image of compact pepper plants on a window sill for container planting

10 Compact Pepper Plants Great for Container Planting

Container planting is a staple for gardeners and growers alike. When the weather gets nicer and spring is in full swing, you'd want to fill up your porch or patio with full compact plants. These varieties are also perfect for people who are short on space like small yards and balconies. 

Luckily for gardeners, you can grow some of your favorite live pepper plants from the comfort of your porch! We put together a list of some of the best compact pepper plants perfect for easy and simple container planting!

10 Compact Pepper Plants for Container Planting

image of patio fire and ice peppers growing in a cluster on pepper plant

1. Patio Fire & Ice Peppers

Species: Capsicum Annuum
Heat Level: 5,000 SHUs
Origin: USA
Plant Height: 10"

First on our list is the Patio Fire & Ice compact pepper plant. Starting off on a smaller foot, this tiny plant grows up to a measly 10" tall and produces upward-growing clusters of colorful peppers that ripen from green to yellow, and finally to red.

Patio Fire & Ice Pepper Plants work for any type of container planting and make a fantastic choice for a hanging plant. They grow so small, you can just as easily keep them indoors on a windowsill and pluck these mild-flavored peppers straight off the plant when you need them - very handy!

image of shishito compact pepper plant

2. Shishito Peppers

Species: Capsicum Annuum
Heat Level: 2,500+ SHUs
Origin: Japan
Plant Height: 2 ft.

Shishito pepper plants are another good choice for container growing. Popular in Japanese cuisine, Shishitos have an elongated, wrinkly appearance that dissuades some from wanting to use them. But their mild smoky-citrusy flavors make them a delight to eat! 

What's great about Shishito peppers is that you can expect an early bounty of peppers from these 2 ft. tall plants. As a tip, place Shishito plants on your patio or porch with plenty of space, as they prefer plenty of room to spread out. While they are considered compact vertically, they aren't considered compact horizontally.

image of two orange bulgarian carrot peppers

3. Bulgarian Carrot Peppers

Species: Capsicum Annuum
Heat Level: 20,000-30,000 SHUs
Origin: Bulgaria
Plant Height: 2 ft.

Next is the Bulgarian Carrot pepper plant, another two-footer that produces wonderfully bright orange pods that look just as you think they would! With crispy texture and bursting flavor, Bulgarian Carrots work best in fruity salsas and hot sauces, as well as used fresh in salads, sandwiches, and more.

These medium hot pepper plants make for easy growing and come loaded with peppers when they reach maturity. Also, Bulgarian Carrot plants work great at container growing in both warmer and cooler climates, holding up against cooler outside temperatures.


image of dark green poblano peppers on a countertop

4. Ancho Poblano Peppers

Species: Capsicum Annuum
Heat Level: 1,000-1,500 SHUs
Origin: Mexico
Plant Height: 2.5 ft.

Ancho Poblano peppers are wonderful, heart-shaped pods that are often grown to be dried and ground into a mild pepper powder. Interestingly enough, the pepper is called Poblano when used fresh and Ancho when used dried. That being said, these versatile peppers work for just about any culinary use you can think of.

While Ancho Poblano pepper plants reach two-and-a-half feet tall, they grow loads of pepper pods that you'll have too many to work with! For any leftover peppers, try pickling them or putting them in a plastic bag and freezing them for later use.

image of cayenne compact pepper plant

5. Cayenne Peppers

Species: Capsicum Annuum
Heat Level: 30,000-50,000 SHUs
Origin: USA
Plant Height: 2-4 ft.

Next, we have Cayenne pepper plants. These spicy peppers grow on easy-to-manage compact pepper plants that give your porch or patio space some flair! Pick these bright red peppers off the plant when they reach around 4-6" long and use them in your cooking. Or, if you enjoy some spicy heat, add them fresh to your foods and salsas!

Cayenne plants grow the best in containers where it gets plenty of sunshine and lots of warm temperatures. When grown properly, you can expect your plants to grow anywhere from 2-4 ft. tall, so make sure you provide a big enough container for proper planting!

image of thai hot peppers growing in an upward cluster on the compact pepper plant

6. Thai Hot Peppers

Species: Capsicum Annuum
Heat Level: 50,000-100,000 SHUs
Origin: Thailand
Plant Height: 1.5 ft.

Keeping up on the spicy pepper train, we have Thai Hot Peppers! The first hot pepper variety on this list, Thai pepper plants grow up to a stubby foot-and-a-half with peppers busting out from the dark foliage in clusters of greens, yellows, and reds. We're not kidding - one of these compact pepper plants produces up to 200 of these 1" pepper pods! 

Thai pepper plants are another great choice for inside container growing. They add a spicy flavor to just about anything, or if you're brave enough, try eating these hot devils plain!

numex easter ornamental compact pepper plant

7. NuMex Easter Peppers

Species: Capsicum Annuum
Heat Level: 30,000-50,000 SHUs
Origin: USA
Plant Height: 2-4 ft.

Our first official ornamental pepper plant on the list! NuMex Easter Peppers are a delight to grow, as they have stunning pastel-colored pods that sprout upward from the plant into a beautiful array of spring colors. These compact pepper plants grow up to a foot tall and work great in containers and other pots for your porch or patio. Another benefit to these peppers is that they are very mild in comparison to other ornamental peppers, and the teardrop-shaped bulbs can be used fresh or in your cooking.

No wonder why this versatile, easy-to-grow compact plant was the All-American Selections (AAS) award winner back in 2014 - this pepper plant rocks!

image of red goat horn peppers

8. Goat Horn

Species: Capsicum Annuum
Heat Level: 20,000-50,000 SHUs
Origin: Thailand
Plant Height: 2-3 ft.

Goat Horn peppers grow on very prolific compact pepper plants! A popular Cayenne variety, the Goat Horn gets its name from their shape. These are very attractive bright red pods with smooth, shiny skin and medium-thick walls that are perfect for chopping up and using fresh, or drying up and making a fantastic-flavored chili powder!

While Goat Horn pepper plants can sprout as high as 3 ft. tall, they still work as a great pepper for container planting. Make sure your container is large enough to handle the growth of these plants so they can flourish and produce plenty of pods for you.

image of green fushimi pepper growing on compact plant

9. Fushimi

Species: Capsicum Annuum
Heat Level: 0 SHUs
Origin: Japan
Plant Height: 2-3 ft.

At number 9, we have the incredibly sweet Fushimi pepper. Widely used in Asian cooking, these 6" long peppers grow in bounties on short 2 ft. tall plants. These stringy pods are comparable to the Shishito but they have a much crispier texture and sweeter flavor that's fantastic for fresh or cooked meals.

This is a fantastic variety for container growing, as Fushimi pepper plants are fairly compact and easy to grow just about anywhere, whether indoors or outdoors.

numex twilight peppers

10. NuMex Twilight

Species: Capsicum Annuum
Heat Level: 30,000-50,000 SHUs
Origin: USA
Plant Height: 1.5 ft.

Our last entry on the list is another NuMex variety. The NuMex Twilight compact pepper plant grows up to a foot-and-a-half tall to produce many of these colorful, fiery pods. The different hues of yellow, orange, red, and purple amongst a plant with dark foliage will make you feel like the sun is setting on your garden in a picturesque view.

NuMex Twilight peppers tend to grow upright like flowers. The only difference between them is you can pop these pods off and use them in your cooking. But beware - these spicy peppers can get as hot as Tabasco or Cayenne peppers!

compact pepper plants sitting on porch steps for container planting

Tips for Container Planting

Whether you're starting plants indoors or just want to grow them out in beautiful pots, there are a few pointers on growing compact pepper plants for optimal container growing:

  • Put Holes in Your Pots
    Make sure your container has good drainage holes for your pepper plant. Without them, you inherently trap any excess water within the container, which keeps the soil too wet for your plant's roots and causes it to wither out and die. Buy pots that have enough holes near the bottom, or if you need some, simply drill or punch holes into the pot - be careful not to break it!

  • Containers Warm Up Faster
    Some plants need more sunlight than others. However, containers tend to warm up the soil of your compact pepper plant, which if it gets too much sunlight, can really dry things up! Positioning your container plants so they receive enough sunlight is crucial but keep an eye on the conditions of your soil so you know if the plants are getting too warm.

  • Feed Your Plants Nutrients
    Your plant needs essential nutrients to thrive. Providing fertilizers and other supplies helps ensure your plant stays as healthy as possible. If you can, try mixing your potted soil with fertilizer before container planting begins. Make sure you keep up on what kinds of fertilizers you use, as some synthetic types can strip away the organisms necessary for great soil health.
  • Plant Nice Companions
    Lastly, container planting works similarly to planting in a garden: your neighbors make the world of difference to your success. Place other varieties next to your compact pepper plants that complement one another and require the same or similar growing conditions.


Want more tips & tricks? Check out our Grow with Joe blog page today!

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