Page 10 - Super Floral > August 2015 Issue
P. 10

blooming plant

          ornamental pepper

BOTANICAL NAME                                   moist soil. Water them thoroughly when the       Capsicum annuum ‘Samba’
Capsicum annuum (Conoides Group)                                                                  Ornamental pepper, Cone pepper
(KAP-si-kum AN-you-um kon-NOY-deez)              soil surface is dry to the touch, occasionally
                                                                                                  Photo: Harster Greenhouses Inc.
COMMON NAMES                                     by immersing the pot(s) in water, and allow
Ornamental pepper, Cone pepper                                                                     challenges
                                                 water to drain.
DESCRIPTION                                                                                          PESTS Ornamental peppers are
Ornamental peppers are leafy, intricately        TEMPERATURE Indoors, these plants prefer            susceptible to aphids, whiteflies and
branched plants that bear small conical mul-     cool to moderate temperatures (60 F to 75 F).       spider mites. Consumers can treat
ticolored fruits that are typically 1⁄2 inch to                                                      infested plants with insecticidal soap,
3 inches long, depending on variety. Plants      HUMIDITY Being native to the tropics, orna-         but because these plants are short
are typically compact, but they can reach 16     mental peppers prefer humid environments.           lived by nature, advise them to con-
or so inches in height.                                                                              sider discarding infested plants.
                                                 Place pot(s) on a pebble tray, or frequently
COLORS                                                                                               FUNGI/VIRUSES These plants are
Fruit hues include red, orange, yellow,          mist leaves in dry indoor environments.             slightly susceptible to viruses and
green, purple, “black,” bronze and creamy                                                            fungal problems that can cause gray
white. The fruit often first appears as green    ETHYLENE SENSITIVITY These plants are moder-        mold and/or black spots on leaves.
or creamy white, then turns yellow, orange,      ately sensitive to ethylene gas, so keep them       Advise customers to dispose of
red or purple as it matures. The blooms                                                              diseased plants.
that precede the fruit are tiny, star shaped     away from fresh fruit and other produce.
and white.                                                                                           FRUIT OR LEAF DROP, PREMATURELY
                                                 FERTILIZER Ornamental pepper plants are             SHRIVELED FRUIT Causes include
DECORATIVE LIFE                                  usually offered in a fertilized state, but con-     exposure to high levels of ethylene
These plants are sold as both bedding plants                                                         gas; insufficient light, humidity and/or
(annuals) and houseplants. Indoors, the          sumers can feed them weekly, semimonthly            fertilizer; and/or an indoor environ-
potted versions typically last from one to                                                           ment that is too warm.
three months, depending on environment           or monthly, depending on need, with a
and care.                                                                                          buying tips
                                                 balanced houseplant food or a water-soluble
AVAILABILITY                                                                                         n Buy plants that display a number
Supplies vary by grower, but potted orna-        tomato fertilizer.                                  of well-formed, plump and firm fruits.
mental pepper plants are generally available                                                         n Make sure plants are not water
from July through December.                      GROOMING Cut or pinch off fruit as it shriv-        stressed (wilty, yellowing and/or
                                                 els, and trim branches if leaves die.               falling leaves, shriveled fruit). Also
in-store and                                                                                         check for black spots (fungus, virus)
consumer care                                    REPOTTING / REBLOOMING These plants are             on leaves and fruit.
                                                 grown from seeds as annuals, so many con-           n Inspect plants for pests including
LIGHT Indoors, these plants require bright                                                           aphids, whiteflies and spider mites.
light, including up to four hours per day of     sumers discard them after the fruit shrivels
exposure to direct sun.
                                                 or falls.
WATER Ornamental peppers need evenly

                                                   Although the fruits of these house-
                                                   plants are edible, the plants are pro-
                                                   duced primarily as decoratives rather
                                                   than edibles. Because they are grown
                                                   as ornamentals rather than vegetable
                                                   plants, they may be treated with pes-
                                                   ticides or other chemicals that are not
                                                   suitable for edible plants (check with
                                                   your supplier). These small peppers
                                                   are intensely hot due to a high level
                                                   of capsaicin, especially the immature
                                                   white and green ones.

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