Colorful NuMex Easter Peppers Always Changing

comments (12) October 19th, 2015

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WesternGardener Jodi Torpey, contributor
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The small NuMex Easter ornamental chile peppers looked like ordinary peppers when first sprouting from seed.
The peppers began to form on nicely branched plants with clusters of light lavender fruits.
NuMex Easter peppers ripened from lavender to light yellow as the summer moved along.
By the end of the season, almost all of the NuMex Easter peppers have turned a bright orange -- the perfect color for fall.
The small NuMex Easter ornamental chile peppers looked like ordinary peppers when first sprouting from seed.Click To Enlarge

The small NuMex Easter ornamental chile peppers looked like ordinary peppers when first sprouting from seed.

Photo: Jodi Torpey

This season was the second go-around for me to plant NuMex Easter ornamental chile peppers. Developed at the Chile Pepper Institute in Las Cruces, N.M., these peppers are part of the Institute's special line of dwarf ornamentals that celebrate holidays. 

NuMex Easter is an All-America Selections (AAS) bedding plant winner with small peppers that mature from lavender to light yellow to orange. AAS sent seeds for me to plant in my trial garden last summer, but I wasn't happy with the results, so I tried again this year.

This time I started the seeds earlier, giving them 10 weeks to get ready for transplanting into my garden. I also provided bottom heat for the seedlings and a good amount of artificial light.

The chiles grew on small, compact plants in a long, low narrow container on the patio. I wanted to recreate the look of the plants as if they were planted in a border garden.

True to its Easter name, this ornamental peppers formed clusters of 4-6 small fruits that started out pale lavender and changed color as they ripened. They transformed from light lavender to a darker purple, then light yellow to light orange.

Now the plants are loaded with bright orange peppers – perfect for the fall season. I agree with AAS, these peppers make a great bedding plant! They even made my annual pepper roundup for 2015.

Ornamental peppers are lovely in the garden, but they're also edible. I gave these peppers a cautious taste test and found them to have plenty of fire power. I think they'll make an ornamental and tasty hot sauce, too.

posted in: peppers, All-America Selections

Comments (12)

EllenPhelps writes: good work
Posted: 1:59 am on October 28th
PedroNorris writes: Well Done.. thanks for share
Posted: 1:12 am on October 14th
JenkinsTina writes: Good Job
Posted: 6:09 am on October 12th
Raffaelesamuele writes: Lovely1
Posted: 12:56 am on August 8th
KristScott writes: very inspiring!

Posted: 4:03 am on December 7th
RoyKafen writes: Beautiful Plant
Posted: 3:39 am on December 7th
JaffronTox writes: soo charming.

Posted: 11:49 pm on December 3rd
rachelallan writes: This is amazing work..
Posted: 10:39 am on November 9th
danielevie writes: Very useful information thanks for sharing ......
Posted: 5:12 am on October 27th
tomhudsan writes: like other vegetable . papper has it own test.. It make your food spicy.. thanks for the post
Posted: 4:49 am on October 27th
mathewhaden writes: the home garden is very necessary for us. with it we can grow lot of vegetable and other items. thanks for your post.
Posted: 3:18 am on October 22nd
EvieCampbell writes: I`ve tried to plant easter papers last year, but something gone really wrong :(
Thank you for this article I`m sure that this year I`ll will succeed :)
Posted: 1:57 am on October 22nd
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