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Make a Cayenne Pepper Wreath for the Holidays

By Joy Johnson, Master Gardener

It’s a great idea to grow vegetables in your garden to eat and share. But some vegetables lend themselves to other creative uses. Read this article to learn how to make a beautiful and useful holiday wreath with cayenne peppers.

Make a Cayenne Pepper Wreath for the Holidays

The Dakota County Master Gardeners participate in the University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardeners’ annual vegetable seed trials. Master Gardeners receive selected vegetable seeds, plant them, grow them and record data about the growing experience. I participated in the project for the first time this year. It was a great learning experience.


One of the seed types I chose to grow was cayenne peppers. I started them indoors in March and was blessed with about 60 plants that germinated and grew to transplanting size. I transplanted them outside in late May. In early September the peppers were at their peak of production. I harvested and taste tested all of the varieties and recorded my data for the seed trial project. But at the end of the season, I had a LOT of peppers.  What was I to do with all of them?


Well, I fermented 2 gallons of hot sauce and bottled it in cute little bottles and gave it away as Christmas gifts to all of my friends, family and co-workers. But I still had a lot of peppers left. Being the frugal person that I am, I can’t bear to waste anything, so I decided to make a wreath for the holidays.



I spent 3 long evenings sewing peppers onto a straw wreath with florist’s wire. I pushed each piece of wire through the base of the stem of the pepper and then wrapped it around the straw wreathe to anchor it. Pepper after pepper, row after row. A pattern started to develop. I made a green ring by facing the stems toward each other. I tried to fill all the gaps. Some of the peppers were quite long and heavy. The wreathe as a whole ended up being quite heavy. I hung it in my kitchen on a secure hook, for about a month. The peppers began to dry and shrivel up. This changed the look of the wreath. When I needed a pepper for cooking, I could just snip one off. After about 3 months the peppers became so dry that the stems wouldn’t hold the florists wire any longer and they began to fall off.



This isn’t a permanent wreath, but it was a fun accent for a few months. If you try this, make sure you wear gloves and don’t touch your face when handling the peppers. You can also make garlands or hanging ropes using onions and garlic. I did that years ago; again, they last for a while, but as they start to dry out, they fall apart.

Photo credits: Joy Johnson (1,2,3)

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