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18 Easy-to-Grow Pepper Plants That Stay Small

How to Grow Small Pepper Plants

Pepper plants are a great way to “spice” things up in your kitchen. The good news is you can grow pepper plants in the comfort of your home, thanks to small pepper varieties. 

In this article, we’ve compiled the 18 best small pepper plants for you to grow, including tips and tricks on how to keep them healthy.

Best Small Pepper Plants

Here are the 18 best compact pepper plants you can grow at home.

1. Baby Belle Pepper

Baby Belle Pepper
Image: Renee’s Garden
Capsicum SpeciesCapsicum annum
Common Name/sBaby Belle Peppers
Scoville Heat Units0 SHU
Best ForSalads
Grilling Roasting
Stir fry

Baby belle peppers are compact, fast-growing and bushy plant varieties. They reach only about two feet tall upon maturity, which is as fast as about 80 days after transplanting.

Once you see peppers about three or four inches long and have turned their mature color red, yellow, or orange, you can now harvest these baby belle peppers. 

Baby belle peppers are sweet and have zero heat. They’re best eaten fresh off the plant, tossed in a salad, grilled, roasted or added to stir-fry dishes.

2. Jingle Bell Pepper

Jingle Bell Pepper
Image: Redemption Seeds
Capsicum SpeciesCapsicum annum
Common Name/sJingle Bell Sweet Pepper
Scoville Heat Units0 SHU
Best ForSalad
Stir fry

Jingle Bell peppers are a dwarf variety that typically grows less than a foot and a half tall. They produce a bountiful harvest of miniature bell peppers that turn from green to bright red when ripe. 

These one-inch fruits have no heat, so you can enjoy these colorfully sweet bell peppers raw in salads, sauteed in stir-fries or stuffed.

You can start harvesting green fruits as early as 55 days, but you can also leave the peppers on the plant for a few more days and wait for them to turn into a rich, red color. 

3. Bull’s Nose Pepper

Bull’s Nose Pepper
Image: Annie’s Heirloom Seeds
Capsicum SpeciesCapsicum annum
Common Name/sBull Nose Chile Pepper
Scoville Heat Units0 SHU
Best For• Stuffed
Frying Pickling
Stir fry

Bull’s Nose peppers are a sweet and spicy heirloom pepper varieties existing since the 1800s. They’re named for their deeply-lobed fruits resembling a bull’s face.

Bull’s Nose peppers are compact and productive plants that only grow about two feet tall. On the other hand, the fruits are about three inches long and ripen into a glossy red color.

You can harvest Bull’s Nose peppers as quickly as 55 days if you want green peppers or wait up to 80 days to get those red peppers.

Bull’s Nose peppers are versatile and delicious when stuffed, fried, pickled, roasted, grilled, or simply eaten fresh.

4. Hungarian Cheese Pepper

Hungarian Cheese Pepper
Image: Pleasant View
Capsicum SpeciesCapsicum hybrid
Common Name/sHungarian Cheese Mix
Scoville Heat Units0 SHU
Best ForDips

Hungarian Cheese peppers are productive early-season varieties that produce tiny bell peppers in red, yellow, and orange. 

These peppers are named for their resemblance to the heirloom pumpkin variety, which has a bumpy, warty exterior.

Hungarian Cheese peppers are suitable for container planting, preferring full sun and well-drained soil. You can even grow them indoors as long as adequate sunlight enters the room. 

5. Albino Bull Nose Pepper

Albino Bull Nose Pepper
Image: Survival Seeds
Common Name/sAlbino Bull Nose
Scoville Heat Units0 SHU
Best ForSaladStir fry

The Albino Bull Nose pepper is another heirloom variety that resembles its cousin, the Bull’s Nose. 

However, this dwarf pepper plant produces sweet fruits that turn from cream to red-orange when ripe. 

The Albino Bull Nose pepper is a stocky plant that grows no more than two feet tall, making it ideal for container planting. It’s also an early-season pepper variety that produces fruits from early summer until the first fall frost.

6. Medusa Pepper

Medusa Pepper
Image: Ball Seed
Capsicum SpeciesCapsicum annum
Common Name/sMedusa Pepper
Scoville Heat Units1–1,000 SHU
FlavorSlightly spicy
Best ForSalad

Medusa peppers are a mildly spicy ornamental dwarf variety, usually grown in containers or windowsills. They grow less than two feet tall and are an excellent choice for small spaces and urban gardens.

Medusa peppers are also known for their colorful fruits that ripen above their leaves. These peppers begin growing yellow and then turn orange and red as they complete the ripening process. 

But don’t get fooled by their color – with a Scoville Heat Unit of 1,000, these Medusa peppers are comparable to poblano peppers in terms of heat.

7. Mirasol Pepper

Mirasol Pepper
Image: Dave’s Garden
CCapsicumSpeciesCapsicum Aannuum
Common Name/sNuMex Mirasol
Scoville Heat Units2,500 – 5,000 SHU
Best ForSalsa
Mole sauces

Mirasol peppers are a spicy Mexican heirloom dwarf pepper variety. They get their name from the way the peppers grow and face up towards the sun.

Mirasol pepper plants grow no more than two feet tall and produce two to three-inch peppers in as fast as 70 days from planting. Upon maturity, it produces thin, pointy and bright, deep scarlet peppers.

Although they have a berry-like taste, mirasol peppers are still as hot as jalapeño peppers, with a 2,500 to 5,000 SHU. They’re popularly used for drying and grinding into a powder to spice traditional Mexican dishes like mole sauces and chili.

8. Demon Red Pepper

Demon Red Pepper
Image: Ameri Seed
Capsicum SpeciesCapsicum annum
Common Name/sDemon Red Chili
Scoville Heat Units30,000 – 50,000 SHU
Best ForStir fry

Demon Red peppers are dwarf Thai pepper varieties that produce clusters of cone-shaped fruits. 

These peppers ripen from green to fiery red, with a 100,000 to 200,000 SHU, which means they’re as hot as habanero peppers.

Demon Red peppers can be harvested at any growing stage. However, the peppers reach peak flavor when they turn red and reach between two and seven centimeters long.

You can use Demon Red peppers as food, ornamental plant, or both. They thrive in container gardens and hanging baskets and add spice to stir fry, roasted, sauteed or curry dishes in your kitchen.

9. NuMex Twilight Pepper

NuMex Twilight Pepper
Image: Victoria Gardeners
Capsicum SpeciesCapsicum annum
Common Name/sNuMex Twilight
Scoville Heat Units30,000 – 50,000 SHU
Best ForSalsas
Hot sauces
Rice and bean dishes

NuMex Twilight is a hybrid pepper resulting from a pepper breeding program at New Mexico State University. It’s famous for its multi-colored fruits.

The NuMex Twilight peppers first grow in purple and then ripen to yellow, orange, and red. Not all fruits mature simultaneously, so that each plant will sport a rainbow of fruits at various stages of development.

But let us warn you, NuMex Twilight peppers are not for the faint of heart because they pack an impressive amount of heat – 30,000 to 50,000 SHU – comparable to cayenne peppers.

10. Patio Fire and Ice Pepper

Patio Fire and Ice Pepper
Image: Trade Winds Fruit
iscum SpeciesCCapsicumannum
Common Name/s• Fire and Ice Peppers
Patio Fire and Ice Peppers
Scoville Heat Units5,000 SHU
FlavorSlightly spicy
Best ForSnacking

Patio Fire & Ice peppers are a small pepper plant variety that grows up to 10 inches tall. They produce clusters of colorful peppers that ripen from green to yellow and finally to red.

These peppers are perfect for indoor and container planting, such as in hanging baskets or windowsills.

Patio Fire & Ice peppers have a mild spicy flavor and are great for snacking, making sauces or simply adding a pop of color to your salads, salsas, and other dishes.

11. Shishito Pepper

Shishito Pepper
Image: Gardenary
Capsicum SpeciesCapsicum annuum
Common Name/sRed Shishito Chile Pepper
Lion Chile Pepper
Scoville Heat Units50 – 200 SHU
FlavorSlightly spicy
Best ForGarnish
Salad dressing
Side dish

Shishito pepper plants are another excellent choice for container planting. They grow about 2 feet tall and produce a bounty of peppers early in the growing season. 

They’re popular in Japanese cuisine, although they have an elongated, wrinkly appearance that some may find unappealing. However, they give a distinct mild smoky-citrusy flavor making them a delight to eat.

Shishito peppers prefer plenty of space to spread out, so we highly suggest giving them plenty of room on your patio or porch is essential.

12. Bulgarian Carrot Pepper

Bulgarian Carrot Pepper
Image: Plants Spark Joy
CapsicumSpeciesCapsicum annuum
Common Name/sShipkas
Bulgarian Carrot
Scoville Heat Units2,500 – 5,000 SHU
FlavorSlightly spicy
Best ForSalsa

Bulgarian Carrot pepper plants are an excellent choice for container growing. They grow about 2 feet tall and have bright orange pods resembling carrots.

These dwarf peppers are also a good choice for those living in cold climates, tolerating cooler temperatures better than other pepper varieties.

Bulgarian Carrot peppers have a slightly spicy medium heat and crispy texture, making them a favorite ingredient for salsas, sauces, salads, sandwiches, chutneys and salads.

13. Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne Pepper
Image: Horticulture
Capsicum SpeciesCapsicum annum
Common Name/sRed Cayenne
De Cayenne
Scoville Heat Units30,000 – 50,000 SHU
Best ForSauce

Cayenne pepper plants are an excellent choice for container planting as they grow only between 2 to 4 feet tall. They’re easy to manage and produce a bounty of bright red peppers with 30,000 to 50,000 SHU.

This dwarf pepper is one of the hottest pepper varieties and is a favorite ingredient making it great for salsas, sauces, and other dishes. Hot pepper lovers out there even eat cayenne fresh as a snack.

Cayenne peppers thrive in containers as long as they receive full sun and are kept in warm temperatures. This pepper plant can produce peppers in as little as 60 days in ideal conditions.

14. Ancho Poblano Pepper

Ancho Poblano Pepper
Image: Territorial Seed Company
Capsicum SpeciesCapsicum annum
Common Name/sAncho Pepper
Ancho Poblano Pepper
Ancho Chile
Scoville Heat Units1,000 – 2,000 SHU
Best ForMole sauces
Enchilada sauces

Ancho Poblano pepper plants are an excellent choice for container growing at home. They grow about 2.5 feet tall and produce heart-shaped peppers that can be used fresh or dried.

These peppers have mild heat of 1,000 to 2,000 SHU. Because of their deeper flavor, Ancho Poblano peppers are usually ground into a powder to make mole or enchilada sauces.

15. Thai Hot Pepper 

Thai Hot Pepper
Image: Bonnie Plants
Capsicum SpeciesCapsicum annum
Common Name/sThai Chili
Scoville Heat Units50,000 – 100,000 SHU
Best ForCurry
Stir fry

Thai Hot peppers are another excellent choice for container planting. They grow only 1.5 feet tall and produce peppers that turn from green to yellow and then red throughout the planting season.

This dwarf pepper variety is very spicy, with 50,000 to 100,000 SHU, but fortunately, it also has a slightly fruity flavor that somehow balances the high heat. 

Thai Hot peppers are commonly used as garnishing or in curries, oils, sauces and stir-fry dishes.

16. Fushimi Pepper

Fushimi Pepper
Image: Flower Database
Capsicum SpeciesCapsicum annum
Common Name/sFushimi Chile Peppers
Scoville Heat Units2,500 – 8,000 SHU
FlavorSlightly sweet
Best ForRoasting
Stir fry

Fushimi peppers are an excellent choice for container growing because they grow only about 2 feet tall but can produce peppers that are 6 inches long.

This compact pepper has a sweet-spicy flavor, with 2,500 – 8,000 SHU. Because of their crisp texture, Fushimi peppers are great for roasting, frying, sauteing, stir-frying or simply for snacking. 

17. Goat Horn Pepper

Goat Horn Pepper
Image: KCD Garden
Common Name/sGoat Horn
Scoville Heat Units20,000 – 50,000 SHU
Best ForChili powder

Goat Horn peppers are a famous Cayenne variety that grows compact pepper plants. This plant only grows about 3 feet tall and has bright red pods with smooth skin and thick walls. 

Goat Horn peppers have a medium heat level of 20,000 to 50,000 SHU, but they have a slightly fruity flavor to balance the heat.

This dwarf pepper variety is an excellent choice for container growing, and it can be grown in most climates as long as there’s full sun and well-drained soil.

18. NuMex Easter Pepper

NuMex Easter Pepper
Image: All America Selections
Common Name/sNuMex Easter Pepper
Scoville Heat Units1,000 – 3,000 SHU
Best ForPastels

NuMex Easter Peppers are another dwarf pepper plant popular for its pastel-colored pods. These compact peppers grow up to only one foot tall, making them great in containers and pots for your patio, porch or mini edible garden.

NuMex Easter Peppers have a relatively mild flavor compared to other ornamental peppers. Their teardrop-shaped bulbs can also be used for making pastels, salsas and drying.

How to Grow Small Pepper Plants

How to Grow Small Pepper Plants
Image: Cottage Farms Direct

Below are our proven and tested tips on how you can grow healthy dwarf pepper plants in your home. 

1. Grow micro peppers in containers.

Grow micro peppers in containers.
Image: Balcony Garden Web

Dwarf peppers are the perfect and practical way to grow peppers in small spaces or urban gardens. They’re small enough to fit in a pot, container or windowsill and can even serve as ornamental houseplants.

Although dwarf peppers are small, they still need a large pot to accommodate their roots. For this, we recommend that you use at least a five-gallon pot with a diameter of at least 14 inches.

On the other hand, when choosing a potting medium for your dwarf peppers, you should look for those with coarse sand or pine barks so they can give added weight to help to anchor the plants in the ground.

2. Practice the drip irrigation method.

 Practice the drip irrigation method.
Image: Plantophiles

The drip irrigation system is a great way to water micro peppers efficiently. This method delivers water directly to the plant’s roots, which helps prevent the leaves and fruits from getting wet and developing bacterial rot.

It’s best to water your plants in the morning as this will give the leaves time to dry before nightfall and help to prevent fungal, bacterial, or viral diseases.

3. Provide adequate light to your pepper plant.

Provide adequate light to your pepper plant.
Image: Pepper Geek

Peppers are heat-loving tropical plants that need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily to produce full-sized and flavorful fruits. 

If you’re growing dwarf peppers in a container, we recommend choosing a spot with full sun all day; otherwise, the pepper plant might produce fewer or smaller fruits. 

You can even rotate your dwarf pepper plant once every few weeks so that all sides of the plant get equal sunlight.

4. Feed your dwarf pepper plants.

Feed your dwarf pepper plants.
Image: Tiny Garden Habit

Although micro peppers are smaller than their full-size counterparts, they still need all the nutrients and fertilizers to thrive. In fact, applying fertilizers is crucial in producing larger and more fruits from your dwarf pepper plant. 

Begin by feeding your pepper plants with nitrogen-rich fertilizer two weeks after planting. You can apply a soluble fertilizer to your pepper plants once a week. 

Once the pepper plant starts flowering, you can switch to a high-potassium fertilizer to encourage flowering and fruiting.

5. Place companion plants.

Place companion plants.
Image: Sandia Seed

Companion planting is another excellent gardening technique to improve your dwarf pepper harvest. They help keep dwarf pepper plants healthy by making them more resistant to pests and diseases and attracting pollinators to ensure fruit ripening.

Good companion plants for dwarf pepper varieties include basil, onion, cilantro, rosemary, carrot, parsley, chamomile, and thyme.

For instance, basil can help repel pests that can damage pepper plants, while cilantro can attract pollinators, ensuring your pepper plant’s pollination and fruit production.

FAQs on Small Pepper Plants

Why is my pepper plant so small?

Pepper plants grow small because of overwatering. When pepper plants grow on wet soil, they slowly drown, with leaves turning yellow and stunting growth entirely.

How big are small pepper plants?

Small pepper plant varieties only grow up to 2 feet tall. They are easier to maintain and place in gardens or small spaces.

How do you make peppers grow bigger?

Pepper plants will grow bigger when they receive full sun, regular water and fertilizers and are planted in well-drained soil. Another effective gardening hack is pinching off the early flowers and removing new suckers to encourage bigger fruits.

What is the best fertilizer for peppers?

Nitrogen-rich fertilizers should be applied to pepper plants during the growing stage to help them grow healthy stems and leaves. Afterward, potassium and phosphorus-rich fertilizers should be introduced to encourage flowering and fruiting.

How do you make peppers bushy?

Regular pruning and removal of suckers help make pepper plants have bushy growth. The pepper plant can focus its energy on growing the main stem and peppers by removing excess leaves, branches, and shoots.

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