Sunday 23 July 2017

Chilli update

Thanks to the hot sunny weather we had for most of June, my chilli plants got off to a good start this year, and have mostly grown nice and big. Current weather conditions (cold, wet and windy) suit them less well! Still, most of the plants have a lot of fruit on them, though none are ripe yet. It's time to give you an update on how they look... [Note: almost all the plants are in 10-inch diameter pots.]

This one is "Aji Benito", which has set an incredible number of fruit.

The fruits are currently a very pale green colour, but they will be red when ripe.

This is dear old "Cayenne" - very reliable, if perhaps rather unexciting! I have two plants of this variety, in order to produce a good amount of basic chillis with a modest level of heat for the kitchen.

Looks like I won't be disappointed...

One of the "Cayenne" plants looks as if it will be the first plant to produce ripe fruit. You can see a couple here which have turned brown prior to going red.

This is "Fidalgo Roxa", a very handsome plant, with dark-coloured foliage and very weird-shaped fruits:

The next one is "Ring of Fire", another fairly basic one, grown for a quantity harvest.
Being tall, it has lost a few branches in the wild weather we have had, but otherwise it's doing brilliantly.

The next one is "Aji Limon". Again, since this is one of my favourites, I have two of these. Traditionally a late-developer, one plant has not produced any fruits so far and the other has about four or five. When ripe they will be a lemon-yellow colour.

Here is "Jalapeno", with its characteristically blunt-ended fruits:

This is "Fat Bird", known until this year as the "Challock Chilli":

Then we have one whose official name I don't know, but its description is "Hungarian, short, thin, red". I got seeds for this one from the famous Nottingham butcher Johnny Pusztai, whose family originate from Hungary.

Next is the one I call "Panama 6". The seeds for this one were brought to me from Panama by my daughter (whose husband is Panamanian):

So far it has only a couple of fruits, but I shall consider myself very fortunate if I can bring even one of them to maturity.

Next up, another unidentified one. It looks like one of the big Turkish varieties. The big fruits look spectacular, but I expect they will be quite mild in terms of heat.

This one is my smallest chilli plant. It's the one I call "Redfields Slim Orange". It's a real miniature, and so far has only the one fruit (still green of course). [This one is in a 6-inch pot]

Judging by the plant structure and the leaves, I had thought this might be one of the Demon varieties, but now that I see the shape of the pod I think it probably isn't.

Last one to show you today is one of two which I nicknamed "Cozumel Fat". They are grown from seeds of some dried chillis which I bought while on holiday in Cozumel, Mexico. Both of them have yet to produce any flowers, let alone set fruit, so they have recently been returned to the mini greenhouses to try to bring them on a bit quicker. All the other plants are completely unprotected.

You can see the thermometer in the photo, so you'll have guessed that I'm monitoring the temperature quite carefully. On a gloomy day the temperature inside one of the greenhouses is several degrees warmer than the outside temperature, even with the door open. On a sunny day, the temperature quickly shoots up to 35 or 40C, so I have to make sure the plants don't get stressed.

Well, that's the state of play at present. Hopefully before very long I will be able to post about harvesting ripe chillis.

P.S. This one's nearly there. It's a "Fidalgo Roxa".


  1. Your chillies look amazing. My plants are receiving good amoubt of sun but the flowers are all dropping. Any idea why?

    1. The two most probable causes are too much water and too little water!

    2. This - and you might need to pollinate them by hand if there's no wind or insects.

      Chillies...heh...they do randomly sulk and drop flowers though. If it's just one or two plants then it's probably normal-ish. I have one overwintered plant that set zero chillies last year and zero this year! For no apparent reason.

  2. Last year I went to the Dorset Chilli Festival. It was great fun.

  3. I'm forgetting to tell people that because I've moved to West Yorkshire and because West Yorkshire is very different from Coastal Dorset . . . I've created a new blog for the plants of my new urban environment hence - 'Loose and Leafy in Halifax' -

  4. ...and not a habanero in sight!

    I always grow at least one habanero type, just for the unique flavour.

    1. "Panama 6" may be a Habanero of some sort...

    2. Actually that last one you call "fidalgo roxa" looks closest to a habanero to me - has the same colouring/fruit skin type. Will be interesting to see if it has the flavour too.

  5. Great blog! Glad I found you on Twitter. I started growing chillies a few years ago and I've written a piece about this, with some recipes here I definitely think chillies do need a fair bit of water, from experience. Got a good crop this year.


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