This orange red spice is the hottest member of the Capsicum family. There are many varieties with fruits of different shapes and colours. When Christopher Columbus reached Central America, he found that the Mexicans made use of chillies to flavour meat and fish. He liked them so much that when he sailed for home he took their seeds which were later sown in the Portuguese East Indies.
Germination Temperature (°F)
Water daily in Spring and Summer, but pot should not stand in water. Reduce watering to once a week when flowering and fruit is forming.
Feed weekly from Spring and Summer until fruit forms. Stop feeding until following season.
Re-pot in early Spring into a pot of maximum 5 inch. Plant produces more fruit if roots are slightly crowded.
Sow seeds on surface of seed compost. Do not cover seed tray and keep it in lit place.
Start from seeds in Spring and Summer.
The oval fruits are edible. Once they are ripe they can be allowed to hang on the plant for about 2 weeks.
In Spring pinch out the growing tip to make the plant grow bushier.
For poor circulation and chilblains in cold weather, tea made with 1/8 of a teaspoon crushed Cayenne to 1 cup of water can be added to a small amount of water and used as a hand or foot bath. Do not use on broken skin -- it hurts.
Capsicum needs good light at least 4 hours direct sunlight from a south window to accomplish heavy blossoming and fruit. Even small plants set fruit. Discard after fruiting, save seeds from them. Watch out for greenfly.
They make attractive windowsill or a tabletop decorations. Keep away from small children.
Spray twice weekly with soft tepid water.
Peat based compost.
Scientists were able to revive a flowering plant from the fossilized fruit found in the stomach of an Arctic ground squirrel who was trapped in ice around 32,000 years ago.