Edible Landscaping: What to do with so many peppers?

Lemon Drop Tree: Marmalade

Small Tree, Adapted to Austin This citrus is not a native to Austin. However,  it is well-adapted to the central Texas region in that it tolerates our heat, cold, and varying moisture. It is also very unlikely to become invasive, which is a major concern when you introduce a non-native species to your yard. It’s cute, … Continue reading Lemon Drop Tree: Marmalade

Austin Tea Blend

Proportions 40% Turk’s Cap flowers 50% Bee Balm leaves 10% Mexican Tarragon Native Plants I have experimented with Turk’s Cap for a few years–with entirely mediocre results. I think this is finally a winning recipe. I treated it like a hibiscus flower and dried it for tea. All three ingredients are native to Texas. Turk’s … Continue reading Austin Tea Blend

Why limit your peppers strictly to the garden? There’s no reason why you can’t plant hot peppers as annuals in your landscaping beds. In Texas, they grow easily in the blazing sun and don’t having rampant pest issues. And they are perfect for xeriscaping.

The habanero pepper is a nice choice because of its cute, wrinkled bright orange fruits. That would be a nice addition to an ordinary flower bed. I also recommend the chili pequin bush, a Central Texas native, because it grows very happily in our climate and spreads, or volunteers, with ease.


I’ve got practical uses for all hot peppers–other than using fresh in salsas. To a certain extent, you can substitute one pepper for another in most recipes. Now, mind you me, don’t go putting the same weight of habaneros in a hot sauce as you would jalapeños. Unless you like burning your innards!

  1. Give them away to neighbors/coworkers/whoever. Seriously, this is the most efficient way to get rid of them. Not very fun, though. But it builds goodwill. :/
  2. Habanero Hot Sauce! Chile Pequin Hot Sauce! 
  3. Jalapeño jelly. I think I go through 1 jar a year. My coworkers and friends appreciate the gifts, though.
  4. Habanero jelly. I’ve seen recipes for making jelly with straight peppers. I haven’t tried that yet. I prefer to mix them with fruit, especially peaches.
  5. Pickling. My preferred method of preserving peppers.
  6. Fermenting. Not as gross as it sounds, I swear! If you’ve had Tabasco, you’ve eaten fermented hot peppers. Here’s a recipe from a home cook.

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