Heat Up Your Harvest & Grow Hot Peppers This Summer: 11 Varieties Every Gardener Should Grow!

Grow Peppers From Seed

Last Updated on 2 years by Michelle

Growing Peppers From Seed

Growing hot peppers from seed provides endless opportunities to grow spicy peppers you just can’t find anywhere else. There’s nothing quite like biting into a fresh, spicy pepper. If you’re looking to add some heat to your garden this summer, then you should consider growing some or all of these 11 peppers. They range in spice from mild to mouth-burning hot, so there’s sure to be a pepper out there for everyone. Put on your gardening gloves and get ready to grow some of the spiciest peppers around!

Italian Pepperoncini

The Italian Pepperoncini pepper can be found on the shelves of most grocery stores.

This mild pepper is perfect for those just starting out in the world of spicy peppers. It’s a great choice for adding a little spice to your salads or sandwiches.

This pepper packs a barely-there punch of 100-500 Scoville units, so it’s perfect for anyone looking for just a kiss of heat.

We made a huge jar or refrigerator pickles out of these hot peppers, and used them on pizzas, salads, and sandwiches all summer long.

growing peppers from seed


Anaheim peppers are a type of chili pepper that is usually mild in heat. They are long, thin peppers that grow to about six inches in length. Anaheim peppers are green when they are fresh, but will turn red as they ripen.

Anaheim peppers can be used in both savory and sweet dishes. They are great in Mexican dishes, such as tacos and enchiladas, or in Italian dishes, like pasta sauces.

Anaheim peppers can also be used to make sweet pepper jam or jelly. I’ve never made pepper jelly, but I plan to this summer with the Anaheim chilis we grow!

The heat level of Anaheim peppers varies based on the growing conditions. They typically have a heat level of zero on the Scoville scale. However, some peppers grown in hotter climates can have a heat level of up to 500 on the Scoville scale.

Growing peppers from seed is easy with Anaheim peppers. Anaheim peppers do best in warm climates, but can be grown in cooler areas as well.

Growing Peppers From Seed


The Poblano pepper is a mild, dark green pepper that turns red as it matures. It’s perfect for stuffing with cheese or ground beef. Poblanos are also used in chile rellenos, which is a popular Mexican dish.

The poblano pepper is a cultivar of the Capsicum annuum species. The pepper is named after Puebla, Mexico, where it was first cultivated. It’s also known as an Ancho pepper when it is dried after ripening.

The poblano pepper averages about four inches in length and 1-2 inches in width. The Scoville heat units for the poblano pepper range from 500 to 1000, depending on the climate and growing conditions.

I found the poblano pepper to be my favorite all-around cooking pepper. I sauteed the poblanos with onions and steak to make my version of cheesesteaks, I roasted them to put in soups, added them to salads, and just used them anywhere I wanted peppers.

Growing Peppers From Seed


The shishito pepper has lots of flavor, but little heat. As a matter of fact, only 1 out of 10 shishito peppers has any heat at all.

These mild Japanese peppers are gaining popularity in the U.S., and for good reason: They’re delicious!

Shishitos are thin-skinned, so they don’t require much time on the grill or stove to blister and char. One great way to enjoy shishitos is to blister them in olive oil. Just heat up some oil in a pan until it’s hot, then add the peppers. Let them cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally until they’re browned all over and smoking. Remove them from the heat, squeeze some lemon juice and sprinkle with salt and serve as a side dish. To eat, simply hold onto the stem and bite the rest of the pepper and eat- seeds and all! Once you try this recipe with your homegrown Shishitos, they’ll always have a place in your garden!

Growing Hot Peppers

Big Jim

The Big Jim pepper is a mild to medium chili that’s perfect for stuffing with cheese or meat, frying, or just eating fresh. These peppers are big – sometimes reaching up to 12 inches in length- and can be green or red.

The Big Jim pepper has a Scoville heat rating of only 500-1000 units, which is not that hot at all. It’s a great choice for gardeners who want to add some spice to their harvest without going too crazy.

When it comes to the world’s largest chili pepper variety, there are few who can hold a candle next Big Jim. The giant pods reach an unbelievable 1 foot in length and deliver just enough heat for those looking into Chiles Rellenos or stuffing. A hardy plant from New Mexico State University that is perfect as an addition to sauces or stuffed as a main dish.

If you love fun novelty peppers, you’ve finally found what your kitchen has been missing out on!

Growing Peppers From Seed

Sugar Rush Cream

The Sugar Rush Cream Pepper yields small, round, light yellow creamy pods that are fairly crisp. They have a ton of sweetness to them but also pack a bit of heat, so be ready for it, as they pack a punch of over 1000 Scoville units.

These peppers are best eaten fresh. I have looked for some specific recipes that use them, but I can’t find any.

The plant itself is quite small and doesn’t require much support, so you could easily grow these in fabric grow containers.

These are definitely what I would consider a novelty pepper, and you’ll probably be the only person you know growing them!

Growing Peppers From Seed

NuMex Lemon Spice Jalapeno

The Lemon Spice Jalapeno is a spicy yellow pepper that packs some heat. Don’t let that cheery yellow color fool you, because this pepper tops out at 25,000 Scoville units!

Created during a 1995 breeding project at New Mexico State University, this pepper is a cross between a bell sweet pepper and a jalapeno. The result is a pepper with all the color of a super-fun bell pepper and all the heat and flavor of a jalapeno.

These were the only jalapeno peppers I grew this last year, so I used them for all my jalapeno recipes. We stuffed these hot peppers with cream cheese and shredded cheddar, then wrapped them in bacon and baked them as a fun side dish for a summer grill-out session. They don’t look like they *should* be hot at all, but they pack an amazing punch of flavor and heat.

Growing Peppers From Seed

Cayenne Long and Thin

The Cayenne pepper is a long, thin pepper that ranges from green to red and grows up to six inches in length. It is considered a hot pepper that rates anywhere from 30,000 to 50,000 Scoville units. This is a great pepper for drying and using to add heat to sauces.

The cayenne pepper is a real work-horse pepper and is what most people think of when they think of hot, dried, red chilis.

You can make fermented chili sauce with this pepper as well as homemade dried pepper flakes that you can use to flavor dishes year-round.

If you want to grow a hot pepper that has tons of uses as a dried hot pepper, but you only have room to grow one variety, this is the perfect one to try!

Growing Peppers From Seed

Buena Mulata

Imagine a pepper so rare and unique that it can change colors during ripening? Well, this amazing fruit called the “Chameleon Pepper” does just that! The first time these babies were available was from an African American folk artist named Horace Pippin who received them in 1944. They’re not only beautiful to look at but also delicious with their meaty reds being sweeter than the violet-colored version of the same fruit.

These peppers are considered to be HOT ones, with a Scoville rating of 30,000-50,000.

Growing Peppers From Seed

Chinese 5 Color Pepper

They’re not just for show! These colorful peppers are great in containers or on their own. And if you want to up the ante, pick some fresh ripe ones when they start turning colors of orange then yellow before ripening into reds that will make your mouth water with anticipation (and maybe even sneak past those pesky eaters).

Growing Peppers From Seed

Sugar Rush Peach

The Sugar Rush Peach pepper is a gorgeous hot and sweet pepper that will knock your socks off!

The Sugar Rush Peach Scoville rating is 100,000, so be ready for some HEAT.

It is a big beautiful plant with gorgeous 4-5 inch long peach-colored peppers. They have a sweet, smoky, fruity heat that would be amazing in pepper jelly.

Growing Peppers From Seed


So, if you’re looking to add a little spice to your garden this summer, be sure to check out our list of 11 spicy peppers. They’ll provide endless opportunities for you to grow unique and flavorful peppers that you just can’t find at the grocery store. Which of these peppers will you grow in your garden this year? Let us know in the comments below!



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