Pepper plants offer ease of growth and a wide variety of uses. Most varieties and hybrids are used in culinary dishes or consumed raw in salads. All pepper plants fall into one of two categories: large, bell-type peppers and hot peppers. Banana and sweet bell peppers hold their place as the most popular garden pepper varieties, according to the Ohio State University.
The pimiento produces conical, smooth fruit that appears almost heart-shaped. Most varieties measure between 3 and 4 inches in length and are around 2 inches wide at their thickest. The fruit appears red or reddish yellow when fully mature, with exceptionally thick skin.
Widely used for canning, the pimiento pepper has all seeds and outer parts removed so only the inner part of the pepper is used. The pimiento is also used pepper for stuffing olives.
Pimientos grow well when seeded directly into the seedbed. They can be started indoors in areas of cold weather and then transplanted after all danger of frost has passed. Grow in full sunlight for best results.
The banana pepper is sweet or hot to the taste, depending on the variety. The peppers are edible when fully ripe or immature. The longer the sweet banana pepper stays on the vine, the sweeter it becomes and the longer the hot banana pepper is allowed to ripen, the hotter it will become.
The banana pepper grows well in a sunny location with well-drained soil. Banana pepper plants tend to require additional phosphorus.
The bell peppers grows in shades of green, red, yellow and orange, depending on the variety. The plant is easily grown in containers or a garden setting. At least six hours of sunlight per day is required for abundant fruit production. In cold climates, sow the bell pepper plants indoors and then move the seedlings outside when all danger of frost has passed.
Support from staking is often required as the bell peppers grow large, because their weight tends to bend the plant to the ground.
Harvesting of most bell pepper varieties begins when the fruit is still green. Complete ripening takes place once the fruit has been picked. Green bell peppers can be allowed to ripen on the vine until their greenish color has a slightly red glow, which indicates the fruit is at its sweetest.