Saturday Spotlight – Purple Beauty Capsicums

I’m growing a few capsicum varieties this year.  All in pots; partially so I can overwinter them without having to dig them up from the beds, and partially because I ran out of bed space anyway.

The varieties I’m growing are: Sweet Mama which I bought as a well developed seedling ( a reasonably unsuccessful effort to get early fruit), Californian Wonder, Golden Californian Wonder (thanks Diana), Cherrytime (also thanks to Diana), Mini Mama, Topepo Rosso and these Purple Beauty all of which I grew from seed.

Purple Beauty Capsicums

It is the Purple Beauty which have done best.  I’m not sure whether that is because they were sown slightly earlier than some of the varieties, they cope better with growing in partial shade (unfortunately I can’t give my plants more than about 6 hours sun a day), or they are just more productive but what ever the reason I have been really pleased with them.

The fruits also have the added bonus of being fun to watch develop.  They start off as a purple fruit with green flesh as pictured above and below:


I have to admit that I’m not a huge fan of green capsicums so I didn’t particularly enjoy eating them at this stage.  However the outer skin goes on to turn first green;

Purple Beauty Capsicum

and then the red you would normally associate with ripe peppers.  This is the point when I enjoy them.  Whilst they aren’t as sweet as some pepper varieties (this may be due, at least in part, to not getting enough sun) they are still pretty good and their thick flesh compensates.

Purple Beauty Capsicum

This is my first year growing them and I probably should have waited to post on them until I’ve attempted to over winter them but I will update this post when I have.  All in all I have been extremely pleased with them and just hope the load of fruit that they have set at the moment ripens before we get too far into winter.

Saturday Spotlight is a series of posts highlighting particular varieties of edible plants.  If you have a favourite, or even a less than successful variety of a plant and would like to include it in the series then please leave a comment with a link below.    I have created a page (above, just below the header) with an Index of all the Spotlights to date.   I will add links to any new posts below and in next weeks post as well as ensuring they appear in the Index. 

New Spotlights last week were:

Spotted Trout Lettuce – Our Happy Acres

Greek Gigante Beans – From Seed to Table

Tomatoes – City Garden, Country Garden

And from this week:

Flamingo Chard – From Seed to Table

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26 Responses to Saturday Spotlight – Purple Beauty Capsicums

  1. Wow I do love the purple colour. Strange how it turns then to green and finally red without a hint of purple as it’s name suggests. I actually brought sweet chocolate from diggers and didn’t actually get around to planting them, this year.

    I have a client who has her capiscum in the full sun and they get burn spots so maybe less sun is better?

    • Liz says:

      I think you might be right about avoiding full sun during the hottest part of the season. I reckon they’d probably do best with full sun in Spring and Autumn and partial shade in the height of summer. If only my garden allowed for that but I don’t have any full sun positions at all.

  2. Bek says:

    Wow, they look great! I didn’t do well with capsicums this year, with only a couple of plants and some pretty but very small fruit. These sound like they are worth a go though!

  3. Nina says:

    The Purple Beauty looks great. I’d love to have that growing in the garden, creating some extra interest. I like that it changes colour three times. I grew ‘Giant Bell’ from seed this year and they are going really well though none have turned red, yet, though a couple look like they are thinking about it. I’m hoping I get a few that will. I don’t mind green capsicum so it doesn’t matter too much if they don’t turn. I chop them up and freeze them and then use them in bol sauce or goulash or similar during the cooler months.

    • Liz says:

      Giant bell – I’m not familiar with that one – I will have to have a look. They should still turn shouldn’t they? As long as they are mature fruits now they should ripen I would have thought.

  4. Nat says:

    wow what a beautiful variety. I tried to grow chocolate capsicum and a chinese orange one but had no success this year as i left on a one month holiday as I had planted out tini tiny seedlings. So hopefully next summer I will have sucess!

    • Liz says:

      I think the key is to sow early to give them the max time for the plants to develop. The Chinese Orange one sounds interesting.

  5. Where will you keep all that lot over winter?

    • Liz says:

      Pretty much where they are now. I might more a few into a slightly sunnier spot on the lawn but most will just stay where they are at the moment looking unhappy until mid Spring when they should come back to life. Provided the winter doesn’t get too too cold that is.

  6. Dave says:

    I’m growing Purple Beauty for the first time this year, so it is great to get a report on them. They should get sun all day here so it will be interesting to see how it affects the flavor. And mine do get sunburned sometimes, so maybe your situation is actually a blessing in disguise.

    No spotlight for me this week. I have been busy getting the garden(s) ready for planting potatoes and onions – finally!

    • Liz says:

      Good to hear that your weather is warming up. It is really hard to find a happy medium for Solanacae plants isn’t it – not too hot, not too cold, a little protected but not too much and so on.

  7. Balvinder says:

    I haven’t seen this beauty here. I don’t like green pepper either, it is rarely cooked in our home.

  8. Michelle says:

    I do love the looks of the purple peppers. I’m trying Sweet Chocolate this year, not exactly purple, but dark. And I agree, there’s not much good about unripe bell peppers of any color. I’m not sure why green bell peppers are so nasty when other green peppers are so good.

    I’ve just put my spotlight post about Flamingo Chard up.

  9. Lrong says:

    Purple Beauty looks like a true beauty… am growing three types this season, actually for the first time… green, red, and yellow…

    • Liz says:

      I grew one orange (Golden Californian Wonder) variety this year and enjoyed it but so far it has only produced one fruit.

  10. Louise says:

    Stunningly beautiful capsicum. You know one of the best things about growing peppers/ chillies is the beautiful colour they bring to the patch. I am still waiting on some more of my chillies to ripen – they were planted very late November. As I have mountains of chillies and preserved chillies already in store, I am not sure I really need these remaining chillies, but I cant wait for the colour they will bring .

    Thanks for your intro to this lovely fruit.

    • Liz says:

      I find the plants really attractive too. I love the shapes and colours as well as the flavours and different heat levels. Lots of fun to grow.

  11. I hate green capsicum too. I’m sure I planted my capsicum too late. I have had a few but there are plenty now with flowers. So you keep your plants over winter? I love the look of the purple beauty.

    • Liz says:

      Yes, how well they cope depends on both variety and our weather but most get through one winter and then fruit earlier the following year (although sometimes with smaller fruit). The capsicums don’t end to last longer one winter but lots of the chillies do.

  12. You’ve inspired us to try our hand at growing peppers this season… We’re excited to have found seed for shishito peppers. Alas, they’re lagging, and haven’t germinated while everything else has. Perhaps it’s still too cold here?

    • Liz says:

      I find that some chillies take a good while to germinate (ditto eggplants) so I wouldn’t give up on them just yet. But yes I might be too cold soon. Have you got them under heat of some description?

  13. bumblelush says:

    I love Purple Beauties and grow them myself. There’s something about purple fruits and veggies that attract me. It’s fun to see that purple color when you cook with them. They’ve done well in my garden and we’ve over-wintered different varieties of peppers. Unfortunately, aphids always seem to sprout after a few days of being in the warm house, so many of our plants don’t survive.

  14. mac says:

    Beautiful pepper, you and Michelle grow some very nice looking peppers.

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