How to Care for Ornamental Hot Pepper Plants


Ornamental hot peppers (Capsicum annuum), also called ornamental chili peppers, are grown indoors in most climates for their bright-red fruits. Native to South America, ornamental pepper plants grow to 12 inches tall and produce edible but extremely hot cone-shaped peppers during a six-week period in fall or winter. The peppers are 2 inches long and turn from green to orange to a deep, waxy red. These plants will usually produce fruits only once when grown as houseplants.

Step 1

Position your ornamental hot pepper plant in bright light, such as in a south-facing window. Provide at least four hours per day of full, direct sunlight. Keep air temperatures of 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 55 to 60 degrees at night.

Step 2

Water your ornamental pepper plant two or three times per week to keep the soil moderately and evenly moistened. Water the plant until the water drains freely from the bottom of the pot and pour out any excess water left in the drainage dish.

Step 3

Mist the ornamental hot pepper plant's foliage three or four times per week to keep humidity levels elevated, especially during the drier winter months.

Step 4

Feed your ornamental hot pepper plant once each month with a balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer. Apply half the normal dosage rate of fertilizer.

Step 5

Pinch back new growth on the stems of your ornamental pepper plant to encourage a bushier shape and healthy branching.

Tips and Warnings

  • Don't expose your ornamental hot pepper plant to temperatures below 55 degrees. Also, avoid water-logging the potting soil or allowing the soil to dry out.

Things You'll Need

  • Water spray bottle
  • Liquid houseplant fertilizer
  • Gloves


  • Guide to Ornamental Chili Pepper

Who Can Help

  • University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture: Plant of the Week -- Ornamental Pepper
Keywords: ornamental hot pepper, pepper plant care, grow Capsicum annuum, ornamental chili peppers

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.