Homemade salsa requires some heat from peppers. Growing your own pepper plants gives you more options for salsa than you might find in your local grocery store. Some pepper plants lend themselves to producing better salsa than others, but the best plants for you will depend on your palate and the amount of heat you can tolerate.
Jalapeno peppers have a medium heat, which makes them a crowd pleaser for salsa. On the Scoville heat intensity scale, jalapenos have a rating of 2,500 to 5,000 units, according to the University of California at Davis.
Prepare a mild salsa for the whole family by substituting bell peppers, also known as sweet peppers, for some or all of the chili peppers required in the recipe. Bell peppers do not contain significant levels of capsaicin, the heat producing chemical in the pepper. Choose fully ripened red bell peppers for a sweeter flavor than their green counterparts. On the Scoville scale, bell peppers have a 0 units rating of heat, according to the University of California at Davis.
For the brave, the habanero pepper adds a high amount of heat to your salsa. These peppers have a heat intensity rating 200 to 300 times hotter than jalapeno peppers, according to the University of Illinois. The Scoville heat rating of habaneros, 100,000 to 300,000 units, makes these one of the hottest peppers in the world. Wear gloves when handling hot chili peppers and never touch your eyes as the capsaicin will burn your skin and eyes.