While nearly every vegetable can be grown in a container, as long as it’s the right variety, the pot is large enough and you use high-quality potting soil, few veggies are as easy to grow in a pot as peppers. There’s no need to seek out special dwarf varieties when it comes to peppers for patio pots. However, some peppers do perform better than others when growing in the tight confines of a container. As with tomatoes, plant breeders have been working hard to develop pepper varieties that handle root growth restrictions like a champ.
The Best Peppers for Patio Pots
While any smaller-statured pepper packs a productive punch in a garden container, there are several varieties that perform particularly well. Here are five of my favorites.
- Mohawk Patio: This sweet hybrid pepper is custom-made for containers. It even does well in hanging baskets. The plants are well-branched and reach only 12 inches tall. The fruits are green when immature and they ripen to a lovely orange. With thick walls and a sweet flavor, Mohawk Patio has a long season of harvest, too.
- Tangerine Dream: Tangerine Dream was a real surprise the first time I grew it. The elongated fruits look a little like chilis, but they only have the most subtle hint of heat. Plants reach just 18 inches in height and are incredibly well branched.
- Baby Belle: This pepper looks like a red cherry bomb pepper, but the fruits are sweet as can be. With no heat at all, the fruits are produced by the bowlful on short stocky plants that max out at 18 inches tall. I love their brilliant red coloration.
- Yum Yum Gold: When it comes to peppers for patio pots, Yum Yum Gold is the cream of the crop. Fast maturity combined with incredible production and three inch long, sunny yellow fruits, make this plant a favorite of many container gardeners, including myself.
- Oda: The show-stopping bright purple fruits of this variety are thick-walled and super crunchy. The sweet flavor and short stature of these plants make them perfect peppers for patio pots. The bell-shaped fruits have a more elongated, tapered end than other bell types, which makes them even more interesting.
Seeds of these and other unique peppers for patio pots are available from Territorial Seed, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds and Totally Tomatoes.
Growing Peppers in Pots
To grow these peppers for patio pots, choose a container that holds at least three gallons of potting soil. Work a few shovels full of compost into the pot before planting, and make sure there’s a drainage hole in the bottom.
After planting, locate the pots where they’ll receive a minimum of six to eight hours of full sun per day. Water the plants daily during hot weather and make sure they don’t dry out or blossom end rot could be the result.
Fertilize every two weeks with a water soluble liquid organic fertilizer and keep the plants regularly harvested in order to generate new fruits.