Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Chilli Passion

Todays late night post will be about my Chilli plants. I have six growing in pots outside now. It has been sunny enough for them to get some boosting sunlight.The first photo is of a sweet pepper that is going red. I read as the fruits develop over time the sugar content rises, that improves the taste and flavour. It was a chocolate brown colour a few days ago and has suprised me with the chameleon like change of fruit colour.

This picture shows my Apache Chilli plant, a dwarf Chilli plant for patio containers. It shows a flower in bloom at the top, a flower bud nearly opening to the right, and a fruit (Chilli) forming to the left.
I moved all my Chilli/Pepper plants outside for the summer to see if the fresh air, sunshine, wind, rain and buzzing insects would induce them to fruit better. I had some success with hand pollinating using a cotton bud, but a lot of flower drop too. It is experimental to see if the natural process can make more Chillis and Peppers without as much flower drop.

The next generation: Cayenne Chillis, Jalapeno Chillis, Sweet Pepper California and Yolo plants growing in front of the greenhouse. I also have six Hot Pepper Ring O Fire plants growing outside too. These five varieties have been raised from seeds this year.
A sixth type I grew from store bought Chillis marked Zambian Serenade. I harvested some seeds, dried them and planted them. I have flowers but no Chillis growing yet!
Another Chilli question I googled was are Chilli/Pepper plants annuals? The ones that are fruiting now are 12 months old now. I grew them from seeds bought at Tatton Park flower show last July from the Robinsons stand. I read if they are kept inside over winter then they can last 2 to 3 seasons.

The two Cayenne Chilli plants have given me sixteen Chillis so far. They start off this nice green colour and ripen to orange then red.They are hot to taste!
I have read that Chilli plants can drop flowers if they are stressed. I think if the flower has not successfully been pollinated then it also drops.
This year has been so educational watching these plants develop, and watching the flowers turn into Chillis or Sweet Peppers. It makes me want to buy more varieties of seeds and to grow a selection of the fruits. My wish list would include Habanero, Scotch Bonnett, andHungarian Hotwax to name a few. I read that the humble Habanero has whole recipie books given over to using it in cooking.
I have found a passion for growing Chillis this year.They have found a place in my gardeners green heart.

5 comments:

Britt-Arnhild said...

I always get lices on my chilli plants. Yours look great!

Happy gardening and happy summer.

Anonymous said...

Have you heard of chile peppers from New Mexico? They're a staple food in the northern part of that state, not as hot as the habaneros and the cayenne chiles, but hotter than sweet peppers. They are very tasty in a pepper stew.

snappy said...

Hi Britt-Arnhild thanks for your comment.You can always spray them with a plant mister, cold water and washing up liquid to remove them from the plants.I have a lot of Ladybirds too eating all the aphids.I will drop by your blog soon :) Happy Summer to you too..
Thanks Anonymous,I will look up New Mexico Chilli Peppers.The Pepper stew sounds yummy too, i will google for a recipie.

Anonymous said...

Hi David it was great to see Cat again.
Love your poppies...I have put some nice ones on my blog from my visit to France.

snappy said...

Hi Lynn,Will catch up on your blog soon.I saw lots of your garden photos and Libbys birthday party.How are your garden birds?See you sometime Lynn :)