Capsicum annuum 'Calico' fruit
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 12 inches
Spread: 16 inches
Hardiness Zone: (annual)
Other Names: Ornamental Chili, Chili Pepper
An attractive ornamental pepper with both colorful fruit and dazzling foliage; leaves are speckled with shades of green, creamy white and purple, fruits are glossy black oblong peppers that mature to red; a wonderful garden accent plant for hot locations
Calico Ornamental Pepper is primarily grown for its highly ornamental fruit. The fruits are showy black peppers which fade to red over time, which are carried in abundance from mid summer to early fall. Its attractive pointy leaves remain dark green in color with showy creamy white variegation and tinges of purple throughout the season. It features subtle white star-shaped flowers with purple overtones dangling from the stems from late spring to mid summer. The purple stems can be quite attractive.
This plant is primarily grown as an ornamental, but it's also valued for its edible qualities. The oblong spicy peppers are most often used in the following ways:
Calico Ornamental Pepper is an herbaceous annual with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.
This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and should not require much pruning, except when necessary, such as to remove dieback. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Calico Ornamental Pepper is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- Border Edging
- General Garden Use
- Herb Gardens
- Container Planting
- Hanging Baskets
Planting & Growing
Calico Ornamental Pepper will grow to be about 12 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 16 inches. This vegetable plant is an annual, which means that it will grow for one season in your garden and then die after producing a crop.
This plant should only be grown in full sunlight. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist growing conditions, but will not tolerate any standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America. It can be propagated by cuttings; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.
Calico Ornamental Pepper is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor containers and hanging baskets. It is often used as a 'filler' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination, providing a mass of flowers and foliage against which the larger thriller plants stand out. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.