Different Types of Peppers & Their Characteristics

Find out more about which pepper is right for your recipe.

We sell a variety of peppers, 11 to be exact, and that can be overwhelming when trying to figure out which type you want to grow. We decided to break it down for you, explaining their characteristics, flavor profiles, and heat levels, mildest to hottest. All the peppers are available for purchase in our Seed Pod Kits section and because they are all considered tall plants, they all do wonderful in the Bounty and Farm Plus/XL AeroGardens. 

Bell Pepper

Characteristics: One of the most commonly bought peppers, bell peppers are relatively large in size, crunchy with a thick, fleshy textured pod and have a sweet but peppery flavor. The peppers start green with a slightly bitter flavor, then as it matures, it turns bright red and becomes sweeter. You can also find yellow, orange, white, pink, and even purple varieties. With their high water content, bell peppers will add moisture to any dish and also add great color.

Scoville heat units: 0

Banana Pepper

Characteristics: Banana peppers, like their name, are a bright yellow hue. As they ripen, they turn orange or red. They are mild and tangy that adds a great kick to meals such as pizza or sandwiches. They tend to get sweeter the longer they are on the vine and are popular pickled in jars, adding more of the tangy zing.

Scoville heat units: 0–500


Characteristics: Harvested while still green, these thin-walled peppers can be pan-seared and eaten on their own. The thin skin allows them to blister and char quickly, which accentuates the aroma and flavor. When the pepper ripens, they turn red and tend to be more spicy, but we have noticed in the AeroGarden that they actually get sweeter when red.

Scoville heat units: 50 to 200

Anaheim Pepper

Characteristics: This long pepper is relatively mild and very versatile, being one of the most common chili peppers in the United States, and are used in many foods and recipes.When mature, the Anaheim turns deep red and is referred as chile Colorado or California. Once red they can be strung together and dried to make ristras.

Scoville heat units: 500 to 2,500

Poblano Pepper

Characteristics: Somewhat large and heart-shaped, the poblano is commonly found in Mexican dishes. A fairly mild pepper with two main varieties, red and green. The green is more common, while the red is hotter. At maturity, the poblano turns dark red-brown and can be dried, which is referred to as an ancho or mulato. Anchos have a rich, raisin-like sweetness. The high yield of flesh to skin makes anchos great for sauces.

Scoville heat units: 1,000 to 2,000

Jalapeño Pepper

Characteristics: The jalapeño pepper is a medium-sized chili pepper typically plucked from the vine while still green. Once ripened, they will turn red and take on a slightly sweeter flavor. Jalapeños are a tasty ingredient commonly used to in salsa and sauces. When dried, a jalapeño is called a chipotle.

Scoville heat units: 3,500 to 8,000

Purple Super Hots

Characteristics: Another pepper that is grown more for their ornamental appeal than for harvesting, the small round peppers sit above the foliage and start with a deep purple color, then as they mature go through pale yellow to bright orange and red. We have created a hot sauce using these, which has a spice that lingers but a great peppery taste.

Scoville Heat Units: 4,000 – 8,000

Red Fire Chili

Characteristics: A beautiful plant, with multi-colored fruits, maturing from green to orange to red, that tend to sit above the plant’s foliage to truly draw the eye. Beyond the ornamental beauty is a surprising heat that can catch you by surprise. Chilies grow two to three inches in length, with a thin cayenne-like profile, kick off a lot of heat, and have a hint of fresh pepper flavor.

Scoville heat units: 5,000 to 30,000

Cayenne Pepper

Characteristics: Skinny, long and tapered, Cayenne is probably most familiar in its dried, ground powdered form, known as cayenne pepper. A main ingredient in many dishes, that adds a nice kick, as well as some health benefits.

Scoville heat units: 30,000 to 50,000

Thai Chili Peppers

Characteristics: Yet another plant grown for its beauty, Its smooth skin turns from bright green when immature to a vibrant red hue when fully mature. Its flesh has a meaty texture and encases many tiny seeds. It offers a potent, lingering heat that is well known across the globe for the spice and flavor it lends to Southeast Asian cuisine.

Scoville heat units: 50,000 and 100,000

Ghost Pepper

Characteristics: In 2007, the Ghost Pepper was certified as the hottest Chili Pepper on the planet in The Guinness Book of World Records. These wrinkled peppers with a tapered end come in a variety of colors, the most common being orange and red. Ripe peppers measure 2.5 to 3.3 inches long with a red, yellow, orange, white, peach, purple or chocolate color. If you have the bravery to eat the ghost pepper, you will notice that the first flavor is an intense sweet chili flavor, then after about 30 seconds the burning sensation kicks in.

Scoville heat units: 800000 to 1041427