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1/5

Chilli pepper

Capsicum annuum

1/5

Capsicum has the highest diversity of shapes and is the most common and extensively grown of the chilli species. Although Annuum means annual it is actually a perennial in areas where the temperature remains between 15 - 30C (60-85F) all year. Wild ancestors of this species are believed to have evolved in Southern Brazil and Bolivia but were cultivated by man around 6,100 years ago. In the UK this species has been classified as follows: the hot varieties are called chillies and the sweet varieties are called red or green peppers. But modern breeding has confused this with the introduction of hot Bell peppers and sweet Jalapenos.

Planning

Difficulty
Moderate
Flowering time
Summer
Fruiting time
Summer, Autumn

Harvesting

Harvest when the fruits have ripened to red, orange, yellow, brown or even brownish-black or leave to dry on the shrub. Protect against intense sun expose especially during hot summers when the fruit is maturing. Fruit can be collected during the Autumn

Propagation

Seed
Sow during spring and summer and space of 30 - 40 cm apart. Sowing depth between 10 - 15 mm. Germination takes 10 - 18 days.

Special features

Crop rotation
Capsicums are heavy feeder, follow with legumes.
Pot plant
When grown as an ornamental, planting in a container is a good choice. Repot every 2 years or when the current pot is too small for your plant.
Repels harmful insects
Paprika is good in insecticide recipes.

Geography

Origin
Central and South America
Natural climate
Warm to hot

Environment

Light
Full Sun, Partial Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Loam, Sand, Compost
Soil PH preference
Neutral, Acid, Alkaline
Frost hardiness
Tender

Uses

Edible
Huge chillies that have a sweet flavour, good for drying and grinding into Paprika powder. Use fresh for salads with a more intense flavour than ordinary salad peppers.
Culinary
Can be eaten raw in salads or cooked in a variety of dishes from soups to stews
Notes
Culinary

Personality

Family
Solanaceae
Flower colour
White, Multi coloured
Scent
Mild

Problems

Blossom end rot. Leaves can be prone to scorching when wet in bright sunlight.

Companion plants

Peas And Beans and good companions, both of these vegetables fix nitrogen in the soil, cover bare ground to control weeds, and enhance the flavour of peppers. Alliums are good; cultivating onions, chives or leeks around the perimeter of your pepper patch enhances flavour and helps deter aphids and other garden insect pests. Chives are a perennial plant, so planting once will provide flavorful chives year after year. Chives also attract bees and butterflies to the garden. Basil repels aphids, ants, mites, slugs, flies, certain beetles, and a host of other garden pests. Peppers and tomatoes are “good neighbours” as tomatoes help keep the soil free of harmful soil nematodes and ward off beetles. In addition to adding a splash of brilliant colour to the garden, marigolds, nasturtiums, and petunias help deter beetles, aphids, whiteflies, squash bugs, and other common garden pests.

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