One way to make your landscape look hot is to plant ornamental peppers today on Southern Gardening.
I am what you would call a true “chili head” and really like the increased use of peppers as ornamentals. Each year there are more ornamental peppers being introduced to the landscape market. Most ornamental peppers are packing heat and are edible. Besides the culinary heat many of these peppers are colorful and have great potential for use in the landscape. There are a myriad to choose from: big/small/ green/purple foliage, and multi-colored fruit. This can be unique way to add interest to your garden. Most ornamental peppers will begin setting fruit as the temperatures begin to heat up so the best show is always saved for late summer and will keep producing through the fall season. When the pepper plants are producing fruit it is very common to have peppers in various stages of coloration. This is a fantastic feature and provides for an ever changing look in the landscape. Ornamental peppers prefer to grow in consistently moist soil, but don’t over water as the plants will not tolerate wet feet. Fertilize with a good slow release fertilizer early in the season, but once fruit start to set there is no need to add additional nutrition.
I realize it’s too late for plantings this year. But if you are interested, the seeds are available at many of the on-line seed houses. A source I would recommend are my friends at the Chili Pepper Institute at New Mexico State University. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman for Southern Gardening.