Pepper Varieties and Scoville Rankings

Sweet and hot peppers in an assortment of colors piled together up close with the words "Plethora of Peppers" on the image

Varieties of Peppers to Consider Growing in Your Tasty Garden

Looking for the perfect pepper for your palate? We have 10 of the HOTTEST and not so hottest peppers to grow in your Tasty Garden. Discover which peppers match your culinary delight. Combine with your favorite tomato to grow your own salsa.

Caribbean red hot habanero peppers

Caribbean Red Hot Habanero

Our hottest - Easily grown, but take caution; wear rubber gloves and a mask when handling and use it very sparingly when cooking -- just a few grams will heat up a whole bowl of salsa. SHU - 300,000 to 445,000
Red and green habanero peppers


Most commonly grown in orange and red colors (green when unripe). Habañero peppers have a unique, citrus-like taste and is fabulous in sauces, rubs and powders. SHU - 100,000 to 350,000
Thai chili peppers

Thai Chili Pepper

Also known as the Bird's Eye Chili Pepper, and originally used in Sriracha sauce. SHU - 50,000 to 100,000
Serrano peppers

Serrano Peppers

This small pepper can pack a lot of heat. When ripe, Serranos are yellowish orange to red. They are common in both Thai and Mexican cooking. SHU - 30,000 to 50,000
Bulgarian carrot peppers

Bulgarian Carrot Pepper

Also know as the Shipka’s Pepper, this pepper ranges from medium to hot and offers a nice crunchy bite. Great for salsa, chutney or roasting. SHU - 10,000 to 30,000
Hungarian wax peppers

Hungarian Wax Pepper

These medium heat peppers are akin to a Jalapeno but can have more than 4x the heat. Excellent for making Chile Rellenos, on salads or pickled. SHU - 5,000 to 10,000
Jalapeno peppers

Jalapeno Peppers

These mild to moderate peppers are the most popular of the chili peppers. Usually picked when green, these peppers ripen into red peppers. Jalapeños have a wide variety of culinary uses. SHU - 2,500 to 8,000
Anaheim peppers

Anaheim Pepper

This versatile sweet chili has a glossy, semi-thick waxy skin. When eaten raw it is slightly peppery in flavor. When cooked (depending on preparation method), its rich, sweet and tangy flavors emerge. SHU - 500 to 2,500
Banana Peppers

Banana Pepper

These hot mild, medium-sized chiles have a tangy taste SHU - 300 to 500
4 different colors of bell peppers, yellow, red, green and orange

Bell Peppers

Bell peppers, also known "Sweet Peppers" have a sweet, mild flavor and are available in green, red, yellow, orange and sometimes purple and brown. They are the only Capsicum Pepper that doesn't produce capsaicin, which is the chemical in peppers that causes the spiciness.

Green peppers are most commonly used in cooking vs. eaten raw due to their bitter taste. Yellow peppers have an almost fruity taste and are very sweet. They are great for cooking or eating plain. Orange peppers are the least commonly used peppers. They are similar to the yellow pepper but a little less sweet. These are good for eating, and also good for cooking and adding some color to your plate. Red peppers are said to be the sweetest and juiciest bell peppers. They are fully ripe and the most mature. Since they are fully ripe, they contain more nutrients than the other peppers (including vitamins A and C). Also, red peppers contain lycopene, which is a carotenoid that lowers the risk of various cancers.

Bell peppers have thick flesh, are crunchy and juicy, and often eaten raw, sautéed, roasted or stuffed. Here’s a tip: Look at the bottom of the bell pepper and count the lobes. If it has four lobes it’s a female pepper, which produces more seeds and is sweeter than a male pepper, making it a good choice for crudites or chopping into salads. Male bell peppers have three lobes and are a good choice for roasting and making stuffed peppers.  SHU - 0

Scoville scale for peppers



At SummerWinds Nursery, we pride ourselves on having the best products and most knowledgeable staff. Stop in today and let one of our Trusted Garden Advisors show you how to plant and care for your peppers.