11 All-America Selections' pepper varieties to grow

Features - Fresh Look

More and more indoor growers are producing flavor- and capsaicin-packed peppers under glass. Here are 11 varieties that are proving popular with growers and consumers alike.

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Buffy F1

This Buffy will do right by you by producing a good yield of juicy, thick-walled green to red fruits on strong, healthy, upright plants. Buffy’s fruits are more attractive than the comparisons, as well as slightly larger, making them perfect for flavorful sport peppers but also for use in other applications. The peppers are held high on the plant, adding ornamental value to the garden. Buffy was faster to mature than Tobasco in the AAS trials, with a bit less heat than Ascent until the seeds are added in. 2022 AAS Edible-Vegetable winner.

Dragonfly F1

Dragonfly pepper plants produce beautiful purple peppers that have thick, sweet walls, unlike the thin papery walls of other purples on the market. Similar to the beloved dragonfly that flits around your garden, this pepper transforms itself from a green pepper into a purple fruit that is as delicious during the green stage of maturity as it is when fully purple and mature. Overall, it’s a much better purple color than comparisons with above average, robust pepper flavor. Fruits are held high on the plant, keeping them from the soil. The four-lobed fruits do not fade and, if left on the vine, turn a beautiful, bright red color. 2022 AAS Edible-Vegetable winner.

Pot-a-peno F1

Pot-a-peno is a fun new jalapeno pepper with a compact habit perfect for growing in containers and hanging baskets. Plentiful small, green jalapeno fruits have a traditional spicy zip that is great in any dish where you want a little punch of spice. Simply leave the fruit on the vine a few extra weeks and they will ripen to red for a sweet, spicy flavor. This variety is earlier to mature than other jalapenos, giving you a head start on your garden’s harvest. A unique trait of Pot-a-peno is how the fruit hangs down beneath the plant, making it very easy to harvest without damaging the appearance or productivity of the plant.

Just Sweet F1

A unique snacking pepper with four lobes like a larger bell pepper, only smaller. Not only are the 3-inch fruits deliciously sweet with nice thick walls, but the plants are vigorous growers (up to 36 inches tall and 15 inches wide) that don’t need to be staked because they’ve been bred to have a strong bushy habit. Many judges conducted consumer taste tests and reported back that this pepper won those tests, hands down. The Just Sweet peppers are an exceptionally bright, shiny and vivid yellow color, with a flavor described as sweet with aromatic accents.

Red Ember F1

This new AAS pepper winner won over judges by being earlier to mature than the comparison varieties. Early maturity is an important feature for gardeners who live in climates with a shorter growing season. Red Ember produces a large number of rounded-end fruits on durable, medium-sized plants. Judges described the thick-walled fruits as spicy, but tastier than the traditional cayenne, with just enough pungency for interest.

Roulette F1

Roulette resembles a traditional habanero pepper in every way (fruit shape, size and color, and plant type) with one exception — no heat! This AAS National Winner’s 1-ounce fruits are red with thick walls when it matures and a nice citrusy (no heat) habanero flavor. Gardeners will be delighted with the earlier production of large, uniform fruit and a very high yield. One judge noted that each plant easily produces 10-11 fruits at one time and up to 100 per season, so there are plenty to eat fresh, cook with, and enjoy.

Mexican Sunrise F1

Mexican Sunrise Hungarian Pepper brings to the garden a full spectrum of colors from lime green to yellow, then orange and red as the fruit matures. These earlier-maturing conical pendant-shaped peppers produce a thick-walled fruit that can be eaten at any stage. The fruits are semi-hot, attractive peppers that can be used for ornamental purposes as well as for processing, pickling and fresh preparations.

Sweetie Pie F1

A miniature bell pepper that is easy to grow with excellent fruit set even under hot and humid conditions. An attractive plant that is well-adapted to a container and small garden growing. Fruits can be harvested 60 to 70 days from transplanting either in green or red. These small 3 oz cuties are 2.5 inches x 3 inches in size and are thick-walled, sweet and flavorful.

Mexican Sunset F1

Mexican Sunset Pepper is a compact, high-heat Hungarian hot wax pepper well-suited for traditional gardens as well as urban and container gardening. Fruit sets early then prolifically throughout the summer, bringing a variety of colors to the garden as the fruits mature. These conically pointed peppers produce a thick-walled fruit that can be eaten at any stage and as the judges said, the fruits just continue to taste better the riper they get! Great eaten fresh, stuffed and baked, grilled, or pickled.

Chili Pie F1

A unique miniature bell pepper that is mildly hot when fruits turn red. These peppers are compact, easy to grow and adapt well to a container or small garden planting. Another plus is their dark green foliage and ability to set fruit even under hot, humid conditions. Each plant yields 25 to 30 fruits and can be eaten fresh or cooked.

Mad Hatter F1

This exotic pepper wins on uniqueness alone. However, the plant’s vigor, earliness, high yields, large size and awesome taste all contribute to its high score among AAS judges. Mad Hatter is a member of the Capsicum baccatum pepper species from South America commonly used in Bolivian and Peruvian cuisine. The taste has a refreshing, citrusy floral flavor that remains sweet, only occasionally expressing mild heat near the seeds.

Head over to bit.ly/AASpeppers to see all of the AAS awarded pepper varieties.