Can you eat Ornamental Peppers?-Myth Buster

Can you eat ornamental peppers?– Yes, definitely you can eat ornamental pepper. Ornamental peppers are edible but the main question is whether you like it or not. These colorful peppers are mostly grown for their vibrant color and not for their taste or nutritional values.

Ornamental peppers are not a single variety of peppers. Instead, a group of pepper varieties with bright colorful fruit are called Ornamental peppers. They are mostly used for decorative purposes. These peppers can add vibrant colors to your green garden. Most of these ornamental peppers are edible but you should always confirm before trying a new one.

Can you eat Ornamental Peppers
Can you eat Ornamental Peppers?

Check out my previous post: Why do some cucumbers Taste bitter?

Popular Ornamental Pepper Varieties

Varieties Specialty
Medusa Pepper 6-8 inch plant size with bright Yellow, Orange, and Red Fruits.
Black Perl Dark Foliage with Round Fruits.
Chilly Chili 8-10 inch plant size. Low pungent aroma. Safe for lawns with children. Greenish Yellow to Orange fruits.
Masquerade Hot in taste. Starts as purple fruits and matures to yellow, orange, and then bright red fruits.
Purple Flash Extremely hot, don’t try to eat this. Beautiful dark foliage with purple-black round fruits.
Tangerine Dream Mild sweet taste with a hint of hot tang. Bright orange colors are best for containers.
Aurora Beautiful purple fruits which change into orange and then red after maturing.
Sangria Mild sweet taste. Beautiful colors: yellow, orange, lilac, crimson, and purple.
Chinese-5-colors Fast grower plant. Matures only in 70 -85 days. Beautiful fruits with a hot spicy taste.
Cajun Belle Mild Hot fruits. Fit or culinary uses. Beautiful colors: lime green to orange and then Bright Red.

Also read: Why Garden Plants Leaves turn Yellow? How to FIX it?

Are ornamental peppers edible?


Yes, Ornamental peppers are edible. These peppers are just like other peppers but with specific color variants. Most of the ornamental peppers are prepared by successive breeding or hybridization of peppers of specific colors. This is the method of artificial selection by choice to obtain fruits with specific bright colors.

Generally, the spicy nature of parent pepper is not prioritized before the selection. This eventually leads to the formation of chilies with a taste not suitable for cooking. Most of the ornamental peppers are either too hot or completely blunt to taste. This is why most people grow ornamental peppers only for decorative purposes.

Check out My favorite ornamental pepper seeds online.

How Spicy are Ornamental Peppers?

Ornamental peppers can be mild and sweet to really hot and spicy. On the hotness scale, these peppers can range from 10000 to 68000 Scoville units.

The ornamental chilies and Peppers in the lower range are more sweet and mild than those on a high scale. Even the lowest of all can have a deep impact on your tongue. Some of these ornamental peppers like Bolivian Rainbow chili or Black pearl are twice or thrice hotter than ordinary jalapeno. NuMex Twilight is among the hottest of all ornamental peppers. They can range from 30000- 54000 Scoville units. A straight warning for first-time eaters,  Your mouth and gut may not like that.

What can I do with ornamental peppers?

Ornamental peppers are meant for decorative uses. Other than this, you can use ornamental peppers for culinary purposes. You can use some ornamental peppers for-

  1. Adding colors on your plate. They look great with other green vegetables.
  2. Making hot pepper sauce. If you like hot sauces then ornamental peppers are great addons for your list.
  3. Use as dry colorful chilly flakes. Colorful hot ornamental chili flakes are the best option for Pizza seasoning.
  4. Make pepper powder with a unique spicy taste. Ornamental peppers are really unique in taste. You can try the powdered peppers for adding a unique flavor to your diet.

Can you eat Sangria ornamental peppers?

Yes, You can eat Sangria ornamental peppers. They are edible but lack the specific pepper taste. The sangria peppers are mild in the hotness scale. They are also very subtle with a hot spicy aroma. If you like hot aromatic flavor then Sangria pepper is not for you.

Sangria peppers look great with other decorative flowers and plants. These peppers are best for garden beds, especially for edging purposes. They are easy to grow and maintain.

Can you eat Medusa ornamental pepper?

Medusa ornamental pepper is also edible in nature. Those who are less tolerant to hot spicy peppers can try this mild sweet ornamental peppers. These peppers have a mild sweet taste that can balance your hot jalapeno with rich flavor.

Medusa peppers are grown mostly for ornamental use but it can also serve as an important part of your daily cuisine.

Are ornamental peppers poisonous to dogs?

Some Ornamental pepper plants contain solanine that is harmful to pets especially for dogs. Solanine is a natural compound with traces of glycoalkaloid toxins. This compound makes the ornamental pepper harmful and toxic to dogs.

Though not all Ornamental Peppers are harmful you should always be careful if you have a pet dog or cat. It is better to safe than sorry.



What do ornamental peppers taste like?- Ornamental peppers are very hot and spicy. They taste very different from other peppers. Most ornamental peppers are hot and spicy but their taste and aroma are mild.

What happens if you eat an ornamental pepper?- Nothing special will happen. You will feel the hotness of capsaicin after eating just one or two bites of ornamental peppers. You may cry if its too hot for you but eventually it will get digested.

How many Ornamental Peppers can I eat?- It depends on the quality of the peppers and your tolerance to the hotness of these peppers. Generally, You can eat 1 or 2 pieces of edible ornamental peppers without any worry. more than that can cause burning and acidity. Too much hot ornamental peppers can also cause food poisoning.

You should read this: How to grow Chili Pepper plants faster from seeds

Final Words

I hope this post is helpful to you. Concluding the post with one statement- ” It is true that Ornamental Peppers are edible but always be careful whether they are recommended to eat or not. ”

Being edible does not mean that you can eat anything. Anything edible can be harmful if it is not meant for you to eat. So Be careful.

Are Ornamental peppers edible? -Yes, They are edible. Write your thoughts and suggestion in the comment section.

Keep reading Keep gardening!


Hi, My name is Sukant. I am an I.T professional. Gardening for me is not just a hobby, it's a way of living life with nature. My Ancestors were Commercial farmers: So I personally feel attached to the green. I am not an expert, I'm here only to share my gardening experiences. It's always Refreshing.

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