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CAPSICUM annuum 'Garda Tricolor'

Image of Capsicum annuum 'Garda Tricolor' (Conoides Group)

James H. Schutte



Botanical Name

CAPSICUM annuum 'Garda Tricolor'( Conoides Group)

Plant Common Name

Garda Tricolor Ornamental Pepper, Ornamental Pepper

General Description

The ornamental pepper 'Garda Tricolor' produces quantities of pudgy, upright, colorful chili peppers that resemble Christmas lights. Although its fiery-hot fruits are edible, this cultivar was developed for ornamental use.

First cultivated and selected by Native Americans thousands of years ago, peppers are bushy, brittle-stemmed annual vegetables with thin oval leaves and small five-petaled flowers. The dull-white blooms of 'Garda Tricolor' are followed by erect, conical, 1.5-inch (3.5-cm) fruits that ripen from purple to pale yellow to orange to red.

Full sun, warmth, ample spacing, and fertile well-drained soil are required for peppers to grow and produce well. Plants of 'Garda Tricolor' ripen their fruits about 65 days after being planted out as seedlings. Plant this showy-fruited ornamental pepper in containers, annual beds, and mixed borders for several months of warm-season color. Fruiting may continue until hard frost, or into winter in frost-free conditions. Vascular wilts and fungal diseases can be a problem in subpar conditions.

Pinch off early flower buds to encourage stronger branching and roots. Heavily fruiting plants may break apart under the weight if not staked for support. Harvest ripe fruit to encourage new blossoms to form. Care must be taken with plants grown by nurseries for ornamental purposes; they may have been treated with pesticides or other chemicals not suitable for edible plants. Avoid planting this ornamental pepper where children might be tempted to sample the blistering-hot fruits.

Hot peppers get their heat from the compound capsaicin – the higher its concentration, the hotter the pepper. Capsaicin concentration is measured and expressed in Scoville units. For more information about the Scoville Scale see


  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, H1, H2, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type


  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    16"-22" / 40.6cm - 55.9cm

  • Width

    16"-22" / 40.6cm - 55.9cm

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Indeterminate

  • Native To

    Mexico, Central America, South America

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH


  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate


  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit


  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest


  • Flower Color

    White, Ivory

  • Fruit Color

    Yellow, Red, Purple, Orange, Light Yellow, Ivory

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Dark Green, Black

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Fragrant Flowers


  • Fragrant Fruit


  • Fragrant Foliage


  • Bark or Stem Fragrant


  • Flower Petal Number


  • Repeat Bloomer


  • Showy Fruit


  • Edible Fruit


  • Showy Foliage


  • Foliage Texture


  • Foliage Sheen


  • Evergreen


  • Showy Bark


Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bedding Plant, Container, Cutflower, Edible, Herb / Vegetable, Mixed Border, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns


  • Invasive


  • Self-Sowing