Capsicum annuum | ‘Black Pearl’ Ornamental Pepper
Ornamental Peppers are flowering plants in the nightshade family (Solanaceae) with edible fruits that are commonly made into relishes, or pickled, or ground into a fine powder for use as a spice. However, some pepper varieties, like this Black Pearl, are not edible and are grown as ornamentals.
Peppers are grown as tender summer annuals in most areas outside their native habitat. Seeds are best propagated indoors or in a greenhouse. It is recommended to transplant outdoors when soil temperatures reach 60 F or warmer. Plants become woody as the growing season progresses. Flowers are typically small with five white petals and pepper fruits come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Mature around 75 days from transplant.
Black Pearl has won 2 awards for being such a stunning Ornamental Pepper plant, but don’t let that fool you, these are edible.
In spring the leaves open with greenish streaks, but quickly turn black as the weather warms. The fruit matures from black to a deep red, and the growth is vigorous and bushy. These smaller statured plants make a good showing alone in a container or as part of a mixed foliage or flower-and-foliage design. The black leaves make every color brighter and bolder!
Stays on the smaller side, growing 14 to 18 inches tall and 12 to 16 inches wide. Black Pearl sets masses of 3/4-inch fruits that are rounded with a point at the base. The fruit emerges black, then ripens to a rich, deep red. Like all peppers, it’s edible, and very hot.
Peppers act as annuals in northern zones, but are truly a perennial plant in tropical, frost-free zones.
Sun exposure: Full sun
Mature height: 14-18 inches
Mature width: 12-16 inches
Hardiness zones: 10-11