Are you looking for a way to spice up your garden this season, but don’t have a lot of room?
Dwarf peppers might be the solution, whether you’re growing them in the garden or on the patio.
These varieties include mini-bells, little elf hot peppers, and even purple flash peppers. Each has its own unique flavor profile, whether it’s sweet or spicy.
Here are the best small pepper varieties to grow in containers on your patio or in a small garden bed indoors.
Mini Bell Peppers
These miniature bell peppers are the perfect size for a patio container. With a slightly sweet flavor, these little gems are just as sweet as their larger counterparts. If you’re looking for something a little more mild to grow on your patio than the standard ornamental pepper, these little buddies would be perfect!
Mini bell peppers will generally stay a little under 24″ tall, so they are perfect for growing in pots on a patio or in an indoor garden or hydroponics unit.
Chilly Chili Peppers
Chilly Chilis are one of the few ornamental peppers that have no heat whatsoever. Due to breeding, they retain the small, ornamental size but clock in at a cool 0 on the scoville scale.
Because of this, they are perfect for adding flavor to salads, stir-fry, or sandwiches.
Chilly chili peppers stay under 12″ tall and produce a lot of clusters of yellow, orange, and red peppers. The peppers themselves are long and thin.
Masquerade Ornamental Pepper (Hot)
This variety has a lot of heat with a little bit of sweetness, perfect for mixing into other dishes you want to add heat to but a bit too hot to enjoy eating on its own. They are about as hot as a tabasco pepper on average.
The size of this pepper is around 1.5 inches in length, and the plant stays below 12″ in height.
Lemon Drop Pepper (Hot)
Just like the name suggests, this pepper has a lemony flavor that will leave you craving more. It also has a long, thin shape with a bright yellow color that adds to its unique appearance.
This is a medium hot pepper that’s around the same level of heat (or just a bit hotter than) a serrano pepper and not quite as hot as a tabasco pepper.
Cherry Bomb Pepper (Hot)
If you like spicy food, this variety would be perfect for your garden or patio space. They have an average height of about 24″ tall and produce small, 2″ peppers that are about as hot as a mild jalapeno pepper.
A word of warning, there seem to be multiple varieties of pepper listed under the same name, some with different levels of heat. These are the ones listed as being around 2,000-5,000 scoville units, not the ones listed as being 10k-15k.
Bulgarian Carrot Pepper (Hot)
This pepper is an interesting one that bears a striking resemblance to a carrot, with a green top and long, slender orange body. Bulgarian Carrot Peppers are listed at being around 12,000 scoville units, which is around as hot as some of the hotter serrano peppers.
Bulgarian carrot peppers get a bit taller than ornamental peppers but still stay around 18″ tall at the tallest, so they are still perfect for fitting into tiny spaces.
Jingle Bell Peppers
Jingle Bell peppers are small bell peppers that turn from green to red and are ready to harvest in about 60 days. They grow to about 16″ to 20″ tall and are perfect for growing in containers on your patio or indoor garden bed.
Like other bell peppers, these peppers are completely sweet and have no heat to them. If you’re looking for a pepper that’s perfect for snacking, salads, sandwiches, or wraps, this is an excellent choice.
Pretty in Purple Peppers (Hot)
If you’re looking for a somewhat spicy, hot pepper to put on your plate, these purple peppers are going to do the trick. They get their name from the fact that they’re an unusual shade of purple – both the leaves and the fruit. They are supposed to be around the same level of heat as a jalapeno pepper.
They’re a classic shape and are perfect for growing in pots or even hanging baskets. The best part? You can grow them indoors with minimal space requirements and avoid issues with bugs and weather outdoors.
Filius Blue Pepper (Hot)
This variety of pepper is a hot mini-bell pepper with a bright blue-purple color. They’re known for their heat, so they can be used in recipes where you want to add some heat without adding too much spice or diluting the flavor of the dish.
Like other ornamental peppers, they generally will stay below a foot in height.
Great Stuff Hybrid
The Great Stuff Hybrid is a large, red sweet pepper. These peppers can get to be up to 7″ long and 5″ wide, which makes them a lot bigger than most of the other peppers on this list. The plant itself will grow to be around 18-24″ tall (with a spread of 1′), which is still small enough to fit in some small places.
This pepper produces large yields and is disease resistant, clocking in at around 75 days to maturity.
The Calico Pepper is an excellent choice for container gardening. The red and purple peppers on this tiny plant will definitely draw the eye of passers-by as they walk by your patio or garden bed.
This little guy is easy to grow and doesn’t need much space! It’s perfect for indoor gardening if you don’t have a lot of time or patience.
Born to Be Mild
The “born to be mild” pepper is a heatless jalapeno pepper that is an excellent choice for container growing. These peppers are only about three inches long, and they make a mild, jalapeno-like flavor that complements most dishes jalapenos would normally be used in. Peppers, salads, and sandwiches are all good choices.
The plant itself will grow to be around or just under 25″ tall, so it still stays pretty small. If you like jalapenos but don’t want the heat, you should definitely pick up some seeds from this variety of pepper.
Tips for Growing Pepper Plants Indoors
If you’re looking for dwarf peppers to grow inside or on a screened in porch, there are a few things you’ll want to know to have the best chance of a successful harvest.
First is that you’ll want to make sure you have a fan blowing on your pepper plants once they start flowering to encourage pollination since your plants won’t be accessible to normal pollinators.
Also, if you plan on planting your pepper plant in a pot that will sit on a patio or balcony, choose a pot that is at least 12 inches deep and has drainage holes at the bottom. With some of the larger pepper plants, you may need a pot that’s up to 2′ deep. You will also need some potting soil mixed with compost or manure to provide nutrients for your plant, but don’t bring soil from the outside into your house or screen porch.
You’ll almost certainly bring bugs in with it. Instead, get some sterile, bagged potting soil from the store. (Ideally from somewhere that keeps theirs inside or at least away from plants that might have bugs on them.)
Few things in gardening are worse than having a bug infestation in your indoor garden.
Also, even though these plants are small, they still need a lot of sunlight to grow and set fruit properly, so you’ll want to grow these under a grow light if you’re going to be keeping them indoors full time. (And even if you have a porch that doesn’t get direct sunlight.)