Each year, you celebrate summer with a trip to the garden center for trays of beautiful bedding plants. Petunias, marigolds and geraniums will fill up your flower beds with color throughout the season. But if you want to jazz up the landscape display in a unique way, add pepper plants to your shopping list. Their attributes as a bedding plant include:
- shiny, dark green foliage that complements the bright colors of traditional annual flowers,
- pretty little white flowers early in the season,
- and plump peppers that mature from green to shades of red, yellow, orange and purple throughout the growing season.
The big bonus for your gardening efforts is that pepper plants yield a tasty addition to your summer dining. Sweet bell peppers are fun for dipping when they're sliced and served raw. Or you can toss them on the grill next to the hamburgers and hotdogs when you're eating outdoors. Hot peppers bring sizzle and spice to your recipes. They can be strung up and dried for use throughout the winter. Or you can chop and freeze peppers to add to homemade dishes at a later date.
When you buy pepper plants for your flower beds, look for those that are bushy, upright, and have a deep green color. They thrive in flower beds that get lots of sunlight during the day, and in well-drained soil that you watered regularly. For optimal visual impact, try these combinations of sun-loving nursery plants when you set up your flower beds:
- Tall yellow marigolds and purple sweet peppers. The lacy leaves of marigolds and the broad, deeper green leaves of the peppers create an attractive backdrop for the yellow and purple complementary colors. This combination is robust and grows tall enough to look great next to your home's foundation or a high fence.
- Geraniums and jalapenos. The rich reds, pinks and salmon colors of geraniums contrast with the rich green displayed by both the fruit and the foliage of spicy jalapeno peppers. Place the peppers at the back of the bed, as they grow slightly taller than the geranium plants.
- Dwarf zinnias and Thai peppers. The bold, bright combination of colors from low-growing zinnia plants make a charming border along the driveway and garden walkways. Add hot Thai peppers that grow upright on the plant for a vibrant display that looks like fireworks all summer long.
If you have limited space, pepper plants and flowering summer annuals make a charming combination for planters and container gardens.