annuum More Than an Ornamental Pepper


In spring 2023, I was trying to find a Thai pepper plant at the local nurseries and didn't have any luck. Instead, I found this beauty. It was the healthiest looking specimen in the entire nursery, but all the store could tell me is that it was an ornamental pepper. Even their supplier didn't know what it was. After producing about 130 grams of dried peppers in the garden, I brought it inside and put it under a grow light. None of the buds, flowers, or peppers in this picture were on the plant before putting it under artificial lighting.

The only piece of valuable information I could get from the supplier is that the plant is most likely open pollinated, so I will definitely be crossing it. Flavor is excellent (similar to Thai with a little less heat), and the plant emits a pleasant odor reminiscent of honeydew melon. Best of all, insects won't touch it. There were a bunch of aphids on the cayenne plant next to it, close enough to poop on the ornamental's leaves, but I have yet to see a single insect on the plant other than pollinators in the garden. I'm completely blown away.