I've had a pepper plant for about 2 years now, which was sold to me as a ghost pepper plant when it was a seedling. Lately I've been starting to doubt this identification, as the peppers don't seem all that hot. How can I determine what type of pepper plant I have?

I've attached some photos of the flowers, leaves, and fruit. It's grown to a couple feet high, producing a lot of flowers but only a few fruit so far... but that could be a function of the fact that it's been growing in a container with less than ideal growing conditions.

leaf flowers flowers fruit

Based on this guide I think it's a frutescens, but I that doesn't narrow it down too much.

  • I agree with @stormy, and this is definitely C. annuum - C.frutescens have smaller leaves, and smaller fruit (think Tabasco or Twilight). You'll never identify an exact variety, but you can often get to the broader type - "jalapeno", "bell", etc
    – winwaed
    Feb 18, 2019 at 19:21

1 Answer 1


This looks like a Jalapeno chili pepper. They do turn red eventually. Growing in a container, as long as you have used sterilized potting soil, is GREAT for peppers.

Your plants aren't looking that great. Sorry, I am used to peppers as annuals not perennials. They look incredible for peppers after 2 years.

What is the light source? I would cut back watering by half. What fertilizer have you used? What soil? How do you water? Every day? What zone do you live within and where does this plant live? Out of doors or indoors?

I am thinking you've used a fertilizer that is too high in nitrogen versus the phosphorous and potassium. Lots of flowers, no fruit. Your plant looks as if it gets plenty of nitrogen and has a healthy green.

Too much nitrogen in relation to the phosphorous and potassium promotes vegetative growth not reproductive growth. I find it interesting that you have a lot of flowers but no fruit.

What are you doing for pollination? If indoors and/or during the winter you won't be having any insects helping with pollination. You will have to manually pollinate...mostly just shaking the plant from time to time will pollinate those flowers. Artist paint brushes work well.

Please tell us more about this plant's environment, your maintenance habits, the fertilizer you've added the soil you used in this pot...

  • 1
    If it flowers, it look great ;-). I just think it is over-fertilized (not just N), because the leaves are very glossy (but it could be just the flash). I would reduce fertilizers and water (or you will have too many chili, maybe not to strong). I never had problem with pollination in winter (not sure if few annoying flies, few ants or bugs, or just self-pollination). [Note: flowers remain attached for long time, so I do not think it is so critical, and I see "too much' flowers anyway] Feb 18, 2019 at 8:45
  • I've been growing indoors, so the temperature has been between 65-75 F consistently for it's whole life, which is why I can get multiple years out of it. It actually took almost a year before I got any fruit at all. I've been watering deeply when the soil dries out to about 2-3" deep, which I check by sticking my finger into the pot. I haven't been fertilizing that much, though I think there was some in the potting soil I used to repot a few months ago. Feb 19, 2019 at 18:29
  • When I do fertilize it, I water in some pellets (about 1 tbsp) advertised as useable for vegetable gardening, which have a roughly even mix of NPK (all at around 4-6, iirc). But that's been been rare. Also, light is coming from a window. Not the best light so I've been shining an LED lamp on it when I can during the day, nothing special just a bulb that's roughly in the daylight range of color temperature. Feb 19, 2019 at 18:32
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    If you have never fertilized, go ahead and add to the soil. Do you have sterilized potting soil in that pot? That would be first and then fertilizer and increasing the light. Use only HALF of what the directions tell you. Water only when the pot and soil and plant feel obviously lighter than after being watered. Do not water every day or when you think about watering. Get to know the heft of that potted plant after being watered and when it dries out enough to be watered. Depending on the temperature of your home and the lighting you should water every other day up to 3 days apart.
    – stormy
    Feb 20, 2019 at 2:09

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