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Chili Black Pearl

Ornamental pepper Black Pearl

This ornamental pepper is only about 40 to 50 cm( ~1,5 feet) high. Its compact growth makes it a perfect candidate for cultivation in a tub. Ideal as a houseplant in the house or on the balcony. When the berries ripen from black to red, an intense paprika aroma forms. Wonderful for seasoning goulash or chilli sin Carne.

The degree of spiciness is balanced, not too spicy and also not boringly mild. By drying and then grinding, their pods become an intense paprika spice.

Poinsettia ornamental pepper were the model for the robustness of the Black Pearl variety. In the 1960s Poinsettia was bred for the Christmas chili variety. In USA it was common for a long time to bring a small chili as a gift to a Christmas visit. In order for the Christ child gift to last for chili novices, the variety was bred with low demands1. The tradition of giving away chili plants at Christmas should be urgently revived in Germany or Europe.

Capsicum annuum

Black Pearl chili plants belong to the Capsicum annuum species. Annuum is a bit irritating, because in botany it means annual. If properly cared for and wintered, ornamental chillies can easily grow two years and older. Capsicum annuum plants, which wintered more than three times, are not uncommon. Black Pearl Chillies need hardly any care compared to other chilli varieties. It has a low water requirement and needs little fertilizer to grow well.


Black Pearl is the result of a cross between “Royal Black” and a lesser known “86 Arboretum-1” around 1997.

From the Chili from the US National Arboretum2 the black pearl Chili inherited its round chili shape. Royal Black also contributed the high pigmentation. Selected plants were selected to stabilize the new variety. During breeding, special emphasis was placed on a strong violet or purple color. The plant achieved its breakthrough in 2006 at the latest when it was included in the All-America Selections.

Degree of sharpness

Chili Black Pearl has a sharpness level of 7, which is about 25,000 SHU on the Scoville scale. In fact, the sharpness varies from plant to plant. In a small test of four different Black Pearls on the same windowsill we had once a 5, twice a 7 and once an 8. We tested it with a taste test of the daily form is dependent. Nevertheless, we would like to classify this chili at a sharpness level of 7. If you have other experiences, below is still place with the comments.


These beautiful and tasty chillies are best seasoned fresh. Freeze when just too many chillies ripen at once. Drying and grinding to chili powder is another first-class way of processing. You may be a little disappointed by the amount of chili powder, because the volume is greatly reduced. On the other hand, aroma is concentrated.

Chili plant


Black Pearl Chilli Seeds can be obtained without major difficulty from your trusted chili dealer. A few years ago it was still an insider tip, now it’s good qualities as a windowsill chili have spread.

A safe method of cultivation is in a heated greenhouse with coconut source tabs. Keep the temperature at 25°C (77 °F) and the humidity high. Previous soaking shortens their germination time by a few days. The germination period will be about 14 days. Because Black Pearl is well suited for indoor cultivation, you can start growing it at any time. For the outdoor season, start early in January or February (in the northern hemisphere. June or July in the southern hemisphere)..


This kind likes it warm. Above daytime, temperatures should be above 18 °C to allow Black Pearl Chillies to flower and form fruit. The yield is close to optimum at 32 °C. The small ornamental pepper has neutral demands on the soil. PH values in the range 7 – 8.5 are OK. For comparison: Most chillies like it rather sour with 6.5 – 7. However, Capsicum plants always attach importance to a permeable, loose soil for growing.


Under good conditions, the ornamental chili forms flowers after 60 days. A further 80 days later, these are already ripe. We ourselves know only a few chili plants that allow such a fast harvest. The chili berries grow upright above the dark leaves. These intensify the contrast to the red chillies. Almost too good to harvest, but the taste soon comforts them.

Variety name Black Pearl Chili
Species Capsicum annuum
Origin USA
plant size 40 - 50 cm
Maturing time 80 days
Scoville 25,000 SHU
Germination period 8 - 14 days
Germination temperature 25 - 28 °C
Planting distance min. 30 cm