Garden Tips - January 2018 - Deborah Carney

An Easy and Colorful Winter Houseplant

The Christmas Pepper Plant:  A good friend gave me this plant as a Christmas gift this year.  I instantly admired it and fell in love with it.  The many, many brilliantly colored fruit covered the plant in a beautiful rainbow of uniquely shaped mini peppers. 

Since I knew nothing of how to care for this unusual gift, I went to the Paul Parent web site to get some information on plant care.   As sheer coincidence would have it, Paul was featuring the Christmas Pepper plant along  with some other colorful winter houseplants in this month’s newsletter.  So, let me share Paul’s expertise, as we both learn about this lively little “edible” house plant that will surely bring  lots of color to our wintery indoor habitat.

Paul says that the Christmas Pepper plant is an “easy care” plant requiring little, other than regular watering to keep the soil moist and regular fertilizing every other week with Espoma Grow liquid fertilizer.  If you provide your pepper plant with the aforementioned sunshine, water and fertilizer, it may double or triple it’s original size in short order. 

This plant, well cared for, may last a good 3 years or more, and can easily be transplanted outdoors in the spring, and grown alongside your other summer Bell Peppers.

If you prune the plant in springtime, you can easily root the cuttings in hormone powder.  If you like to start from scratch, unfurl some of the shriveled peppers and plant the seeds, these will also grow new plants.

The peppers are edible but be careful!!! They are HOT.  For those who like HOT chilis in their salsa go for it.!  The rest of us beware.  So, keep children and pets away.  The peppers will not harm anyone who might chew one, but the “chewie” will surely have an “owie”  mouth for awhile.  Warning heeded!

All peppers require a lot of sunshine whether inside or outside, so locate your plant  in a sunny window with room temperatures between 65- 75 degrees.   Paul says that this plant is rarely bothered by insects, (they don’t like HOT food either), so that’s a plus in the care department.  The pepper plant does put out a very pretty conical, white flower from which the fruit will later form.  All the fruit begin as a green fruit, and the colors gradually change to red, yellow, orange and purple over the course of several weeks. 

This makes for a striking display of color that should brighten up your home this winter.  Thanks, Paul

PS.  I like my Salsa “mild”…..     Ole’ Deb

Ref: Paul Parent Newsletter, December 21, 2017


May you be safe,
May you be happy, 
May you be healthy,
May you be at peace 

May you help save our planet… Deb