There are a few "categories" of sweet peppers - the familiar bells, the longer, so-called "Italian" or frying types, and the squat pimento types. We love them all, and they can be used interchangeably. Before we changed to peppers growing in pots, we noticed that bells can disappoint in yields when grown in the garden. But moving to pots now makes each sweet type a near guaranteed yield success.
And one more thing - with the exception of just a few extremely rare varieties, green peppers are just unripe peppers - they will all end up at a particular "ripe" color, and that is where the elevated nutrition, sweetness and flavor emerge. We rarely pick peppers that haven't gone to their ripe color, because it just seems pointless (in terms of flavor and quality). Typical ripe colors are yellow, orange, red or chocolate brown. Purple peppers are also unripe varieties that will end up either red, orange or yellow.
The following varieties are going into 5 gallon containers:
Aconcagua - this is a very, very large Italian frying type of pepper that ripens from a lime green to orange red. I first grew this many years ago, having obtained it from Glecklers in the late 1980s.
Corno di Toro and the similar Marconi, Italia and Super Shepherd - these are all wonderful long green Italian frying types of peppers with thick walls, high productivity and great flavor once they go to their final color, which is deep red. Notice a theme here? We love the long fruited Italian types!
Garden Sunshine - this is another old Gleckler variety and produces pale yellow bell peppers that ripen orange to red. It isn't as sweet as some, but is pretty and very productive, and fills in a rather unusual color change for peppers.
Orange Sun and Corona - both of these are blocky green bell peppers, non-hybrid, that ripen deep orange and have a wonderful, sweet flavor. My favorite of this type, Orange Bell, is taking a break from my garden this year.
Purple Beauty - this is another I've grown for years; its big blocky green fruit quickly change to a nearly purple black, then ripen deep red. This is another that isn't at the absolute top in flavor, but is a nice colored variety and I need some fresh seeds.
World Beater - a true oldie from the early 1900s, this is one of the original blocky bell peppers that ripen red. It is one of those that really hasn't been bettered through the many years of hybridization, and is a sentimental favorite to grow.
Then come my project sweet peppers - offspring of hybrids that I've worked with for a few generations to derive new, non-hybrid varieties. These are the most advanced and merit 5 gallon pots:
Chocolate Bell - nice blocky green bell shaped fruit ripen a rich chocolate brown (they don't turn to red, so this is a rather unique color change), and have a good sweet flavor.
The following all originated in a beautiful (and expensive) hybrid called Islander.
Amethyst - selected and named by me, this one is most like the hybrid in color changes, a bell pepper that goes from cream colored to a lovely lavender, ending up at red.
Fire Opal - also selected and named by me, and very unique - it goes from cream, through lavender, but ripens golden yellow - this is the only pepper I know of that has this color shift.
White Gold - another of mine from Islander, and another unique color shifter - blocky to elongated bell peppers go from cream to yellow - and that's it! Very prolific and very sweet when yellow.
Royal Purple - the 4th pepper I selected and named out of Islander, this has a color change similar to Purple Beauty - blocky bells go from pale green to dark purple to deep red.
Candy Corn - the final pepper out of Islander, and the most difficult to stabilize for color. My goal is a cream colored bell pepper that ripens to red orange - so the least flashy, but also quite unusual. Let's see if I've nailed it down this year.
Finally, I am going to grow three different alternate selections of Royal Purple, and one each of Amethyst, White Gold and Fire Opal, in 2 gallon pots just for evaluation - a few fruit and some seeds. All of the Islander project peppers are from saved seed from last year's grow outs.
I will be keeping you all informed of how these various sweet peppers do throughout the season.