Chilli

Capsicum frutescens

Tabasco Pepper, Bird Pepper, Capsicum, Hot Pepper, Red Chili, Spur Pepper

profile iconCapsicum frutescens (3)
by Prenn (CC BY-SA 3.0)
1 of 4
Capsicum frutescens plant
profile iconCapsicum frutescens (3)
by Prenn (CC BY-SA 3.0)
1 of 4
Chillies are the most important spice crop in the world known for its extremely pungent taste. The name "frutescens" translates as "bushy" or "shrubby". Known best from the famous "Tabasco" sauce which is made from the variety with the same name. Windbreak plants are essential where there is a danger of wind damage.
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Planning

Difficulty

Easy

Flowering time

Summer

Fruiting time

Summer, Autumn

Harvesting

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds. When picking chillies, refrain from pulling on the fruit, it may break off a branch or even uproot the entire plant. Use sharp garden pruners to cut the tough stem.

Propagation

Seed

Sowing time in winter/spring under a bed of mulch or as soil heats up. Germination take 3-4 weeks.

Special features

Repels harmful insects

Often used to deter deer from orchards or vineyards. It is used as natural insecticide, mixed with other ingriedients like garlic.

Pot plant

Special features

Origin

Central or South America

Natural climate

Tropical, Subtropical, Mediterranean, Temperate or Desert

Environment

Light

Full Sun

Soil moisture

Moist

Soil type

Loam

Soil PH preference

Neutral

Frost hardiness

Tender

Uses

Medicinal

The seeds of Chili pepper contain capsaicin (a chemical compound), believed to have antibiotic properties.

Edible

Very hot seeds normally used as a flavouring.

Notes

Culinary

Personality

Family

Solanaceae

Flower colour

Purple, White, Cream

Scent

None

Problems

Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus, Aphids, Ants, Nematodes, Mites, Fungus

Companion plants

Aubergines
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Knowledge and advice

Search our ever-growing knowledge base to find plants and information. Find out about pests and diseases you should be keeping an eye out for. Watch How to videos or follow step by step guides for tasks in the garden. Free download for your phone or tablet.
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