How to Grow Salsa in Pots – Heirloom Sweet Peppers

How to Grow Salsa in Pots – Heirloom Sweet Peppers

For sweet salsa, most recipes call for red, yellow, or green peppers. Most recipes for hot salsa or medium salsa also have some type of sweet or green pepper as an ingredient. These heirloom sweet peppers have stood the test of time for their flavor and adaptability.

California Wonder Heirloom Peppers were introduced in 1928 and were the largest open-pollinated bell pepper, at 3 inches by 4 inches. This pepper can be picked green, but will ripen to yellow, then red, getting sweeter at each stage. California Wonder peppers mature in about 75 days on plants that grow to 1 1/2 to 2 feet tall. (1,2)

Sweet Banana Heirloom Peppers were an AAS Bronze Medal winner in 1941, and have been popular ever since. These mild yellow peppers grow to 6 to 7 inches long by 1 1/2 inches, and will mature to brilliant red. Sweet Banana peppers are good pickled or fresh. They mature in about 75 days on plants that grow to 1 1/2 to 2 feet tall. (1,2)

Corno Di Toro Heirloom Peppers are from Italy. These “bull’s horn” peppers are a mixture of red and yellow, and are good for salads or frying. The 6 to 8 inch long fruit is sweet, and matures in about 75 days. (1,2)

Friggitello Heirloom Peppers are a treasured Italian heirloom pepper variety use for salads, frying, and making pickles. Friggitello pepper plants can grow to 3 to 4 feet tall, so will benefit from a larger pot and being staked. The sweet, red, 3 to 4 inch fruits ripen in 45 to 70 days. (1,2)

Chinese Giant Heirloom Peppers were introduced by Burpee in 1900. These were the first giant bell peppers at 4 by 4 inches, twice the size of any other pepper in its day. Harvest Chinese Giant peppers green, or allow them to ripen to red. The plants stay small, at 2 feet, and the sweet fruits mature in about 80 days. (2)

Bull Nosed Large Heirloom Peppers were grown by Thomas Jefferson at Monticello, and originated in India in the 1700s. The mild, sweet peppers have thick walls and can be eaten raw, cooked, or pickled. The fruits ripen from green to red in about 60 to 80 days. (2)

Emerald Giant Heirloom Peppers were introduced in 1963 after being bred by the USDA. Emerald Giant peppers are thick walled, sweet, crispy and juicy. These productive plants are vigorous and do well in the South. Peppers ripen in about 70 to 80 days on plants that grow to 26 to 30 inches tall. (2)

Marconi Golden Heirloom Peppers are a cousin to Marconi, which are red. This variety is prized in Italy for its very sweet, large, 7 to 10 inch long fruits. The fruits mature from light green to golden yellow, and can be eaten at any stage of ripening. Eat Marconi Golden peppers fresh, in salsa, fried, grilled, or stuffed. These peppers mature in about 80 to 90 days. (2)

Jimmy Nardello Heirloom Peppers are from southern Italy, and they were brought to the US in 1887. These productive plants bear up to 10 inch long, thin peppers which are delicious fried, sautéed in olive oil, grilled, or in salsa and salads. Jimmy Nardello peppers are also perfect for drying or pickling. Harvest begins in about 80 to 90 days from the compact, 20 to 24 inch plants. (2)

Sheepnose Pimento Heirloom Peppers are from Ohio. These thick walled, sweet peppers are tomato shaped and are popular for canning. Harvest begins within about 70 to 80 days from the compact, 20 to 24 inch plants. (2)

Marconi Rosso Heirloom Peppers are from Italy, where they are eaten green or allowed to ripen to red, when they are very sweet. Marconi Rosso peppers are delicious raw, fried, grilled, or stuffed. These productive plants bear 8 to 12 inch long, tapered peppers. Fruits mature in about 70 to 80 days on 2 to 3 feet tall plants. (2)

Sources for information and seeds:


About Olympia

My name is Olympia Paz, and I am a graduate of Kansas State University.with extensive studies in soil science (agronomy), horticultural science, and biology. I have continued my own studies in these areas, especially soil science, and applied my knowledge to growing nutritious organic food in my home gardens, containers, and inside.

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