I'm interested in trying these two next year in my garden. How should I care for each of them? Are they worth growing? Thanks for any info!
Ornamental pepper worth growing? It depends on the variety for me. I have several black pearl ornamental peppers which I love with their black leaves and shiny black maturing to bright red fruit. The old fashioned ornamental peppers I didn't like the look of.
The only care that black pearl takes is regular watering when it gets dry. If you don't clean it up after the first frost, you can get volunteers next year. It comes true from seed.
Do you mean pentas, the flowering plant? They are wonderful bloomers in the Southern U.S. I don't know about in Ohio. They like warm or hot weather, and lots of sun, although they can take some shade. The red, white and pinks are more vigorous. The violet is very delicate. They need to be fertilized regularly for best bloom, and they will need deadheading a couple of times each season. I expect they will do fine for you, except you may not be able to find them in garden centers until June or July there.
Pentas is available at a number of garden centers in central Ohio around the same time as other warm-weather annuals (generally in May). They're very tolerant of heat, and (once established) don't need a lot of supplemental water. As mentioned, occasional deadheaing keeps them looking good, though they generally don't set much seed.
I've grown a couple of the purple-leafed ornamental peppers, and they are knockouts when bedded out en masse. If starting them from seed, begin around the same time as with tomato plants.
Thank you all. I think Pentas are so cute w/their star flowers. Ornamental peppers are just something different.
Here, the bees and hummingbirds LOVE pentas! White, red, or any of the pinks. They are said to attract butterflies too, but our butterfly population is almost nonexistent this year. The standard pentas plant (Butterfly series) gets nearly two feet tall, but usually needs pinching back when they reach that height. They rebloom and look better if deadheaded. They regrow quickly and bloom profusely if kept fertilized and moist. Graffiti is a new hybrid that stays under a foot in height. All pentas are great container or bedding plants.