Whether hot or not, peppers are rightfully a staple in the kitchen and make an amazing addition to any vegetable garden. No matter your flavor preferences, our Garden Center is sure to have the best peppers for you to grow and eat!
Getting to Know Peppers
In 1493, pepper seeds made their way to Spain from the Americas. Eventually, they spread throughout Europe and Asia, cementing the pepper as a staple ingredient in cooking worldwide.
With most varieties, the peppers turn red the longer they’re left on the plant. When it comes to sweet varieties, this means a higher sugar content, giving you an even sweeter pepper! With hotter peppers, though, beware: a deeper red color signals a more intense, much spicier flavor.
Peppers are exceptionally easy to grow, especially when you keep a few tips in mind! Always plant peppers in full sun and give them at least 6-8 hours of light a day. Lots of sun helps your peppers ripen fully and keeps their stems strong. Though peppers only require about an inch of water per week, keep a close eye on them, as excessive heat and dryness will stress your peppers out!
Many peppers grow wonderfully in pots, but be sure to provide extra water if you’re container gardening, as potted plants tend to dry out much more quickly than those in the ground. Whether you’re planting your peppers in the ground or a pot, a veggie planting mix and occasional fertilizer will do wonders for your plants. Finally, if you practice rotational planting, remember to keep your tomatoes and peppers separate, as they are vulnerable to many of the same diseases!
Sweet peppers make a stunning addition to any garden, and there are so many varieties to choose from! First off, there’s the classic Bell Pepper. Bell Peppers are adored for their sweetness and crunch and are wonderful when cooked or eaten raw as a snack. They even have miniature varieties, which are some of the best peppers to grow in pots. Another classic sweet pepper is the Sweet Banana, which produces long yellow peppers with thin skin and a delightful crunch. Cranking the spice up a bit, Shishitos are generally quite mild but will get hotter as they ripen! When young, these peppers make the perfect addition to a stir fry. Our final favorite in the sweet pepper category is the gorgeous and versatile Poblano Pepper. Young Poblanos are crisp and sweet but develop more flavor as they ripen. There’s a very good reason they’ve become a staple ingredient in Mexican cuisine, trust us!
Hot peppers come in all shapes, sizes, and intensities of flavor and heat. For reference, a pepper’s spiciness is measured using the Scoville Scale. Bell peppers rank around zero Scoville Heat Units (or SHUs), whereas the world’s hottest pepper clocks in at over 1,000,000! Some of the best hot peppers to grow are Serranos and Jalapeños. These peppers are typically eaten when they’re still green, with Jalapeños often served raw or pickled and the hotter Serranos most prized when roasted. Moving up the Scoville Scale, we have Habanero peppers. These peppers boast a bright citrus flavor and beautiful yellow flesh, but they also definitely pack a punch! The last pepper on our list is the hottest of all, and so we don’t necessarily recommend you grow it! The Carolina Reaper can rate as high as over 2 million SHUs, making it the hottest pepper in the world!
Peppers Ranked from Mild to Wild
Peppers are typically classified as either “sweet” or “hot,” but as you’ve seen, there’s definitely some middle ground in that scale. Now that you know more about peppers and the many options available, it’s time to see them ranked and pick the best one for you!
- Bell Pepper (0 SHU)
- Sweet Banana Pepper (0-500 SHU)
- Shishito Pepper (500-200 SHU)
- Poblano Pepper (1,000 SHU)
- Jalapeño Pepper (8,000 SHU)
- Serrano Pepper (10,000 SHU)
- Habanero Pepper (up to 350,000 SHU)
- Carolina Reaper (up to 2,200,000 SHU)
From mild to wild and everything in between, peppers are amazing veggies that are easy to grow and will live happily in your South Florida garden. To shop for some of the very best peppers near you, head to Living Color Garden Center in Fort Lauderdale today!