Sweet Bonnet peppers are an exceptional choice for gardeners and cooks looking for the iconic shape and tropical flavors of Scotch Bonnet peppers without the intense heat. These peppers boast a charming tam o’ shanter shape, typical of traditional Scotch Bonnets, but with a twist. Fruit turn from green to a vibrant red, signaling their readiness for harvest.
What sets Sweet Bonnet peppers apart is their flavor profile. They offer a tropical, sweet, and smoky taste with just a trace of very mild heat, making them much milder than a jalapeño or its namesake the Scotch Bonnet, with a Scoville rating of less than 500. This mild heat level opens up a variety of culinary uses, especially in Caribbean dishes where their unique taste can shine without overpowering the dish. They are also great for fresh snacking, appealing to a wide range of palates.
From a gardening perspective, Sweet Bonnet peppers are a joy to grow. They require typical pepper growing conditions, thriving in soil temperatures of 65-90°F and taking about 100-120 days to reach maturity. They produce good yields of peppers, each approximately 5 inches long and 1 inch wide, growing upright on the plant. Start your seeds indoors about 8-12 weeks before the last frost for best results, and enjoy watching these beautiful peppers develop in your garden.