Plant of the Month: June 2015
by Jenny Wegley
Capsicum hybrid ‘Maya Mambo’ series
AT A GLANCE
Latin name: Capsicum hybrid ‘Maya Mambo’ series
Common name: Ornamental pepper
Mature size: 4-6” in height
Hardiness: Summer annual
Soil: Well drained
Exposure: Full sun
Water usage: Medium
Sources: Local nurseries or mail order
Given the perpetual downpours the last several weeks, it is hard to believe that summer is around the corner. Not to mention the below-normal temperatures. I do encourage you to leave your spring color in a little longer, if it has not been devoured by fungal diseases. I would like to see soil temperatures warm up a bit before the planting of extreme-heat-loving annuals (e.g., vinca). With all this said. I would like to introduce you to a new ornamental pepper.
Capsicum, or what we commonly refer to as ornamental pepper, is one of my favorite summer annuals. These plants are offered in an array of colors, sizes and habits. They work well in both the landscape and in containers. Most cultivars produce fruit in ideal colors for both summer and fall months. Overall, they require very little TLC and have few pest or disease problems. The key is not allowing them to sit in water; no wet feet! That’s a must, as is full sun.
Last year, when we received new introductions to the ‘Maya Mambo’ series, we at the Dallas Arboretum had high hopes because others had been a success in previous trialing years. ‘Maya Mambo’ is a shorter variety that reaches only 4 to 6 inches in height. A very compact growing habit with heavy branching enables the ‘Maya Mambo’ series to produce an abundance of fruit from early summer until frost. ‘Maya Mambo’ is available in seven different cultivars, each producing long, round fruits. My favorite is the purple, orange and red, just a color preference.
All cultivars within this series perform well; you cannot go wrong with the one you pick. Give ‘Maya Mambo’ a try and enjoy the abundance of color late spring until frost.
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