No matter how many rare and unique hot peppers you add to your collection, some of the basics are still the best and the Cayenne pepper still rocks!
The Red Cayenne is one of the best known hot chili peppers. Producing an abundance of thin curved fruits that grow 5 to 12cm (2 to 5in) long and about 1.5cm (½in) in diameter the fruits have thin flesh and dry nicely. The flavour and thin skin make it the absolutely the best Chili Pepper for drying and making your own blend of Chili powder or flakes.
The Cayenne is a very productive plant that always performs well. It is upright-growing and reaches about 60cm (24in) in height. The plants are covered with long, thin peppers which mature from emerald green to a scarlet red in approximately 70 days.
The very attractive plants also make quite a spectacle when grown as a conservatory or patio plant.
At a heat level of around 30,000 to 50,000 SHU, they are used fresh in hot sauces and are one of the best peppers used dried and ground for cayenne pepper. Good for deep freezing and perfect for adding some kick to a Bloody Mary or to vodka.
The less moisture a hot pepper has, the easier it is to dry. If you've never done it, why not experiment with drying this year? Drying peppers can be as easy as just getting a needle and thread, putting the needle though the stem and hanging your new Chile Rista in a sunny window sill. The chilies are absolutely beautiful too.
This seed has been organically produced. The seed has been harvested from plants that have themselves been raised organically, without the use of chemicals.
Storage of Seeds:
Store seeds away from children, sealed in their packaging in a cool, dry, dark place, or in a fridge. Never store them in a freezer as the sudden temperature drop is likely to kill them. Don't leave the seeds in direct sunlight as the heat generated may kill them.
Sowing: Sow from mid February to mid June
The temperature, moisture, and air circulation all play a role in growing plants from seeds. Too little heat, too much moisture, and lack of air circulation will cause poor results. Do not use jiffy peat pots, plugs, or potting soil as the soil becomes too dry or too wet, which can lead to low germination, disease and fungus.
Fill small cells or trays with a good sterile seed compost and sow the seeds on the surface. “Just cover” with a fine sprinkling (3mm) of soil or vermiculite.
Keep the compost moist - don't let the top of the compost dry out (a common cause of germination failure) If you wish, spray the surface with a dilute copper-based fungicide.
Cover the pot or tray with plastic film or place in a heated propagator, south facing window or a warm greenhouse.
The ideal temperature is around 18 to 20°C (65 to 72°F)
When the seedlings have produced their first pair of true leaves they can be potted on into individual 7 to 10cm (3 to 4in) pots. Use good quality potting compost and mix in some organic slow release fertiliser. Pot the chilli on again before it becomes root-bound.
Water the seedlings regularly, but don't let them become waterlogged as this encourages rot. Don't let them dry out as they rarely recover at this stage. Water the soil, not the foliage. Once the plants have established, it is better to water heavy and infrequently, allow the top inch or so to dry out in between watering.
Seedlings should be grown in good light, but should not be exposed to direct sunlight from late spring to early autumn. Weaker sunlight from autumn to spring is unlikely to do them harm. Once seedlings have put on some growth they need lots of light. Growing them under a grow-light produces excellent stocky plants, as will a warm sunny windowsill. Adult chilli plants need lots of light. However, more than 4 hours or so in hot direct sunlight will dry them out quickly.
Acclimatise to outdoor conditions for 2 to 3 weeks before they are moved permanently outside. Plant them into rich moist soil. Flower do not form and fruit will not set if the temperature is much below 17°C (62°F) for most of the day, so wait until June/July for best results with outdoor planting.
After the first flowers appear, feed every one or two weeks with a half-strength liquid tomato feed. You could also add Seaweed extract to the water once a week.
Pollinating Flowers: (optional)
Chilli plants are self fertile and will generally pollinate themselves. However, if you want to give them a helping hand to ensure that lots of fruit are set indoors, use a cotton wool bud to gently sweep the inside of the flowers, spreading the pollen as you go. The flower's petals will drop off as the green middle part of the flower starts to swell slightly. This is the chilli pepper beginning to grow.
Harvesting: Harvest in 85 to 95 days
Chillies will take a few weeks to develop and a further couple weeks to turn from green to gold. Harvest any time after they are fully developed. Use scissors to snip the fruits so you don't damage the plant.
After being roasted and peeled, Poblanos can be preserved by either canning or freezing. Storing poblanos in airtight containers will suffice for several months.
Be careful handling chilli seeds as they can cause a painful burning sensation: Avoid contact with the eyes or any sensitive skin before washing your hands thoroughly.
These peppers are very hot please make sure whomever tries them knows before-hand !
The word Cayenne seems to come from kian, the name of a pepper among the Tupi Indians in what is now French Guiana. Located on the north-eastern coast of South America this pepper was named after either the Cayenne River or the capital of the country, Cayenne.
This variety was first documented in 1493 and brought from Chile to Portugal by Christopher Columbus. According to one anonymous writer, one of his passengers, a man named de Cuneo, described how Native Americans ate peppers like one would eat an apple.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 20 Seeds Common Name Hot: 30,000 to 50,000 SHU. Other Common Names Capsicum. Chili, Chile or Chilli. Hot Pepper Family Solanaceae Genus Capsicum Species annuum Cultivar Cayenne Hardiness Tender Perennial often used as an Annual Fruit 5 to 12cm (2 to 5in) long by 1.5cm (½in) wide, maturing from green to red Height 45 to 60cm (18 to 24in) tall Position Grown in good light, but should not be exposed to direct sunlight Soil Rich moist soil. Time to Sow Sow from mid February to mid June Time to Harvest 85 to 95 days