Whether or not you are a budding or keen gardener, someone who likes simple home pleasures or is really into interior design, we bet you that the thought of ornamental chilli plants as a way to enhance your space doesn't come to mind often. Unfortunately you might just missing out on one of the best features you can ever get in your home or office desk, whether it is just to feast your eyes on, for the pleasure of your tastebuds or simply to impress friends, colleagues and family.
 
Chillies have been found in the wild, mostly in South America and Asia for thousands of years but it is only a budding craze still in Europe. What this means though is that you are lucky enough to have arrived just at the right time to be ahead of most people and sample the many joys there are to growing your own chilli plants and of course reap the rewards in the form of wonderfully colourful and spicy fruits that are sure to transform any dish you cook into a whirlwind of exciting flavour. 
 
If you think we are exaggerating just try for yourself. At Bountiful Seeds we have a wide range of chilli plants that in themselves are all beautiful in their own way but strictly decoratively speaking, here are a few little beauties that will surely catch your eye:
 
The most popular of so-called “ornamental” chilli plant is probably the NuMex Twilight. This variety was created by the world famous New Mexico Chilli Pepper Institute and just has it all: tall stems, delicate foliage and beautiful lanky chillies that go through various colours throughout their growth from green to cream, yellow, orange, red and even purple! It is a real pleasure to see this rainbow of colours develop on the plant until the carmine tint indicates that the chilli is finally ready to pick although using it when orange or purple is perfectly fine too, just a tad less sweet.
 
The Filius Blue is one of our bestsellers and with good reason. This is one of our favourite chilli plants too as it stays relatively small (our tallest one ever was just under 12 inches - making it ideal if you want a plant to brighten your desk or your kitchen table) and has gorgeous deep purple little leaves and dark veins all along its stems. The chillies are blueish-black for most of the growth before turning into a glossy blood-red colour. 
 
The Holiday Cheer variety is another thing altogether and a variety we discovered not so long ago. We were amazed to see the results as we didn't really know what to expect. From a tiny seed came a dwarf little tree-like plant with pointy dark green leaves adorned with a multitude of perfectly round chilli pods about 1 inch in diameter again going through various colours. A fashion statement in itself this is bound to make people talk!
 
The aptly named Little Elf kind is just another example of how varied chilli plants truly are and how they can match your personality or mood. Once our seedling came out of the soil it just didn't stop growing, width-wise rather than height-wise and hasn't shown any sign of stopping yet although development will of course slow down if you pot the plant up rather than putting it in the ground. The flamboyant button-like chillies form a great contrast against the dark foliage and with a real spicy kick to them you can be sure that a single chilli will go a long way.
 
The Patio Fire chilli is still relatively rare but akin to a Prairie Fire. A Prairie Fire is more or less the same size than a Filius Blue but has a much lighter hue, giving it a very cheerful look. Patio Fire is a bit bushier but also has a battalion of chillies going through different colours depending on maturity. The difference is that the fruits are pointy and stand out at the top of each stem, much like flames, hence its great name. A bonus if you are a bit weary of spice: the Patio Fire chillies might look like little hot coals but they are not all that hot so you can easily chop them up and sprinkle them on salad for your own pleasure as well as your guests'.
 
Although not technically considered as ornamental chillies we thought we would mention the following varieties as a lot of customers have indicated that they buy them for their beauty as much as their flavour and spice: The Jalapeno Purple and the Hungarian Black. The first one is a sturdy strain that keeps on giving and with a relatively low heat this is something that a lot of families are keen to order. The Hungarian Black is a really intriguing plant not only because of its dark (and hot) fruits but also because of its general aspect with blue veins and dark foliage which, when the chillies have reached their final deep red tint is just breathtaking.
 
A little TLC is all a chilli plant needs so our question is this: what could be more gratifying for anybody than to pick your own fresh fruits from a gorgeous home-grown plant to devour at will?


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