Chilli pepper Caliente Red
Species: Capsicum frutescens
Common name: Chilli pepper
Height: 30cm (12 inches)
Grow as: tender annual
Harvest period: AugustOctober
Use the variety Caliente Red. packetseeds.com offers a compact variety ideal for growing on windowsills or on patios. Excellent value at 25 seeds per 95 pence packet.
Caliente Red is an attractive dwarf, compact chilli pepper which can be grown as a pot or container plant for windowsills or patios.
Plants are dual purpose: they are both decorative and have edible fruits.
The small fruits are initially green, turning red when ripe. Flowers and fruits are upward facing, and are produced on a continuous basis throughout the life of the plant. Dozens of fruit can grow on a single plant.
Plants are easy and quick to grow, requiring no special growing techniques. Fruits can be used directly from the plant, can be kept in a refrigerator, or can be dried and ground for long term storage. They can also be pickled in brine and eaten as a relish with Italian antipasti.
Chilli peppers originate in tropical South America and have been in cultivation in Europe since at least 1500. They were originally used dried and powdered as a substitute for the true pepper, Piper nigrum, a vine cultivated only in the humid tropics.
Growing: chilli peppers grow best in a warm, sunny location. A greenhouse is ideal, or you can grow in a container on a south-facing patio, or alternatively in a 13cm (5 inch) pot on a windowsill. In the case of Caliente Red, the final size of the plant will depend on the size of the potgrown in a smaller pot, plants will stay small and compact; grown in soil in the greenhouse plants will spread out and become larger.
Sowing: sow onto a seed compost from March to May.
Germinate at 22°C (72°F). Prick out into cell units when ready. Grow on at a night minimum temperature of 15° - 18°C (6064°F). Temperatures below 7°C can cause plant damage. Grow in full sun but avoid water on leaves in bright conditions to avoid scorch.