Top 10 Heirloom Sweet Peppers to Grow in 2024

Top 10 heirloom sweet peppers to grow this year

If you’re like me, you can’t wait to get your hands on some fresh, sweet bell peppers in the summer. There’s nothing quite like a juicy red pepper straight from the garden! I always prefer growing heirloom varieties in my organic garden. But which varieties should you be planting in your garden this year? Check out my list of the top 10 heirloom sweet peppers for 2022. These peppers will add flavor and color to your meals all summer long!

Before we get started, let me go over a couple things:

  • All peppers start out as green peppers – the minimum maturity date is when they are green and the maximum maturity date is when they are fully ripe and at their sweetest.
  • Bell peppers are at their sweetest when they are fully mature, so if you prefer sweet bell peppers, leave them on the plant as long as possible before harvesting. 
  • Finally, since peppers can take a while to grow from seed, you should start them indoors 8-10 weeks before your last frost date and harden them off gradually before planting in your garden.

1. California Wonder

This iconic bell pepper is one of the oldest and largest varieties on the market. It is one of the best heirloom sweet peppers you can grow and dates back to 1928. The fruits grow large and blocky and work great for stuffing as well as eating fresh or cooking. They make great green peppers and turn a beautiful bright red when left to mature. This is no doubt a staple bell pepper variety in any garden!

Days to Maturity: 60

Available at Hoss Tools.

2. Chocolate Beauty

These unique heirloom sweet peppers turn from green to a rich chocolate brown and are one of the sweetest varieties on this list if not the sweetest variety. It is a favorite among many gardeners because of its sweetness. This variety takes a little longer to mature than the California Wonder and does not yield as many on the plant, so make sure you plant lots!

Days to Maturity: 70

Available at Hoss Tools.

3. Pimento

No list of the best heirloom sweet peppers is complete without the pimento pepper! These peppers are famous for being stuffed into green olives and made into pimento cheese in the south. They are also absolutely delicious when pickled! This is such a versatile pepper that can be used for so many things that it absolutely belongs on this list!

Days to Maturity: 65

Available at Hoss Tools.

4. Red Marconi

This is an Italian heirloom sweet pepper variety that is versatile and very productive. The peppers are long and can reach up to 12” in length. They are great for snacking and cooking but are especially delicious when roasted – the sweet, smoky flavor is a perfect pair for roasting in the oven or grilling on the BBQ and using in recipes. This variety takes a while to mature, so make sure you start the seeds indoors before planting outside after the last frost date.

Days to Maturity: 90

Available at Hoss Tools.

5. Purple Beauty

This is a striking heirloom sweet pepper variety that will be sure to impress! These peppers mature to a deep purple, almost black in some cases, with a bright green inside. They look great in salads or on a veggie tray, and they are crisp and refreshing. I find that they are less sweet than other varieties and taste mainly like green peppers even when mature, so keep that in mind if you love the fresh green pepper flavor.

Days to Maturity: 70

Available at True Leaf Market.

6. Sweet Hungarian Yellow Wax (Sweet Banana Pepper)

Okay, so the hotter version of these wax peppers are one of my all-time favorite varieties because of how delicious they are when pickled, but if you aren’t a fan of hot peppers, these sweet banana peppers are a great alternative! This heirloom sweet pepper variety is super productive and will produce all summer long once the plant is mature. Either the sweet version or the hot version is a staple pepper for your garden if you ask me!

Days to Maturity: 80-100

Available at True Leaf Market.

7. Big Red

Are you looking for a classic red pepper like the ones you buy at the grocery store? This variety has you covered. It’s a good alternative to the California Wonder, with its beautiful red flesh and thick walls. These are great for snacking, stuffing and cooking.

Days to Maturity: 75

Available at True Leaf Market.

8. Diamond

This medium-sized heirloom sweet pepper starts out as a light ivory color and matures to a pale yellow and eventually scarlet red. They can be harvested at any point – it depends on the color you are going for. The peppers are juicy and crunchy with a beautiful sweet flavor.

Days to Maturity: 75

Available at True Leaf Market.

9. Sweet Red Cherry

These are the “cherry tomatoes” of the pepper family, if you could call them that. They almost resemble cherry tomatoes growing on the plant, and the variety is super productive with the plant becoming laden with them. These cute little peppers are small in size but have a great flavor! They are great for eating fresh, stuffing with cheese or even pickling. They make great container plants too!

Days to Maturity: 85

Available at True Leaf Market.

10. Keystone Resistant Giant

This is another great alternative to the California Wonder. The “resistant” in its name comes from its resistance to the tobacco mosaic virus. This large variety can withstand sun scald due to its broad leaves, and the stems are breakage resistant for when they get weighed down with the large fruit. This is another excellent option for stuffing and is a great all-purpose pepper.

Days to Maturity: 70

Available at True Leaf Market.


And there you have it – my list of the 10 best heirloom sweet pepper varieties to grow in your garden. What is your favorite variety? Do you prefer hot or sweet peppers? Let me know in the comments below. And be sure to share this post with your gardening friends – they’re going to want to try out some of these delicious pepper varieties for themselves!

Also, check out our top 10 heirloom cucumbers and top 10 heirloom cherry tomatoes for some great companion plant ideas!

And if you’re looking to get started with homesteading and organic gardening, make sure to check out our Complete Guide to Organic Gardening and why you should plant heirloom seeds this year.

Thanks for reading!

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