,000 SHU
FlavorVery Spicy
Best ForSalsa
Sauce
Salad dressing

Habanero peppers are so hot that you should wear gloves when handling them. Seriously!

Habanero peppers are tiny red, orange, brown or black peppers first found in Peru as early as 8,500 years ago. Today, they’re a go-to pepper for a smokey flavor with citrus tones in salsas, sauces and salad dressings. 

In growing habaneros, make sure to plant them deep to protect them from too much sun exposure. They’re ready to harvest in 90 days, but if you want hotter habanero peppers, you can leave them longer on the vine. 

3. Anaheim Pepper

Anaheim Pepper
Image: Pepper Scale
Capsicum SpeciesCapsicum Annum
Common Name/sMagdalena Pepper
California Chile
Chile Seco Del Norte
New Mexico Chile Pepper Cultivar No. 9
New Mexico Green Chile
Scoville Heat Units500 – 2,500 SHU
FlavorMildly Spicy
Best ForSalsa
Sauce
Ristra
Roasting
Stuffing
Baking

Anaheim peppers are among the most popular in the United States. It’s named after the California city Anaheim, which was first grown in 1894. 

This mildly spicy pepper is usually dried and added to salsas, sauces and ristras. They’re also great for giving your roasted, stuffed or baked dishes a hint of spicy flavor.

Anaheim pepper plants thrive in sandy soil and full sun, even with temperatures above 80°F (26.7°C). You can harvest them after 80 days from planting. 

4. Poblano Pepper

Poblano Pepper
Image: World Crops
Capsicum SpeciesCapsicum Annum
Common Name/sAncho Pepper, Ancho Poblano
Scoville Heat Units1,000 – 2,000 SHU
FlavorSpicy
Best ForSoup
Chili
Salsa
Sauce

Poblano peppers are slightly heart-shaped dark green peppers indigenous to Mexico. They’re a staple ingredient in making delicious chile rellenos. 

Most pepper lovers dry poblano peppers and turn them into anchos, a raisin-like sweet pepper added to sauces and salsas.

This plant loves rich, well-drained soil and full sun. They grow only up to two feet tall, and you can already enjoy them as early as 65 days. 

5. Hungarian Hot Wax Pepper 

Hungarian Hot Wax Pepper 
Image: B.C. Eco Seed Co-op
Capsicum SpeciesCapsicum Annum
Common Name/sHot Wax
Wax Pepper
Scoville Heat Units5,000 – 10,000 SHU
FlavorSpicy
Best ForMarinade
Sauce
Sandwich
Stew
Stir fry

The Hungarian Wax pepper is a spicy pepper variety first discovered in Hungary. It’s commonly confused with its yellow counterpart, the banana pepper, but don’t be fooled because this is a much hotter variety. 

Hungarian Wax peppers have thick, waxy and crunchy edible flesh with a sweet yet hot flavor. This is why it’s a staple ingredient in mole sauces, stews, soups and salads.

It’s best to harvest this variety while it’s still yellow or before it matures and is about 8 inches long. If you leave them to ripen on the vine and turn red, expect to have hotter-tasing Hungarian Wax peppers.

6. Thai Chili Pepper

Thai Chili Pepper
Image: Izzy Cooking
Capsicum SpeciesCapsicum Annum
Common Name/sThai Chili
Bird’s Eye Chili
Scoville Heat Units50,000 – 100,000 SHU
FlavorVery Spicy
Best ForCurry
Garnish
Oil
Sauce
Stir fry

Thai Chili peppers are native to Mexico and widely cultivated in Southeast Asia. With its 50,000 SHU, it indeed adds a lot of heat to Asian cuisine and dishes. 

Thai Chilis usually come in red or green colors and only grow about one to two inches. It’s commonly used to make curry, chili powder, and oil or garnish Asian dishes. 

This pepper variety loves full sun and moist soil and will give you mature peppers in about 130 days from planting.

7. Serrano Pepper

Serrano Pepper
Image: Wikipedia
Capsicum SpeciesCapsicum Annum
Common Name/sSerrano
Scoville Heat Units10,000 – 25,000 SHU
FlavorVery Spicy
Best ForSauce
Salsa
Relish
Garnish

Serrano peppers come from the Puebla and Hidalgo mountains in Mexico. Although green like jalapeños, this variety is hotter with a 25,000 SHU. 

They grow only about one to four inches long, but be careful because the smaller the fruits, the hotter they are. They’re best used to make sauces, salsas, relish, and garnishing dishes. 

Serrano pepper plants grow five feet tall, thrive in temperatures above 75°F (24°C) and produce up to 50 peppers at a time. 

8. Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne Pepper
Image: Medical News Today
Capsicum SpeciesCapsicum Annum
Common Name/sRed Cayenne
De Cayenne
Scoville Heat Units30,000 – 50,000 SHU
FlavorSpicy
Best ForSauceMarinade

If you love adding chili powder to your meals, you better grow cayenne peppers in your backyard because this is the main ingredient for your favorite condiment. 

Cayenne peppers are slender chilis native to the French Guiana that grow between two to five inches long. As a tropical plant, cayenne pepper plants love the full sun and well-drained soil. 

They first grow green and turn red as they mature. After 70 days, they’ll ripen, and you can enjoy making chili powders, sauces and marinades with your fresh cayenne pepper harvest. 

9. Ghost Pepper

Ghost Pepper
Image: Wikipedia
Capsicum SpeciesCapsicum chinense
Common Name/sBhut Jolokia
Bih Jolokia
Naga Jolokia
Ghost
Geisterchili
Red Naga
U-morok
Bombai Morich
Raja Mirch
Saga Jolokia
Indian Mystery Chili
Indian Rough Chili
Tezpur Chili
Scoville Heat Units600,000 – 1,041,427 SHU
FlavorVery Spicy
Best ForCurry
Brine
Chutney
Sauces
Candy

The Guinness Book of World Records declared Ghost Peppers the hottest from 2007 to 2011. It may only be a 2-inch-sized pepper but has an SHU of 1,041,427.

Interestingly, half of its million level of heat is in its flesh. When added to chutneys, curries, brines, and sauces, it gives spice and a smokey flavor. 

Ghost pepper plants thrive in full sun and well-drained soil and have a relatively long growing season of 110 days. To be safe, make sure you wear gloves when harvesting and handling these very spicy peppers.

10. Fresno Pepper

Fresno Pepper
Image: Chili Pepper Madness
Capsicum SpeciesCapsicum Annum
Common Name/sFresno
Scoville Heat Units2,500 – 10,000 SHU
FlavorMildly Spicy
Best ForSalsa
Relish
Ceviche
MarinadeTopping

Fresno peppers are for those looking for a twist in their meals. This pepper gives a mildly spicy, fruity, smokey flavor in its mature form. 

They were first cultivated by Clarence Hamlin in Fresno, California, in 1952. They’re usually confused with jalapeños, but one way to tell them apart is that Fresnos has a slightly curved, tapered point and smooth skin. 

Fresno pepper plants grow between 18 to 30 inches tall in full sun and well-drained soil. You can harvest them around 70 to 80 days from planting and add them to salsas, ceviches, stews and dips.

11. Tabasco Pepper

Tabasco Pepper
Image: Wikipedia
Capsicum SpeciesCapsicum Frutescens
Common Name/sGreenleaf Tabasco
Scoville Heat Units30,000 – 50,000 SHU
FlavorVery Spicy
Best ForSauce
Chili powder
Salsa

Your favorite Tabasco hot sauce has Tabasco peppers as one of its main ingredients. These Tabasco peppers originated in Mexico and have a 50,000 SHU.

Tabasco peppers are also a staple ingredient in salsas and are usually dehydrated to make chili powders.

They grow in bushy 5-foot-tall pepper plants and love the full sun, well-drained soil and warm temperatures. In about 80 days, you can already harvest these small bright red Tabasco peppers.

12. Rocoto Pepper

Rocoto Pepper
Image: Pepper Joe’s
Capsicum SpeciesCapsicum Pubescens
Common Name/sAli Rojo
Red Tree Pepper
Scoville Heat Units30,000 – 75,000 SHU
FlavorVery Spicy
Best ForSauce
Salsa
Paste
Stew

Rocoto peppers were first discovered and domesticated in Peru. It may look like a small round red pepper but don’t be fooled because it has a heat level of 75,000 SHU. 

This Peruvian pepper grows in green, red, orange or yellow, but the hottest is the yellow rocoto pepper. They also have thick and juicy flesh, making them great for stuffing, making salsas or topping on pizzas.

Rocoto pepper plants prefer partial shade and cooler temperatures, unlike most pepper varieties. They can even survive mild frost, so they’re an excellent choice for those in cooler areas.

13. Piri Piri Pepper

Piri Piri Pepper
Image: Wikimedia
Capsicum SpeciesCapsicum frutescens
Common Name/sAfrican bird’s eye chili
African Bird’s eye
African Red Devil
Peri Peri
Scoville Heat Units50,000 – 100,000 SHU
FlavorVery Spicy
Best ForSauce
Marinade

Piri piri peppers are native to Africa. They’re these small, elongated peppers packed with 100,000 SHU of heat. 

Although spicy, piri piri peppers still add a citrusy, herbal flavor when making marinades and sauces.

When grown, piri piri plants have a bushy habit and produce peppers that distinctly point in all directions. In just 80 days, you can harvest and enjoy piri piri peppers.

14. Mirasol Pepper

Mirasol Pepper
Image: My Garden Life
Capsicum SpeciesCapsicum Annum
Common Name/sNuMex Mirasol
Mirasol
Scoville Heat Units2,500 – 5,000 SHU
FlavorMildly Spicy
Best ForSalsa
Stew
Chili
Mole sauce

When Mirasol peppers grow, they point toward the sun, hence their name, which means “looking at the sun” in Spanish.

Mirasol peppers give off a mildly spicy flavor with a hint of fruitiness, making them great for salsas, chilis, stews and mole sauces. When dried, they’re called guajillo and have a tangy flavor. 

This pepper plant makes a great container or ornamental plant growing between three to five inches. You can harvest Mirasol peppers in 80 to 90 days from planting. 

15. Bulgarian Carrot Pepper

Bulgarian Carrot Pepper
Image: Incredible Seeds
Capsicum SpeciesCapsicum Annum
Common Name/sShipkas
Shipka’s Pepper
Bulgarian Carrot
Scoville Heat Units5,000 – 30,000 SHU
FlavorMildly Spicy
Best ForSalsa
Sauce
Chutney
Salad

Bulgarian carrot peppers can easily be spotted with their shiny, thick orange skin. They are mildly spicy peppers with a fruity flavor. 

Most cooks love their crisp, flavorful pulp that gives salsas, sauces, chutneys and salads more flavor and texture.

Bulgarian carrot pepper plants grow only up to 2 feet and thrive best in full sun and rich, moist soil. The fruit first grows in dark green and laters, curves, and turns orange as it matures.

16. Quintisho Pepper

Quintisho Pepper
Image: Oreshka Seeds
Capsicum SpeciesCapsicum Annum
Common Name/sQuintisho
Scoville Heat Units5,000 to 20,000 SHU
FlavorMildly Spicy
Best ForChili powder
SauceTopping

If you love peppers with citrusy notes and a slow yet long-lasting burn, you should grow quintisho peppers in your home. 

Quintisho peppers are small, cherry-looking yellow peppers with a mildly spicy heat of 20,000 SHU. They’re best for making chili powders, sauces or used as a topping on pizzas.

It’s a fast-growing and low-maintenance plant that will yield a lot of bright yellow quintisho peppers. Quintishop peppers also make excellent ornamental plants because of their strong, sturdy stems and luscious green foliage.

17. Jupiter Pepper

Jupiter Pepper
Image: Nana’s Bloomers
Capsicum SpeciesCapsicum Annum
Common Name/sJupiter Sweet Pepper
Jupiter
Scoville Heat Units0 SHU
FlavorSweet
Best ForStuffing
Salad
Dip

Jupiter peppers are one of the largest sweet bell peppers in the world. 

Each plant produces a high yield of five-inch peppers that ripen from green to red. Because of their size, they make great peppers for stuffing, salads and making dips. 

Jupiter pepper plants grow fast and reach up to three feet tall. In just 70 days, you can harvest and enjoy large red Jupiter bell peppers.

18. California Wonder Pepper

California Wonder Pepper
Image: Quail Seeds
Capsicum SpeciesCapsicum Annum
Common Name/sCalifornia Wonder Pepper
Scoville Heat Units0 SHU
FlavorSweet
Best ForSnack
Salad
Stuffing
Sauteing

California Wonder pepper is excellent for newbie planters because this variety is resistant to the deadly tobacco mosaic virus.

This pepper is known for thick, meaty walls that ripen from green to red. Because of its sweet taste, they’re best for snacking, as salad topping or stuffing. 

California Wonder pepper plants need a lot of heat to grow and ripen their fruits. About 75 days after planting, these peppers will mature into 4-inch red fruits for you to enjoy. 

19. Purple Beauty Pepper

Purple Beauty Pepper
Image: Tomorrow Seeds
Capsicum SpeciesCapsicum Annum
Common Name/sPurple Beauty
Purple Bell Peppers
Scoville Heat Units0 SHU
FlavorSweet
Best ForSalad
Salsa
Side dish
Sandwich

Purple Beauty is a sweet bell pepper that produces blocks of purple fruits. When cooked, these Purple Beauty peppers turn green. 

This pepper variety has a sweet yet fine, crispy texture, making them a favorite addition to salad, salsas, and sandwiches. 

Purple Beauty plants grow three-inch fruits with green flesh. Fortunately, these fruits also mature as quickly as 70 days so you can enjoy this pepper variety in a relatively short span of time.

20. Canary Bell Pepper

Canary Bell Pepper
Image: LEAF Wiki
Capsicum SpeciesCapsicum Annum
Common Name/sCanary Bell Pepper
Scoville Heat Units0 SHU
FlavorSweet
Best ForStuffing
Baking Grilling
Salad

Canary peppers are full-sized yellow bell peppers that have a sweet flavor. They’re best used for stuffing, grilling or added to salads. 

Canary pepper plants thrive in full sun and rich, well-drained soil. They need as much compost and fertilizer, especially during fruiting season. 

They also make excellent container plants because they grow up to two feet. Additionally, canary bell peppers ripen from pale green to a golden yellow hue in as short as 70 days.

21. Sweet Pimento Pepper

Sweet Pimento Pepper
Image: Hudson Valley Seed
Capsicum SpeciesCapsicum Annum
Common Name/sSweet Pepper Pimento
Sweet Pepper
Pimento Pepper
Scoville Heat Units0 SHU
FlavorSweet
Best ForStuffing
Pickling
Sandwich

Sweet Pimento is a sweet pepper easily recognizable for its small red heart shape. It measures about three to four inches long and two to three inches wide. 

Sweet Pimento is commonly the pepper used to stuff olives. Other culinary uses of this pepper variety include stuffing with cheese, pickling or as a sandwich ingredient. 

This plant loves a sunny location and moist soil. What’s great is that the longer you keep the peppers in the vine, the sweeter they’ll get. 

22. Sweet Banana Pepper

Sweet Banana Pepper
Image: Pepper Scale
Capsicum SpeciesCapsicum Annum
Common Name/sSweet Banana Pepper
Yellow Wax Pepper
Banana Chili
Scoville Heat Units500 SHU
FlavorSlightly Spicy
Best ForPickling
Roasting
Garnish
Soup
Stew

The Sweet Banana is a medium-sized pepper with a slightly spicy and tangy taste. This pepper variety usually grows from green to red or orange as it ripens. 

Sweet Banana peppers are often stuffed, pickled or roasted. They also make great ingredients in soups and stews. 

When planted, it requires full sun and warm temperatures. It can grow up to two feet tall, and you can harvest and enjoy Sweet Banana peppers in about 60 days.

23. Shishito Pepper

Shishito Pepper
Image: Pepper Geek
Capsicum SpeciesCapsicum Annum
Common Name/sRed Shishito Chile Pepper
Lion Chile Pepper
Scoville Heat Units50 – 200 SHU
FlavorSlightly Spicy
Best ForGarnish
Salad dressing
Topping
Side dish

Shishito peppers are known for being the ultimate Japanese frying pepper because of their sweet and smokey taste when fried with oil. 

Shishito peppers have delicate walls and crunchy texture making them for pan-fried dishes, as a garnish, salad dressing or topping. 

When you plant these in your garden, make sure it has enough soil for the roots to spread. In 65 days after transplanting, you can pick out 25 to 50 ripe shishito peppers in every plant.

24. Pepperoncini Pepper

Pepperoncini Pepper
Image: Minneopa Orchards
Capsicum SpeciesCapsicum Annum
Common Name/sPeperoncino
Italian Sweet PepperTuscan Pepper
Golden Greek Pepper
Italian Chili Pepper
Scoville Heat Units100 – 500 SHU
FlavorSlightly Spicy
Best ForSalad
Pasta
Pizza
Garnish
Soup
Sauce
Pickling

Pepperoncini peppers are sweet yet slightly spicy peppers originating in Greece and Italy. These peppers have thin walls, wrinkled skin and grow about two to three inches long.  

They’re commonly pickled in Italian antipasto platters and salads or added to pizza sauces and sandwiches. They make a great low-calorie snack as a pickling pepper, giving off a tangy taste with a bit of heat. 

About 75 days after planting, you can harvest pepperoncini peppers when they turn green and reach five to six inches long. 

25. Padron Pepper

Padron Pepper
Image: Padron Peppers
Capsicum SpeciesCapsicum Annum
Common Name/sPimientos de Padron
Herbón peppers
Padron chile
Scoville Heat Units500 – 2,500 SHU
FlavorSlightly sweet
Best ForTapas
Snack
Pizza
Sauce
Pasta
Topping

Padron peppers are Spain’s version of a frying pepper. It’s slightly spicier than other frying peppers with a 2,500 SHU. 

These peppers have an elongated shape and grow about 2 inches long. Because of their mildly sweet and spicy taste, Padron peppers are often pickled or used in tapas, snacking, pizza and sauces. 

Padron pepper plants grow between 18 to 23 inches tall and thrive in total sun exposure. As short as 60 days, you can harvest one to two-inch-long Padron peppers.

FAQs on Best Peppers to Grow

What is the easiest pepper to grow?


The easiest pepper to grow comes from the Capsicum Annum variety because their seeds germinate fast. This variety includes jalapeño, serrano, cayenne, Thai chili, Anaheim, and poblano peppers.

What is the fastest-growing pepper?


Jalapeño is the fastest-growing pepper as it can reach maturity and produce ripe fruits in as short as 75 days. 

What peppers produce the most?


Habanero peppers produce the most peppers in every growing season, growing as many as 80 to 90 habaneros per plant.

What peppers are best for hot climates?


Jalapeño, Sweet Banana, Cayenne, Poblano, and Sweet Pimento pepper varieties grow best in hot climates.

Which pepper plants live the longest?


The Rocoto and Manzano pepper varieties are the longest-living pepper plants, as they can live as long as ten years.

What is the most expensive pepper to grow?


The Aji Charapita is the most expensive pepper to grow, priced at $25,000 per kilo. It is a wild pepper found and grown only in the forests of northern Peru.

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