For true artists, there are no restrictions on the choice of media. The Italian painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo used a combination of fruits and vegetables to create his portraits. So pepper lovers are not content with the purely gastronomic use of this plant. Bushes with fruits of different colors and unusual shapes add bright colors to the design of the site or decorate the interior, “blowing up” the cityless routine with colorful fireworks.
When you hear the word "pepper", you usually imagine sweet massive fruits-traffic lights, lovingly stuffed by the hostesses. They are also allowed for lecho or adjika. There are also elongated pods with a pungent taste. These peppers are bought not by weight, but by the piece and grown in the garden in splendid seclusion so that sweet relatives do not inadvertently adopt their pungent notes.
But there is also such a pepper that is grown for design purposes, subscribed from catalogs, grown at home or allocated the best places on the site. It is a perennial ornamental shrub pepper. And even if the fruits of some varieties are edible, they are grown more for mood and decoration of a garden or apartment.
Few people dare to disturb such beauty for the sake of food.
The tradition of decorating houses and cafes with ornamental vegetables caught my attention while traveling in Greece ten years ago. In a country where there was clearly not enough water for irrigation, they solved the problem in a clever and simple way. Along the paths leading to the garden, on the windowsills of houses or near the front door, there were pots of decorative peppers and tomatoes, as well as herbs: mint and basil. There was no need to spend a lot of water on these plants.
By that time, my own experience in growing peppers included only the cultivation of pungent blood-red conical fruits with a pungent taste, simply called Ogonyok. Peppers threatening stomach ulcers were added to marinades and pickles, the rest of the time they decorated windowsills, waiting for their fate. As a rule, I dried several fruits every year in order to grow a new bush later or exchange for another anonymous variety.
From a long trip, I brought a pepper of a strange shape. Already at home I found out that this is the Bell variety. After that, I became interested in varieties of bush pepper. They never cease to delight: they are unpretentious just like the previous "lights", but they are presented in a luxurious variety of colors and shapes of fruits and leaves.
Aladdin is a mid-season bush pepper variety. Has a long ripening period. When grown outdoors, it grows up to 50-60 cm, forming bushes with a stable stem. The fruits are arranged in bunches and are directed tops up. The shape of the peppercorns is narrow-conical, with a glossy surface. As they ripen, the fruits change from green to yellow or red. Their weight ranges from 1.5 to 3-4 g. Aladdin is an edible pepper with a pungent flavor.
Bushes are not large if cultivated indoors. Up to 16 peppers can be set on one plant, attracting the eye with their bright color.
Pepper Aladdin with burning teeth will dispel the blues
Pepper Indian summer - early ripening. This variety is also characterized by long-term fruiting. Forms spreading bushes with a stable stem 20–35 cm high. It is grown in open ground, greenhouses and as an indoor culture, decorating balconies and terraces. Small, strongly leafy bushes are already very decorative, but funny small rounded fruits give them a special charm. The weight of the peppers is about 5 g. Depending on the degree of ripeness, the color of the fruit changes from light green to dark red. They have a pronounced aroma and pungent taste. They are used for food fresh and for obtaining a spicy powder. Round peppers are also good for preservation.
A pleasant feature of the Indian Summer variety is shade tolerance. One such bush can produce up to 1 kg of fruit.
The colorful balls of the universal decorative Indian summer pepper are fragrant and add piquancy to the blanks
Jellyfish is an early ripe hybrid pepper. Plants are compact, abundantly covered with peppers elongated like tentacles. The height of the bushes is 30–40 cm. They can be grown indoors and outdoors. Fruit length - 5-6 cm. At the same time on the bush there can be several dozen peppers of varying degrees of ripeness, differing in color. At the stage of biological maturity, the fruits of Medusa are bright red. The peppers are edible and have a pungent taste.
Some sources indicate that the plant is parthenocarpic, does not need pollinating insects, but requires good lighting.
Decorative pepper Jellyfish needs good lighting to give the mood of the holiday
The Queen of Spades is a mid-season shrub pepper. Depending on the pore of ripening, the color of the fruit changes from purple to dark red, giving the plants a gloomy and solemn look. It is characterized by amicable ripening of conical fruits. Pepper The Queen of Spades forms neat rounded bushes of medium foliage 15–20 cm high. Fruits are smooth, with a pointed tip sticking upward. The mass of one pepper is about 10 g. The pulp is juicy, pungent, and has a spicy aroma. They are used for food fresh, canned or dried into powder. Plants are grown in greenhouses, on open balconies or indoors. Up to 400 g of spicy peppers can be harvested from a bush.
Decorative pepper The Queen of Spades will break more than one heart with beauty and sharp taste
Ryabinushka is a variety with round fruits. The weight of one peppercorn is about 2.3 g with a diameter of 2–2.5 cm. The ripening period is medium early. According to reviews, it can bear fruit all year round (at home). This variety has unusually beautiful flowers. They are already attractive in shape, but the delicate lilac shade, turning into violet at the edges of the petals, gives them a special charm. Unripe fruits of this pepper are purple, ripe fruits are dark orange. Grown at home, outdoors or greenhouses. The fruits will decorate the blanks and add a fair amount of spiciness. Almost 200 g of aromatic hot peppers are harvested from one plant.
Ornamental pepper Rowanushka gives tender lilac flowers, bordered with a dark outline
Salsa pepper belongs to annuals. This is a first generation hybrid, so its own seeds are not suitable for plant propagation. Bushes only 15-25 cm high. The leaves are dark green, rather large, densely cover the plant. Fruiting is extended. The peppers are conical, smooth, with a pointed tip protruding upward. There are varieties with yellow, orange and red fruits. It takes about three months from germination to ripening of peppers. Variegated peaks will add bright colors to the interior, add spice to dishes and preparations. You can also make a bitter tincture to improve your appetite.
Ornamental peppers Salsa cannot be propagated by seeds
Salute is a mid-season high-yielding variety characterized by amicable ripening of fruits. Forms round bushes of medium spreading with dense bright green foliage. The height of the plants is 20–30 cm. The shape of the fruit is cone-shaped, with a pointed, protruding tip. The surface of the peppers is smooth, their color at the stage of technical ripeness is dark green. When fully ripe, the peppers take on a light orange color. The fruits weigh about 6 g, are edible, have a pungent taste and pronounced aroma. The peculiarity of the variety is its relative shade tolerance and disease resistance. Collect 300-400 g of fruit from each bush.
Decorative pepper Salute relatively shade-tolerant
It is worth dwelling especially on the description of Shu variegated pepper. This exquisite plant is intended for true aesthetes. Shu is a 15–25 cm high annual pepper that looks luxurious even without fruit. Compact, rounded bushes densely covered with variegated creamy green leaves. The length of the pods is 4–5 cm. As they ripen, they pass through shades of green, milky-yellow, and at the stage of full maturity they are red. To extend the life of the plant and save on the purchase of rare seeds, some gardeners advise to cut it after harvest.
The decorative Shu pepper creates a festive atmosphere long before the colorful fruits appear.
Decorative peppers planted in a garden or flowerpots will decorate the garden until late autumn.
Before starting planting, you need to determine the optimal timing for each variety:
It is better to prepare the soil for the pepper yourself. It is recommended to add peat and vermiculite for drainage to the usual nutrient soil in a ratio of 2: 2: 1.
Vermiculite is also good because it saturates the soil with useful mineral compounds, and also easily absorbs excess water in order to give it to the soil if necessary.
Seeds are usually soaked in water or a growth promoter before planting to speed up germination. Landing is done in this way:
Soaked ornamental pepper seeds are planted in the ground
After the emergence of seedlings, the shelter is removed, the container is transferred to a lighted place, and with the formation of 2-3 true leaves, the peppers dive and transplanted into a separate dish. Before this, the plants are fed with mineral or organic fertilizers:
Opinions differ regarding watering plants before picking. Some gardeners, on the other hand, do not water in advance. But everyone is unanimous that seedlings after a dive should not be exposed immediately to the sun. And it is better to dive in the morning or in the evening. This procedure is traumatic for the delicate root system of plants, therefore it is not recommended to carry it out at a later date.
After the appearance of 2-3 true leaves, the seedlings of ornamental pepper dive
When the peppers grow up, in the phase of 6–12 leaves, they are transplanted to the garden bed, and if further cultivation in room conditions is expected, they are placed in permanent pots with a volume of 2–5 liters. The size of the container depends on the expected size of the plant. This is done delicately so as not to damage the soil ball. To reduce stress, some sources advise pre-treating the bushes with Epin-extra or Zircon solutions. When cultivating peppers in open ground, plants are planted in flowerpots or on a garden bed no earlier than mid-May to avoid frost.
Decorative peppers are planted in the garden only when the weather is favorable.
Subject to the necessary conditions, caring for this culture is not burdensome. The variety's need for illumination is indicated on the package. When planting in open ground, the necessary spacing between seedlings indicated in the descriptions on the seed packaging should be observed, since they differ for different varieties.
You should not overmoisten the soil, it is enough to water the peppers twice a week during the formation of the ovaries. And when the fruits appear, watering should be reduced to one time. Water is brought in in the morning or in the evening at the root. The comfortable water temperature for peppers is 20–28 ° C.
It is recommended to feed the plants about once a month:
All peppers love ash, so about a glass of ash is added to the planting hole, and during the summer they add it two or three more times under the root.
Loosening must be approached carefully: it is very easy to injure the delicate roots of plants. It is best to use straw or freshly cut grass as mulch. This will protect the roots from overheating, get rid of excess moisture evaporation and keep the soil loose.
In indoor conditions, it is preferable to grow varieties that do not need pollination by insects: self-pollinating or parthenocarpic. Seeds can be planted at the end of winter or in spring (as for a garden bed), and in summer if the harvest is planned in late autumn.
Parthenocarp is a type of parthenogenesis, asexual reproduction. This is a method of fertilization without pollination, in which fruits are formed without seeds.
The very process of growing peppers does not require much effort. Water them as the soil coma dries up 2-3 times a week. The water should be settled, at room temperature. If the room is too warm and dry, you can put bowls of water next to the pots. Spraying air is also beneficial for the development of peppers. During the dormant period, watering is reduced and reduced, and during intensive flowering and formation of the ovary, they become more frequent.
For feeding indoor peppers, ready-made liquid formulations such as Biohumus, Bogatyr, Zdraven are used. You can make a top dressing yourself from food waste:
Some housewives save coffee grounds or tea leftovers to use as fertilizer.
All dressings are applied at the root, avoiding drops on plant leaves.
In the summer, it is advisable to put the pots on the balcony. Plants should be provided with fresh air, but drafts should be avoided.
Pepper on the veranda breathes fresh air and pleases the eye
It is customary to prune indoor peppers to keep their compact shape, to stimulate the growth of new shoots and leaves. The branches are shortened by a third or half of their original length. It is recommended to do this after harvesting the miniature fruit.
In winter, when there is a lack of natural light, plants should be additionally illuminated.
Growing ornamental peppers is an easy task, feasible for an inexperienced gardener. But how much pleasure it promises! Emerald bushes with unimaginable fruits create a holiday mood.