I began growing Fish Peppers a couple of years ago and liked them so much that they’ve been included in every garden since that initial planting.
The great thing about this unusual vegetable is that the plant is very ornamental and produces huge crops of tasty peppers.
Heirloom Peppers with Attractive Foliage and Fruits
Fish Peppers are unique and easily identified by the splashes of white and yellow that decorate the green variegated leaves. In addition to the leaves being variegated the fruits of this pepper plant are multi-colored as well.
The immature fruits are predominately green and white or cream colored, changing to shades of red, orange, rust, and brown, with striped accents of green, yellow, and cream mixed in when fully mature.
Fish Peppers are very attractive with broad shoulders gradually tapering to a point on these short ornamental fruits. The peppers are mild flavored and were traditionally used in oyster and fish houses around the Chesapeake Bay region in the state of Maryland.
Growing Fish Peppers in the Backyard Garden
You can grow these productive peppers in the same manner that you would cultivate the more common sweet bell peppers. Start the plants from seed indoors under lights or purchase transplants to set out into the garden after all danger of frost has passed.
Plant Fish Peppers in clusters and situate them in the garden to take advantage of their ornamental appearance. Give them plenty of room as the plants will branch and spread to reach three feet in height and grow over three feet wide when well grown.
The plants support themselves fairly well, but you may want to provide stakes or a cage to offer additional support to the mature plants and ensure that they remain upright. Fish Peppers are even suitable for container growing and can be grown on a deck or in a patio garden.
Harvesting and Enjoying Delicious Fish Peppers
The fruits are borne in clusters all over the plants. You can harvest and use the peppers at any stage but allow them to mature and change into their reddish hues for the best flavor. The ripened peppers will hold on the plant after they mature and this heirloom variety will continue producing new fruits through the fall and until a killing frost strikes the garden.
If you enjoy growing peppers and happen to be searching for a new variety that is interesting and ornamental be sure to add this African-American heirloom pepper to your list. Fish Peppers will reward you with a display of ornamental foliage and fruits, and loads of delicious peppers suitable for a range of culinary uses.
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